CEO Mohammed Mohebi reviews a report of the top 25 emerging markets around the world and finds some interesting developments in the Middle East.

Emerging Markets3 crop

Last month the Logistics Middle East e-magazine ran a Special Report on Emerging Markets, listing the 45 major countries and how well they have done since last year.

The report presents a global picture – so it will be useful to add a regional perspective into how attractive GCC countries are judged to be for investment by logistics companies

Firstly of course it’s worth noting that China is still top emerging nation in the world – although they now have rising labor costs and a shortage of skills. It was gratifying to see that Saudi Arabia is ranked at No.4. They are initiating many projects and so the ranking is well deserved. The UAE comes in at No.6, which is an excellent achievement considering the small size of the country. Kuwait at No. 16 is also a favorable investment destination, despite its size. In all cases the rankings were unchanged from last year.

A rising star is Qatar at 12th place (one up from last year) and a player to watch. A new airport and mega port are being built, which should be interesting factors. Strangely, the Report believes that Qatar’s position will fall in the future.

By contrast, Oman fell one spot to 13th position this year. Yet it may be the hidden jewel. It has ranked highly and economic activity is regaining its vitality. The problem area is Bahrain, falling five places to No.22. Until the uncertain climate there settles down, it is doubtful that the country will see any improvement in its rankings.

Overall, Middle Eastern markets have been high performers, averaging 5.88% in growth compared to 4.66% for all markets in the Emerging Markets Logistics Index. In the USA, growth has only reached 2.2% while in the EU it contracted to 0.2%.

See the April 2013 edition of Logistics Middle East – Pages 37-42