Intertek, a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide, revealed today that the company has expanded its business across Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan region since 2011; with growth more than 115% over the same period. The UAE in particular, has been leading the pack, currently generating over half of the regional revenue.
These figures were disclosed by Dr. Wolfhart Hauser, Chief Executive Officer of Intertek UK, who is in Abu Dhabi to take part in the Abu Dhabi Quality Forum.
Dr. Wolfhart Hauser, who flew especially to take part in the Forum and address the delegates about “Quality Infrastructure 2030: Sustainable Industries for a Competitive Economy”, said that the region is one of the fastest growing for Intertek in the world, backed by a public and private drive for quality across industries.
Intertek expects this growth trajectory to continue in the next two to three years, fuelled by local government entities and private sector companies embracing quality as a strategy that offers sustainable economic growth, as well as global business competitiveness.
Intertek has entered into a partnership with the Abu Dhabi Government’s Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) to support the quality programme for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Wolfhart Hauser, said: “Quality and sustainable growth are as intertwined as cause and effect. Setting high quality standards and systems positions countries in advanced rankings in global competitiveness. This, in turn, leads to more domestic and foreign direct investments and higher export businesses. Quality infrastructure, both physical and social, also means lower government investments and overall costs over the long-term; whether these are investments in airports, rail, roads, ports, healthcare, oil and gas pipelines, or other.
There is clear evidence of a direct link between the quality of infrastructure and trade costs. Port efficiency, for example, is an important determinant of ocean freight costs. It is estimated that maritime transport costs in emerging markets would fall by over 15% if their port efficiency was at the level of their mature counterparts. Improving their sea port efficiency would also boost emerging markets’ trade by roughly 25%, in certain cases.
Hussain Al- Atrakchi, Regional Managing Director for the Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan, who is based in Abu Dhabi said: “QCC recognised that quality people, infrastructure, machines, materials and methods have a direct effect on the standard of living and competitiveness of a country. A quick example is the quality drive that the UAE has embarked on over the last few years and which propelled it to one of the Top 20 most competitive nations on earth, ranking 19th according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2013-2014. The benefits of being one of the most competitive markets in the world are immeasurable and extend to all the economic and social facets of the country. Today, the UAE wants to pursue its journey for quality, reinforcing the country’s vision for a better future for its people and residents.”
The long-term partnership between QCC and Intertek aims at establishing a quality framework for the Emirate, as well as introducing quality management procedures and standards. The partnership includes the provision of advisory services for the development of more effective quality conformity programmes for specified products and systems. Intertek also provides operational management services and quality assurance support for QCC’s existing testing and certification resources, whilst underpinning the establishment of new testing capabilities for an extended range of products. The company is also engaged with QCC to establish centers of excellence in Abu Dhabi, covering major sectors such as food and water, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, building materials and electrical appliances.
“Studies across a number of mature markets have shown that quality and standardisation have positive economic impact on GDP, productivity of work, trade, innovation and development,” explained Hussain Al- Atrakchi. In France, for example, standardisation had directly contributed to the growth of the French economy by an average of 0.89% per year, or almost 25% of GDP growth, according to AFNOR (2009). Reports also suggest that the contribution of Quality Assurance (QA) to reduced time to market could reach 45%, generating cost savings from preventing defects of 39%.
“Intertek works hand-in-hand with QCC Central Testing Laboratories to provide quality and safety solutions to a wide range of industries across Abu Dhabi, and assists the Emirate in setting-up quality systems for the benefit of the country’s economy and the society as a whole.”
Intertek currently operates 19 laboratories in the region, of which seven are based in the UAE. It has grown its employee base of highly qualified technical experts in the Emirates by 180% since 2011, from 508 people back then to over 1400 people today.