Middle East: Hope or Hype?

If you deal in transport equipment, motorised or not, you can’t ignore the Middle East as a potential target market. But how about the image of widespread violence, rampant corruption and outright war that mainstream media continue to paint?

According to Australian expert Cynthia Dearin, who served as the first female CEO of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is now helming a boutique consultancy in Sydney, the first impression – despite being unnerving – can often be false. “A continent away, the media shows Iraq and Syria burning to the ground at the hands of ISIS, Hamas and Israel firing rockets at each other and the price of oil fluctuating wildly,” she says. “To the uninformed, the idea that business people should start trading with the Middle East seems like madness. But it’s not.”

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