The GCC computer and electronic products manufacturing industry has achieved significant growth in the past few years, with the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) posting 4.8 per cent since 2011, a report said.
The private sector’s contribution was significant in meeting the growing demands on these products, the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) report said.
The sector has grown in value from an estimated $395 million in 2011 to $476 million in 2015, it said.
Gulf is considered a large consumer market for computer and electronic products, with the sector’s imports doubling during the period between 2007 and 2015. The compound annual growth rate reached 12.5 per cent and the import value was estimated at $37.5 billion in 2015 compared to $14.6 billion in 2007.
On the other hand, exports of computer and electronic products registered during the same year a CAGR of 32.5 per cent. The total value of exports was estimated at $2 million in 2007 and it increased in 2015 to $1.9 billion, the report said.
The computer and electronics manufacturing sector accounted for only a small percentage (0.12 per cent) of the total investments in the GCC industrial sector, estimated at $393.7 billion during the period, the GOIC report said.
These figures show that the computer and electronic products manufacturing industry sector is still relatively a new industry in the GCC despite the presence of a huge domestic market in the Gulf countries, it said.
Abdul-Aziz Bin Hamad Al-Ageel, GOIC secretary general, said there is an urgent need for the GCC countries to strengthen the enabling environment for the information and communications technology that will increase the private sector investments in the field.
“It is also important to promote joint investments and cooperation between GCC countries and to launch research and development projects relating to this industry on the regional level,” he said.
Computer Electronic products manufacturing industry is characterized by the wide range of uses in modern day lifestyles, to include: electronics, computers, communication devices and equipment, software, semiconductors and measuring and control equipment etc.
Saudi Arabia takes the lead
According to GOIC data, Saudi Arabia is leading among the GCC countries in investing in computer and electronic products manufacturing industry. These investments amounted to $376 million in 2015, accounting for about three quarters of the total GCC investments in the computer and electronic products manufacturing industry in the Gulf. UAE ranked second with 14 per cent of the investments.
The investments in computer and electronic devices manufacturing industry were distributed among 75 factories in 2015, out of a total of 16,890 factories in the GCC industrial sector, representing just 0.4 per cent of the total number of factories.
Computer and electronic devices factories showed an increase by 9.6 per cent a year between 2011 and 2015.
Saudi Arabia was at the forefront of computer and electronic devices factories with 41 units in 2015, followed by UAE with 16.