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Survey On Business Confidence Indicates Highest Growth Potential in the GCC Region

Middle East : 01 February 2011

The confidence of businesses within the GCC region has increased in this period beyond the worldwide financial crisis, with the UAE leading the way at 30% confidence levels. This data is based on a survey of Saudi Arabia and the UAE conducted by Oliver Wyman Management Consultants and Zogby International polling company.

At a lecture held at the DSG (Dubai School of Government), President and founder of the AAI (Arab American Institute) Dr. James Zogby revealed the results of this survey entitled the 2010 GCC Business Confidence and Government Reform Survey. It is the third of its kind. The DSG is a top teaching and research institute the focuses on public policies within the Arab region.

The data focused on issues such as the levels of confidence in GCC businesses, the leading priorities of businesses looking at increasing their competitiveness and the elements that require government attention such as labour reforms and education. There are two classifications in the survey, including Growth and Reform as well as Competitiveness.

Executive response in the survey showed that this group is mostly satisfied with how the government in responding to the challenges within the economy. UAE execs recorded a satisfaction rate of 69%. This group also noted a wariness that the Iranian sanctions could result in significant negative business impact.

Dr. Zogby noted that the poll’s aim is to get a rating on regional business confidence and provide feedback to the government for use when reforming policy. With regards to both future and current prospects, GCC businesses are reporting high levels of confidence. Zogby also added that the survey results are not to be considered facts since they are largely senior business exec’s perceptions.

Both Saudi Arabian and UAE execs cited labour regulations and restrictions as the largest challenge in business, along with limited access to business financing. Even though survey respondents stated their satisfaction with government actions after the crisis that goes right along with a response that reforms to labour and education are required in the region.

The Saudi executives, along with those in the UAE, are seeing the GCC region as a preferred option for geographic expansion and this is the first time that opinion has been reported. Almost 80 percent of survey respondents are considering the GCC area a leading priority for fresh and opportune investments.

Dean of the DSG, Dr. Tarik Yousef, stated that the school is pleased to be hosting the release of these survey results. The insightful analysis by the Oliver Wyman and Zogby partnership is a result of candid responses from both industry leaders and executives and is vital to guide formulation and reformation of both social and economic policies.

The DSG (Dubai School of Government) has been established since 2005 and was a cooperative work with Harvard Kennedy School. The DSG is dedicated to knowledge creation and the distribution of worldwide best practices to the Arab region. DSG has a variety of programs under way that are targeted at the enhancement of the Arab world’s capacity for public policies that are effective.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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