In the Gulf States particularly, their economies are growing at an incredible rate, with nine percent nominal GDP growth forecast for 2008 in Saudi Arabia, and seven percent in Egypt. In Qatar, almost 50 percent of companies reported double-digit sales growth in 2007 – and 60 percent of executives believe profits will rise in double-digits too.
Comment: Saudi Arabia and UAE are two key countries driving growth, and setting an economic agenda for the other countries within MESA to follow. However there are other oil and gas rich GCC countries experiencing high growth rates such as Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.
Aligned with this growth, the region has fast become a global hotspot for business activity: 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies now have regional hubs in Dubai, and in recent years there have been increasingly significant investments by MESA-based companies in iconic brand names and businesses across Europe and North America.
For KPMG member firms this has meant high, sustained growth that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. There is a huge amount of inward and outward investment activity that needs our professional services, and growing regulations that require advisors on compliance.
GCC countries have a particular need for professionals in Advisory services including Tax Advisory (for countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait), with most of the GCC countries having an international Tax focus.
In other countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, some areas of our business, such as Corporate Finance, Transaction Services, Forensic, and Financial Risk Management have high potential.
This provides great opportunities for applying skills and experience to building up a function or practice and gaining greater exposure to management, new business and the different approaches to managing relationships in each country.
"Many of our clients are growing at over 20 percent a year."- Andrew, CEO, KPMG in Saudi Arabia
Comment: In some Gulf States, petrol is cheaper than water.