The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal’s team of international trade experts, the World Trade Centre Montréal, is holding a seminar on business opportunities in the Persian Gulf countries on February 18, 2016.
At this event, our guest experts will be discussing the most recent sectoral outlooks in the Persian Gulf countries, and will offer practical advice on generating strong trade relations and lasting business partnerships. You will get equipped to enter a thriving market, and to strengthen your presence or begin to grow your business there.
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO…
- Understand the business context of markets in the Persian Gulf countries, and how it has evolved
- Get expert advice
- Update your knowledge of various sectoral outlooks
- Identify business opportunities for your company
- Evaluate and improve your strategy for expanding onto these markets
- Hear testimonials from Quebec entrepreneurs who have found success on these markets
WHY THE GULF STATES?
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman make up a coherent regional entity that is enjoying surprising growth. They have integrated their national economies in a customs union called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Buildings on land reclaimed from the sea, luxury hotels, daringly designed towers, and airlines such as Emirates or Qatar Airways are the most highly recognized examples of the dynamism of today’s new Gulf cities. And this growth is not slowing down: major construction projects continue to come one after another, and the region is still attracting developers.
These countries therefore offer excellent business opportunities for Quebec companies, although they still remain largely unknown to entrepreneurs from the province. Often seen as complex markets, they are actually not any less open to foreign trade relations and entrepreneurs.
Local governments are making huge investments in a wide range of infrastructure projects that are global in scope: roads, electricity production and transportation systems, desalination facilities, sewage systems, public housing, recreation facilities, hospitals and medical service centres, schools, athletic facilities, refineries and other hydrocarbon processing plants, airports, and public buildings. A railway network between the six countries is already under construction; it should represent an investment of 200 billion dollars.
Despite a slowdown in growth due to the drop in the price of oil, the Gulf countries saw 3.7% growth in 2014. In fact, the forecasts for these countries are optimistic, with growth of 4.5% expected for 2015.
With oil being the Gulf’s main means of income, the price drop has hit these countries hard. A common effort to diversify has therefore been undertaken, which will create interesting opportunities in the region. We estimate that the food and beverage sector will grow by 36% between 2015 and 2019; as for the automobile industry in Saudi Arabia, it should show 5.2% growth in 2015. These examples are a perfect illustration of the diversification that can be seen occurring in the Gulf countries.
In addition, four of the countries (UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia) of the Gulf Cooperation Council were designated priority markets in Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP) in November 2013, and the announcement of the opening of official negotiations for a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) last July also demonstrates Canada and Quebec’s growing interest for these booming markets.
Interest is fully warranted, considering the many commercial advantages the Gulf countries offer Quebec exporters, starting with their populations’ strong purchasing power and free access to continental markets—totalling 1.5 billion consumers, according to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
We are therefore bringing you a seminar that focuses on the business opportunities to be seized on the Gulf markets, and on the ways of gaining access to various networks of entrepreneurs and decision-makers that can help open doors to these highly dynamic and promising markets.
Gulf Cooperation Council facts and figures:
- A combined population of 50 million inhabitants
- A combined GDP of 1,665 billion USD
- Estimated growth of 3.7% in 2014, and expected growth of 4.5% in 2015
- Among the highest per capita GDPs in the world (Qatar: 3rd highest)
- A customs union in which products that clear customs upon entering any one of the six nations can circulate unimpeded by tariff barriers throughout all countries in the zone
- Massive public participation in the funding of projects
- Priority markets for Canada
- Growing demand for medical equipment, with public and private players mobilized for the modernization of health care systems
- The creation of new cities that are eco-sustainable and specialized in scientific research and education
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
The seminar will be of particular interest to companies in the following sectors:
- Environment, clean energy and technology
- Infrastructure, real estate, and construction
- Information and communications technology
- Defence and security
- Design and architecture
- Machinery and equipment
- Oil and gas
- Life sciences
- Financial services
- Professional services
- Mining, precious and base stones and metals
The Persian Gulf countries: an oasis you can bank on!