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A9C Capital aims to facilitate the flow of capital from the Gulf region into technology investments in Europe, and to leverage the transfer of technology and know-how from Europe to the Middle East.
The MENA (Middle East North Africa) region has an important position in the current world economy – both as provider of natural resources and as attractive consumer markets. The average real GDP growth rate has been 5.4 % over the last years, significantly higher than the world average GDP rate of 3.3 % (USA: 2.9 %; EU: 2.2 %). According to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the combined GDP of the MENA region exceeds Germanys’ GDP which puts the region in fifth place world-wide. The most important countries within the MENA region are the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which generate almost a trillion in GDP or in other words half the region’s combined GDP. GCC is expected to close the gap to the G7 economies by 2050. We believe that the further integration of the GCC countries, along with the potential introduction of a common currency, will further strengthen the countries’ importance.
A9C Capital has established its base within this region in Bahrain, a traditional gateway into these markets. Bahrain has a 40-year tradition of being a financial center. In recent years, Islamic Finance has evolved into one of the main drivers of growth and sophistication of the financial sector. At the same time, Bahrain offers a reasonable price level with the lowest inflation in all of the Gulf countries. In 2008, Bahrain was named the world’s fastest growing financial center by the City of London’s Global Financial Centers Index. Further growth potential lies in the proposed currency union of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Some interesting points on the commercial position of the Kingdom of Bahrain:
Europe with its sophisticated and diversified economy is in many ways an ideal partner for GCC countries, in particular in the area of technology. Already today, many technology solutions from Europe are being used in the infrastructure projects at the Gulf and European companies are generally in very good standing. We believe that there is room for more and deeper cooperation, in particular when it comes to supporting the GCC countries’ efforts of diversifying their economies through relevant and promising investments in technology – and its transfer.
Within Europe, Germany is the powerhouse of technological innovation with 13,500 patents granted in 2008 alone. Germany's overall economic investment in research and development (R&D) amounts to 2.5% of its Gross Domestic Product and is the highest in Europe in absolute terms. Germany possesses an efficient infrastructure for basic and applied research through its universities and research institutions and focuses increasingly on transforming inventions into marketable products. It is from this angle that Germany labels itself the “Land of Ideas” with much justification.