(Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt of a paper written by ARC Advisory Group on behalf of Wared Logistics. The opinions and observations stated are those of ARC Advisory Group. You can download the full report at this link).
Many logistics professionals equate Dubai with logistics in the Middle East, and for good reason. Dubai is home to the busiest container port in the region, which is also the third largest re-exporting hub in the world, handling almost 12 million TEUs in 2008. It is also the headquarters of DP World, one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world, with terminals across thirty-one countries.
But logistics in the Middle East goes far beyond Dubai and the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), particularly when you consider other important business and consumer markets in the region, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Egypt.
The total value of goods exported from the United States to countries in the MENA region totaled almost $47 billion in 2008. Prior to the global recession, which negatively affected world trade in 2009, MENA was among the fastest growing export markets for the United States. For example, the total value of goods exported to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) grew by 33.7 percent in 2008 compared to 2007, while the value of goods exported to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) grew by 20.1 percent.
MENA is also an important export market for the European Union (EU). In 2008, EU27 exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt totaled €66 billion, while imports from these countries totaled €35 billion.
Simply put, MENA may not be the largest trading block for the United States or the European Union, but it is among the fastest growing. According to data from the World Trade Organization, GDP and import trade growth in the MENA region has outpaced the growth in North America and the European Union over the past three years.
According to information published by the U.S. government at Export.gov, the following are some of the leading commercial sectors for U.S. export and investment in KSA, Egypt, and UAE:
In short, the MENA region is a growth opportunity for companies across many vertical industries, with countries such as KSA, Egypt, and UAE leading the way.