Leveraging Growth Opportunities in Middle East and North Africa
An interview with Jeremy Shaw, Head of Corporate Sales, Middle East & Africa, J.P. Morgan Treasury Services
Why is MENA such an important market for J.P. Morgan?
J.P. Morgan has a long-standing history of serving our clients in the MENA region dating back to the 1950s. Our philosophy in serving our clients is quite simple: be where our clients need us to be. MENA is a hugely diverse region, both geographically and economically. Some countries within the region are large economies in their own right, such as Saudi Arabia, with a population of over 29 million, and Egypt with over 80 million. Many of our clients from North America, Europe or Asia have a presence in MENA, such as companies engaged in the oil and gas sector, infrastructure development, and providing the housing and social care required for the huge influx of immigrant labour. For example, in the United Arab Emirates, expatriates represent over 85% of the workforce.
To leverage the opportunities in such a dynamic region, companies need their banks to provide a broad base of expertise and flexible, high quality solutions. Increasingly therefore, our clients who are already active there, or are expanding their business in the region, are looking to J.P. Morgan for support.
How are you helping clients active in MENA?
Our focus is on serving the regional needs of our international customer base. These can either be heritage European, American or Asian companies operating in the region, or a local institution doing regional and international business. To meet that goal, we are continuing our commitment of increasing our capability and presence to help serve their transaction banking needs. In Saudi Arabia for example, we are building on our long-standing involvement in the region and our relationship with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency.
We recognised that with a large population, ongoing economic reform and diversification, as well as increased foreign investment, there was a significant requirement for high-quality banking services. J.P. Morgan is currently the only US bank offering services in the country and by taking advantage of our dual licences in Saudi Arabia we are able to deliver a platform of end-to-end corporate banking capabilities for our clients. In turn, this allows us to respond to our clients’ strategic and day-to-day needs while delivering our global reach and product expertise to their door. Throughout 2010 and 2011, J.P. Morgan will be continually investing in our capabilities and broadening our product range available in Saudi Arabia.