Nortel eyeing Mideast to offset Europe slowdown

GITEX: Telecoms equipment maker sees wary attitude to IT investment in Europe.

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By  Amy Glass Published  October 22, 2008

Telecoms equipment maker Nortel Networks is boosting its presence in the Middle East to offset the economic downturn in Europe, the company's regional boss said on Tuesday.

Michel Clement, president for Southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told Arabian Business he has noticed a wary attitude toward investing in IT in Western Europe due to the current global financial crisis.

“We are seeing corporates in Western Europe becoming a lot more cautious… we don’t see a slowdown in business here, in fact there are even more opportunities in communications and technology,” Clement said, speaking on the sidelines of the Gitex technology exhibition in Dubai.

Clement said the Canada-based company is looking to implement strong expansion plans in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait to accelerate growth, without elaborating.

"We are positioning ourselves in this region, and increasing our presence, both in the enterprise and carrier business, which has been historically weak in the Middle East," he said.

"It is an extremely positive situation for us, we see the Middle East as a key growth area with solid fundamentals."

Clement said companies in this region are "anxious" to be on the forefront of the latest developments in technology and telecommunications.

“Although I do not have the exact data for the economic conditions in the Middle East, it looks like the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have a lot of on-going activity, particularly in the hospitality, healthcare, airports and banking sectors," he said.

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