Today the strategic forum ‘Establishing a Silicon Valley in Today’s GCC’ takes place in Dubai. Dozens of senior public and private sector decision-makers from a variety of industries will attend the event to discuss how the GCC can navigate towards a future centered around heightened entrepreneurship, innovation and employment. Global consulting firm Oliver Wyman acts as main sponsor of the event, and in addition will provide a contribution to the agenda.
On the back of rapid economic growth, GCC countries have in the past two decades grown to become major economies in the region, and in a number of industries, even major players at a global scale. Dubai for instance has developed its aviation industry into one of the top five global hubs, with estimated revenues of $26.7 billion, which account for roughly 27% of Dubai’s total GDP. At the same time the sector’s impressive growth – by 2030 the economy-wide contribution of aviation is forecasted to grow to a staggering 40% – has its dangers, with over focus and industrial concentration the key risks. The same applies for other countries and sectors, with oil the key example, accounting for 55% of Saudi Arabia’s GDP and 11% of Bahrain’s GDP.
With this in mind, GCC policy makers have set the ambition to pursue an economic diversification agenda, aimed at shifting their economies towards a future less dependent on energy and more reliant on technology and ideas. Pillars that are envisaged to bolster the GCC’s future competitive position include education, the creation of centres of innovation and entrepreneurship, and a state-of-the art infrastructure.
To support policy makers with their plans, The Financial Times and Oliver Wyman have decided to join forces and organise a strategic summit in the region. The event, titled ‘Establishing a Silicon Valley in Today’s GCC’, kick-off today at 08:45 in The Grosvenor House, Dubai, and hosts several keynotes, in-depth interviews and interactive panel discussions. Ten speakers will contribute to the event, chaired by FT editor James Kynge, including two partner from Oliver Wyman, the event’s main sponsor: Javier Baigorri and Pedro Oliveira.
Baigorri joined Oliver Wyman in 2006, through the acquisition of the telecommunications practice of DiamondCluster, which he led for five years. At the consulting firm, he leads the International business (all countries except North America) and consults clients on among others corporate strategy and organisation, sales and marketing, M&A, and technology adoption. Dubai-based Oliveira is the Middle East & Africa Region Head for Oliver Wyman. His work focuses on three main areas: operations improvement (commercial and operational), strategy definition and implementation, and cost optimisation. Oliveira is also CEO and a Board member of TICG, a joint venture between Oliver Wyman, the Kuwait Investment Authority, and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
GCC = Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE.