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MEEF - Middle East Projects News & Analyses - previous page

GE highlights strong growth opportunities in the Middle East

Global technology, media and financial services major GE hosted global investors for a series of meetings in three major cities in the Middle East - Doha in Qatar and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE - to showcase the company's operations, strategic partnerships and overall growth prospects in these growing markets.

'The Middle East is an important growth market for GE,' said Nabil Habayeb, GE's President and CEO for the Middle East and Africa region. 'In 2005, GE's Middle East operations amounted to more than US$2.8 billion in sales and we are looking forward to approximately 20 per cent growth this year.

'This meeting gives us an opportunity to showcase our strong regional leadership, strategic local partnerships and extensive product portfolio. We have brought investors from all over the world to the Middle East so they can see first-hand how much progress we have made and how much potential there is for GE in this emerging market,' he added.

'There is a great match between the region's growth drivers and the GE businesses,' said Habayeb. 'Huge revenues are being generated from the high prices of oil and gas, and this money is being invested in the country's infrastructure - power, water, roads, healthcare and construction. In addition, funds are being invested in diversifying from an oil-based economy to bring on industrialization and tourism projects such as airports, airlines, resorts and theme parks.

'Our GE businesses - from infrastructure and industrial to healthcare, entertainment and finance - are in a strong position to provide innovative solutions to various exciting project across the region,' explained Habayeb.

In Abu Dhabi, GE's management team gave an overview of the company's businesses in the UAE. This was followed by guest speaker panel discussions led by HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority; Saeed Al Hajeri, Executive Director, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; and Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Chief Operating Officer, Mubadala Development Company.

'In recent years, Abu Dhabi has made considerable advances in infrastructural growth and has been proactively investing in future technologies,' said Habayeb. 'Apart from significant investments in the petrochemical sector, the city has reiterated its commitment to human resources development through effective training programmes. Abu Dhabi shares the concerns regarding sustainable environmental practices and has been in the forefront in adopting development programmes that look at the sustained growth of the global energy market.'

Underscoring GE's focus on resource conservation and alternative energy sector, the company has partnered with the Masdar initiative by Abu Dhabi to ensure the emirate's growing share of the global energy market. In Abu Dhabi, GE has also partnered with Mubadala Development Company, the wholly owned investment vehicle of the Abu Dhabi government, to set up an executive learning centre in the city focused on providing advanced management and business leadership programs to professionals in the region.

At the Dubai investor roadshow, panel discussions were led by His Excellency Dr Oman Bin Sulaiman, Governor, Dubai International Financial Center; Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airlines; Sameer Al-Ansari, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai International Capital; and Sandy Shipton, Head of Asset and Fund Management, Dubai International Financial Center.

GE's businesses have contributed to the multi-sectoral growth of Middle East economies through several significant partnerships regionally. One of the highlights in GE's regional growth initiatives is its partnership with Dubai Holding to identify and invest in high technology projects across the Middle East and North Africa. The agreement provides a framework for Dubai International Capital, the international investment arm of Dubai Holding to invest in infrastructure projects where GE businesses play an active role. This will enable Dubai International Capital to expand its investment portfolio and participate through investment in infrastructure and industrial ventures in tandem with GE.

'Dubai has the perfect economic climate for all-rounded growth,' said Habayeb. 'The emirate continues to excel in varied sectors including aviation, technology projects, finance and healthcare - all of which are aligned with GE's core businesses. We have formed strong partnerships with the leaders in all these sectors - a reiteration of our commitment to the region.'

In Qatar, GE has embarked on an ambitious training initiative with the opening of the GE Technology and Learning Center at the Qatar Science and Technology Park. It will focus on providing technical training and research support for customers of GE's Aviation and Energy business in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. GE's Global Research Center, Oil and Gas and Water divisions will also undertake R&D of technologies applicable to the local industry.

'Such training and research initiatives hold strategic value for Qatar, which needs new technologies in its key growth sectors,' added Habayeb. 'The Qatari economy is fast evolving and investment worth several billion dollars is envisaged in the energy sector alone over the next five years.'

A strong contributor to the region's oil and gas industry, GE's turbines and compressors power the Qatari liquefied natural gas industry. GE has gained significant orders from Qatar Petroleum in addition to signing a strategic agreement for the first 'supertrain' for the Qatar II LNG project.

GE has made significant inroads in building strong partnerships with the aviation industry. The company has long been a provider of engines for the Qatar Airways, Emirates and Al Ittihad fleet. Emirates has finalized an agreement to purchase 10 Boeing 747-8 freighters, powered by GEnx engines. The purchase agreement for the 45 GEnx engines - an ecomagination product - is valued at more than US$600 million.

GE has also reiterated its community orientation by signing a strategic agreement with the Doha Asian Games Organizing Committee to be an Official Partner for the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006. The company will provide temporary power generation for Doha 2006 for approximately 40 competition and non-competition venues around Doha.

Focused strategic partnerships in all its key areas of growth have provided momentum to GE's regional growth, which is highlighted at the Investor Relations Day.





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