Middle East manufacturers well positioned for 'glocalisation': report

A report by GMIS and PwC said the region's manufacturers have made investments in world class technology

Steel Tubes At Metal Work factory Sections of Steel Tubing At Metal Work Factory. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Steel Tubes At Metal Work factory Sections of Steel Tubing At Metal Work Factory. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images/ Thurtel

The Middle East’s manufacturers are well prepared for ‘glocalisation’ - both global and local markets – due to access to world class technology.

Countries in the region have made ‘massive’ investment in information and communications technology (ICT) to create a knowledge company, said a joint report by the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) and global consultants PwC.

This has been done to reduce dependence on oil, and has been led by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the report said.

“Across the Middle East, countries are prioritising the potential of the digital revolution, constantly seeking ways to support organisations - from the manufacturing sector and beyond - to develop their digital knowledge and capabilities,” said Badr Al-Olama, head of the organising committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit.

Al-Olama said digitalisation is critical to rolling out and implementing successful glocalisation strategies, and that companies that have used advanced supply chain technologies have achieved greater transparency, flexibility and local asset utilisation, in addition to seeing operational savings. Those who don’t recognise the competitive advantage are likely to see their influence erode, he said.

The report titled ‘The journey from globalisation to glocalisation, how COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to more local and flexible options’ was created after a session at the GMIS digital sessions, which discussed the increasing shift to ‘glocalisation’ on a national scale brought on by COVID-19 and its impact on operational supply chains.

It highlights how digitalisation and automation enable companies to go more local by taking labour out of the supply chain and manufacturing equation, and how traditional supply chain approaches that focus narrowly on cost efficiency need to be broadened.

It also shows how COVID-19 encourages supply chain and wider operational collaboration between companies, with automation helping to solve bottlenecks with innovative, rapid solutions.

Dr Bashar El-Jawhari, Partner and Leader of Industry 4.0, procurement and supply chain, PwC Middle East, said: “Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, we believe that the region is well-prepared for a successful ‘glocalisation’ journey in two respects.

Firstly, major public and private sector companies have experience at building sustainable, flexible operations in a region afflicted by continuous challenges.

Secondly, in recent years Middle Eastern countries led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar have made massive investments in information and communications technology (ICT) in order to reduce their dependence on oil revenues by creating dynamic, digitalised ‘knowledge economies’.

“As a result, manufacturers in the Middle East now have access to world-class technology to modernise and localise supply chains and production.”

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite ; editing by Daniel Luiz)


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