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News 24

Firms upbeat on Middle East

DUBAI: Over 70% of companies believe the Middle East will be a more attractive place to do business in three years' time, not least because of its favourable consumer demographics, a study has found.

Ernst & Young, the advisory network, polled 355 executives, 75% of which said the region would offer greater opportunities by 2015, whereas only 6% predicted a deterioration on this metric.

Some 46% of respondents argued that one of the "world-class" features of the Middle East from a corporate perspective was its market size and the purchasing power of shoppers.

The study stated there are 175m people in the region, with a median age of 25 years old, versus 28 years old in Latin America and 29 years old in Asia, rising to 36.9 years old in North America.

Certain nations also boast affluent populations, with the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait all reporting a mean level of wealth topping $100,000 per adult in 2011, it added.

More broadly, 37% of the survey panel agreed infrastructure development and government investment schemes deserved this status, as did 30% when discussing access to natural resources.


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