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CEO Predictions 2014: Shinichi Wakita, Managing Director, Panasonic MEA

CEO Predictions 2014: Shinichi Wakita, Managing Director, Panasonic MEA

Heavy government spending and increasingly energetic private sectors will keep economic growth robust in the GCC, writes Wakita.

The world economy continues to emerge slowly from the most serious economic crisis of the post–World War II period – one that has deeply transformed the global economy and highlighted the increasingly important role that emerging markets and developing economies play. As these advanced economies are searching for ways to speed up their economic engines, emerging and developing countries have been important drivers of world economic recovery.

Reports indicate that world economic growth will pick up to 3.1 per cent in 2014 from an annual growth rate of 2.8 per cent in 2013. It is predicted that by 2025, emerging markets will capture just over half of the world GDP. Emerging economies, like the wealthy GCC states, are likely to see their oil and gas revenues drop next year but heavy government spending and increasingly energetic private sectors will keep economic growth robust.

Regardless of the overall economic situation, more and more consumers worldwide are using electronics. Many are also experimenting with traditional consumer electronics and other types of smart products. The bar of expectation of the electronics industry is constantly challenged with need for innovative products.

Consumers are seeking products that offer better connectivity, performance, speed, quality and convenience. The high degree of sophistication among consumers in Middle East and Africa is fuelling demand for new innovations and we at Panasonic are looking forward to building the confidence of our customers through products that are locally-fit, with the quality and service that our customers have come to expect from us.

With signature events coming to the Middle East, like World Expo 2020 and the Football World Cup in 2022, prospects are looking brighter and it augurs well for the region. I also foresee the African continent being a major driver of growth for business as infrastructure continues to develop in leaps and bounds.

2014 will be a year of resurgence for Panasonic in the region. I am excited at the prospect of the active involvement of government institutions driving massive infrastructure developments.

It is inevitable that such developments will spur all industries. More so, the electronics industry since electronics plays a major part in our everyday lives.

By virtue of having products that cater to every segment of the consumer–be it B2C or B2B, we are well placed to ride high on this tremendous potential. With the company approaching 100 years in the electronic business in 2018, our deep understanding of customer needs and our local partner’s network and expertise, we will pursue cross- value innovation to leverage the growth potential of this region.

We will focus on creating products and associated services that together meet consumer’s demands for superior experiences, ultimately transforming the way they live, work and entertain themselves.

From Panasonic, I would like to say that we have more products than one can think of and more solutions and services than one can imagine. Our aim is to make, ‘A Better life, A Better world’.

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