air transport, and financial services. These opportunities come however with enormous challenges: the need for infrastructure investment and financial resources for education and research, part of the overall need to ensure a general upgrading of the region s economy.

The policies being pursued by the GCC countries are arousing awareness and interest among an increasing number of trading partners. Some countries, such as EU member states, the United States and Japan, have always been active in the region. They are now being joined by newcomers such as South Korea, China, India, Australia and South Africa, as competition to supply goods and services intensifies.

The BNP Paribas service offer is particularly suited to these changes. With its forty years of experience, the Bank continues to make a valuable contribution to the economic development of the region by: financing cross-border trade flows; participating in lending to companies in the region; mobilising long-term financing for industrial investment and infrastructure development; providing asset management, mergers & acquisitions advice and management consulting services; offering wealth and advisory services.

BNP Paribas has a solid presence in each of the Gulf States, providing services which combine the best skills available in the region with access to major financial markets in Europe, the United States and Asia. The Bank s talented teams are skilled in working with both government authorities and companies in the region, helping to forge contacts with other regions of the world especially Asia and Africa and advising Gulf investors in their ventures abroad. BNP Paribas Gulf staff s knowledge of companies on the one hand and the national and international financial markets on the other is a great asset at a time when the challenges and the opportunities have never been greater on the economic, social and political front.

Jean Lemierre CHAIRMAN, BNP PARIBAS