German companies recognize GCC-wide opportunities
Faster regional economic integration would be a strong accelerator for economic diversification
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries’ current top priority lies in the transformation into diversified and knowledge-based economies led by the public and the private sector alike. Its mem-ber countries are making laudable efforts to attract foreign investment and to become a global business hub beyond the oil and gas industry. The transition towards renewable energy, such as solar and hydrogen, and investments in the manufacturing and industrial sector will drive innova-tion and employment. German companies, which are highly respected in the region, can expect to benefit from these developments, not only as suppliers of technology and know-how, but also as participants in a deeper regional economic integration.
However, companies also face multiple challenges complying with the respective initiatives, espe-cially the countries’ individual programs to foster localization and national employment. While re-ducing youth unemployment and the development of local talent are both indisputable and desira-ble objectives, various regulations about employment quotas, localization processes and less-than-perfectly harmonized regulations across the GCC countries could curb the desired process of eco-nomic change and regional integration.