The expansive power of being authentically local

Updated 07 November 2019

The expansive power of being authentically local

When I began my career, “localization” meant manufacturing in-country, for that country. The common wisdom was that localization could create efficiencies and foster closer ties with local customers. Important rationale to be sure, and beneficial to the local economy, but not necessarily sustainable or scalable. Today, I’m seeing something far more inspiring in countries like Saudi Arabia: Companies that take an authentically local approach, building skills and making lasting investments that can support their local partners in becoming part of a global supply chain, while at the same time cementing their own commitment to the local ecosystem. Authentically local to me means, perhaps paradoxically, investing sustainably with an eye on the global market.

Take what we do in the Eastern Province as an example. The GE Manufacturing & Technology Center (GEMTEC) campus in Dammam supports power generation needs for the entire Kingdom, but it also has extended its cutting-edge capabilities to global markets. The GEMTEC campus serves more than 70 customers in 40 countries, and also features the GE Saudi Advanced Turbines facility, GE’s joint venture with Dussur that can manufacture GE H-class turbines, the world’s most-efficient. Further, research at the Hot & Harsh R&D Lab, also part of the campus, has resulted in 20+ patents that will benefit customers on four continents. This would not be possible without state-of-the art facilities and long-term, authentic investment in building local skills, as well as a strong local-to-global supply chain. 

The World Bank estimates that a 1 percent increase in a country’s participation in the global value chain has a more than 1 percent increase in that country’s per-capita income growth, and that companies with increased global value chain participation tend to employ more women than their in-country counterparts. Because of its strong local economy and the ability of its companies and workers to participate in global supply chains, Saudi Arabia is working toward achieving its own goals, while also enabling other countries to achieve theirs. For GE, that is the expansive power of being authentically local. 


Rachel Duan is president and CEO of GE Global.

Al-Murjan, Mediclinic to develop new Jeddah hospital

Updated 01 June 2020

Al-Murjan, Mediclinic to develop new Jeddah hospital

Al-Murjan Group, a Saudi family business group, has partnered with Mediclinic Middle East, an affiliate of the UK’s Mediclinic International, for the establishment of an internationally accredited private hospital with 200 beds in Jeddah. Mediclinic Middle East will manage the hospital and support Al-Murjan Group with expertise and advisory services in planning, design and construction, while the commissioning of the hospital is expected to open by the second quarter of 2022.

Abdulrahman Khalid bin Mahfouz, chairman of Al-Murjan Group, said: “Today, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Mediclinic as our strategic partner for the hospital in Jeddah. We believe this will serve as the cornerstone for high-quality health care services in Saudi Arabia, offering state-of-the-art health care facilities, from some of the best practitioners, using best practices and meet international quality standards, and contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

“Al-Murjan has committed itself for over 40 years to delivering excellence in all its areas of work and we view this joint venture as a continuation of that commitment. We welcome Mediclinic into Saudi Arabia and look forward to working together to serve the people of the Kingdom.”

“Al-Murjan Mediclinic will provide more than 1,000 job opportunities, and will create new opportunities for entrepreneurs in the health care sector,” said Sultan Khalid bin Mahfouz, vice chairman of Al-Murjan Group.

David Hadley, chief executive officer of Mediclinic Middle East, said: “We are pleased to announce our strategic partnership with Al-Murjan Group today and Mediclinic’s entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There is a growing demand for high quality, internationally recognized standards of health care services in Saudi Arabia. Mediclinic, with more than 35 years’ experience of delivering health care services across Switzerland, Southern Africa and the UAE, is excited by the opportunity to partner with Al-Murjan Group to establish a leading private hospital in Jeddah and further expansion opportunities across Saudi Arabia. We are committed to being an ethical and responsible corporate citizen delivering sustainable, cost-effective, high-quality health care services and outstanding client experiences in all our hospitals and clinics.”

Situated on King Abdul Aziz Road in the northern part of Jeddah, the hospital will address the growing demand for private health care in the Kingdom. The hospital, designed and to be completed in accordance with international standards, will comprise eight floors, offering comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services including general surgery, internal medicine, cardiology, orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, emergency, and trauma care.

Phase 1 of the hospital, which is 80,000 square meters, will be built on 18,000 square meters, with an investment of more than SR1 billion ($266 million), with the expansion capacity of another 200 beds on adjacent land set aside for this purpose.