metal works and petrochemical plants in the world. In addition, the region boasts a highly dynamic tertiary sector, with telecom companies, financial services providers, tourism operators, media firms and of course, the well-known airlines, which operate worldwide.

It is important to underline the considerable progress that has been made in macro- economic and corporate governance, the business environment, the opening up of the region s markets and most significantly, the growing integration of the Gulf States into the world economy. Companies from the region have increasingly become active investors and business partners across the world, firstly in Europe and North America and now increasingly in Asia, Africa, and as far as Latin America.

BNP Paribas employees in the region, and, indeed elsewhere in the world, are proud to be playing their part in the development of a region that has demonstrated its ability to take charge of its own destiny. The driving force throughout the Bank, transmitted every day through its people, is a desire to forge ever-closer partnerships with our clients, and to make a continuous commitment to them.

On behalf of all of us at BNP Paribas Middle East and Africa, I would like to conclude by thanking all those clients who place their trust in us by calling on our services and our expertise. This book clearly demonstrates our solid and constant commitment to this region and shows the strength of our ambition to work closely with the people of the Middle East and Africa, while they drive forward the economic development of their countries.

I would also like to thank Geoffroy de Lassus, who has with the support of the BNP Paribas Group Heritage and Historical Archives department brought this work of research and storytelling to fruition with great enthusiasm and determination.