“Domestic Strength Key to Growth”
In the August 7, 2009 issue of Middle East Economic Digest, Booz & Company Partner Fadi Majdalani (Middle East) said in the wake of global trade flows hit by the economic crisis, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with strong local industries such as manufacturing will benefit most from planned infrastructure investments. “The current economic crisis affects the region’s transport and logistics industry, especially in segments that are strongly dependent on the global economy and trade flows,” said Majdalani. According to the Booz & Company report, “Not Too Late: Finding Opportunity in Middle East Logistics,” the Middle East transport and logistics market will have a total value of $27 billion by 2012, compared with $18 billion in 2008. Majdalani said the key to achieving this level of growth is the development of new rail links in the region, including the GCC rail network and projects such as the Saudi Landbridge, which will connect the Kingdom’s Gulf and Red Sea costs via a new rail line. The Middle East has long recognized the advantages its geographic position gives it as a global logistics hub; GCC countries are within four hours flying time of 2 billion people, and sit on key East-West trade routes.