The Middle East and North Africa is a diverse region, containing small and large, poor and rich, stable and unstable countries. This makes it difficult for companies to select the right markets for their expansion plans. Assarwa - MENA Business Consultants has therefore analyzed these countries on basis of fifty data points in order to give companies an idea of the different country profiles in the region. These data points cover social elements (inhabitants, youth, population growth, etc.), economic elements (GDP, sectors, trade, etc.) and qualitative elements (peacefulness, corruption, competitiveness, etc.). On basis of these data points the region can be divided in five market types:
- Adventurous Areas (yellow)
- Producing Partners (light blue)
- Expanding Entities (dark blue)
- Savvy Sheikhs (light green)
- Tech Titans (dark green)
You find below more information on these types, but from these five the Savvy Sheikhs and the Tech Titans are the economies with the most similarity to Western economies.
These countries are not for the fainthearted as they are plagued by conflict, corruption and red tape. Most western companies avoid them, but they can offer high profits if you are willing to take the risk. They produce and trade little and dependent heavily on foreign imports, especially food and machinery. If you find trading with these countries directly too risky, you can always trade with them through a company from a neighboring country.
Producing Partners (blue line), The Netherlands (grey line), Average MENA (grey area)
These countries are fully focused on the EU and all the benefits it can offer them. They are eager to welcome European companies to increase investment and trade under their treaties with the EU as they struggle to keep their economies and employment growing. They offer a fairly educated population and strong agricultural sector, but their strongest exports are more technical: machinery and transport vehicles.
Expanding Entities (blue line), The Netherlands (grey line), Average MENA (grey area)
These countries grow in multiple ways. Not only is their young population growing, but also their economy. They see overall good growth in their different industries as well as their trade and investment. Although these countries do not distinguish themselves with regard to competitiveness or ease of doing business, they offer a fairly educated population and their manufacturing industries and agricultural sector are doing well.
Savvy Sheikhs (green line), The Netherlands (grey line), Average MENA (grey area)
These countries use their oil wealth to import technology and luxury goods. Although their economies are not growing strong, their wealth keep unemployment low, their urbanized population happy and, along with their competitive business environment, attract enough investment and trade from all over the world. The lack of a trade agreement doesn’t hinder the business between them and the EU as their economies are fairly similar.
Tech Titans (green line), The Netherlands (grey line), Average MENA (grey area)
These countries may be small, but have a highly educated population and very good (business) infrastructure which attracts a lot of investment. With an expanding service sector, low unemployment and a rich population their economies are doing well. They encourage international trade, which is for a significant part with the EU, but despite these efforts these countries struggle to keep their exports and imports growing.
Assarwa - MENA Business Consultants can provide customized and detailed market analyses of the region and individuals markets for companies in order to pinpoint the best market(s) for any business plans. Please contact us for more information or a quote at firstname.lastname@example.org