The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) stated that GCC exports to Germany reached nearly $700 million in 2011 and imports from Germany to GCC countries were worth $21.5 billion.
GOIC pointed out that German exports to GCC countries are mainly cars, power plants, locomotives, rail parts, aircraft, machinery and electrical and mechanical devices. As to German imports from GCC countries, they are mainly polymers and mining products.
GOIC put out the data during the participation of Secretary General Abdulaziz bin Hamad Al-Ageel at the GCC-Germany Business and Investment Forum in Berlin, which was held from March 11-13.
The forum was organized by the German-Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Gulf Research Centre (GRC) and the Federation of GCC Chambers (FGCCC).
Nearly 400 GCC and German decision-makers participated and discussed existing areas of cooperation, reinforcing business networks and establishing new partnerships.
Al-Ageel delivered a paper entitled “Economic diversification — investment and manufacturing opportunities in GCC countries” in which he tackled economic diversification through manufacturing and knowledge-based industries.
He discussed the current status of manufacturing industries, missing industries and investment opportunities, knowledge-based industries in GCC countries and GCC-German industrial cooperation.
Al-Ageel stated that most German companies operating in GCC countries do business in the areas of energy and power, construction, chemicals, telecommunications and IT.
The majority of German companies are based in the UAE, and strong opportunities still exist for these German companies to operate in other GCC countries, he added.
The GOIC secretary general announced that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar are home to some of the world’s largest sovereign funds set up to spread the excess revenues made by the GCC states across various investments around the world, including the industrial sector.
For instance, Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) holds a 6.9 percent stake in Daimler. The investment of KIA in Daimler started in 1974. Moreover, Qatar Holding LLC, the investment arm of Qatar, retains a 17 percent stake in Volkswagen after selling its 10 percent stake in Porsche Automobil Holding.
Al-Ageel added: “The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Mubadala Development Company had many direct investments in European Union states.
In 2008, a subsidiary of Mubadala named ATIC, purchased the AMD semiconductor plant in Dresden Germany, as part of the industrial diversification policy of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi while Masdar acquired full ownership of a German photovoltaic production plant in 2007 for $230 million, in preparation for setting up photovoltaic production facilities in the UAE.”
“TAWAZUN Holding acquired the full ownership of the German sport weapons manufacturer Merkel in 2007, through its firearms subsidiary Caracal,” Al-Ageel said.
As to German investment opportunities in GCC countries, the GOIC secretary general stressed that GCC countries are continuously working to improve industrial investment and promotion policies, privatization and public private partnerships (PPPs), tax policies and administration, new SME projects and promotion, anti-corruption law enforcement, new business laws and commercial conflict resolution, industrial infrastructure, human workforce development and access to funding of industrial projects.