GE survey reveals importance of innovation

Updated 05 February 2013
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GE survey reveals importance of innovation

General Electric yesterday announced the findings of its third annual global innovation barometer survey. Saudi Arabia was one of the two countries in the region where the survey was conducted.
It reveals that Saudi businesses regard innovation as a strategic priority to help drive business growth with 81 percent of respondents calling for localized innovation to serve specific market needs. Nearly 3,000 executives from 25 countries were surveyed.
Sharing the key findings of the survey with journalists at the Saudi GE Innovation Center at Dhahran Techno Valley yesterday, Hisham Bahkali, GE’s president and chief executive officer for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, said: “The GE Global Innovation Barometer surveys, in the past two years, highlighted the increasing focus that businesses in the Kingdom place on innovation. However, what is particularly striking this year is their heightened emphasis on localized innovation to meet country-specific requirements, and the importance they place on partnerships. This is in line with GE’s development approach in the Kingdom, led by our commitment to the Saudi Vision 2020, to focus on building our long-term partnerships, driving local research and development projects, promoting human capital development and accelerating technology transfer.”
Beth Comstock, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of GE, said innovators must be resilient or risk being left behind. “Change has become constant and we see leaders responding by betting big on more unconventional approaches to innovation to unlock growth,” said Comstock. “An overwhelming 87 percent of Saudi respondents said they would be more successful at innovation through partnerships than by going about it alone or in line with global average."
“The result underlines a growing culture of innovation in the Kingdom, with a special focus on localizing products and services to meet market needs,” said Bahkali. “Saudi businesses are open to investing in customer research and talented people, fostering partnerships and developing new technology to strengthen a culture of innovation.”
Regarding innovation as driver for growth, in line with global business executive outlook, 80 percent of the Saudi respondents said understanding customer and anticipating market evolutions is the most important factor to innovate successfully.


EU could compensate firms hit by US sanctions over Iran — French minister

Updated 20 May 2018
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EU could compensate firms hit by US sanctions over Iran — French minister

  • In 1996, when the United States tried to penalize foreign companies trading with Cuba, the EU forced Washington to back down by threatening retaliatory sanctions

PARIS: France is looking to see if the European Union could compensate European companies that might be facing sanctions by the United States for doing business with Iran, said French finance minister Bruno Le Maire on Sunday.
Le Maire referred to EU rules going back to 1996 which he said could allow the EU to intervene in this manner to protect European companies against any US sanctions, adding that France wanted the EU to toughen its stance in this area.
In 1996, when the United States tried to penalize foreign companies trading with Cuba, the EU forced Washington to back down by threatening retaliatory sanctions.
European firms doing business in Iran face sanctions from the United States after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
“Are we going to allow the United States to be the economic policeman of the world? The answer is no,” Le Maire told C News TV and Europe 1 radio on Sunday.
Le Maire added it was important Italy kept its EU budget commitments, in light of plans by Italy’s new coalition government to ramp up spending — which could put Rome at odds with the EU.