UK has the fourth highest proportion of Fortune 500 companies in the MEA
32% of British-based Fortune 500 companies now have a physical presence in the Middle East and Africa, according to new research from Infomineo, a business research organisation specialising in emerging markets. This is the fourth highest proportion, behind Germany (55%), France (47%) and Japan (36%).
Additionally, 15 Fortune 500 firms set up regional headquarters in the UK to operate their MEA activities from in 2016, up from four the previous year. This is part of a trend of a total of 36 companies covering the MEA from outside of the region, up from 22 in 2015.
London is considered a safe option for companies interested in expansion to the MEA, Mike Taylor, sales director at Infomineo, said:
“London’s large talent pool, mature financial services industry, as well as its strategic location are all key factors in its popularity as a regional HQ for the Middle East and Africa. This can be seen from the disproportionately high number of European companies with a base here.”
The largest growth in London comes from Japanese companies including Mitsui, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, Mitsubishi, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings, and Fujitsu, and North American energy (e.g. Philips 66 and Chevron) and financial companies (e.g. Manulife Financial and Wells Fargo).
A total of 196 of the Fortune 500 companies had offices in the MEA at the end of 2016, an increase of 17% (from 167) from 2015.
Infomineo has helped 50 companies move into the MEA, providing valuable business insight as to the viability of expansion. Clients have included Société Générale, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Boehringer Ingelheim, L’Oréal, and Savola.