MasterCard to Catch Up Regional E-Commerce Expansion
The international MasterCard Credit Card Company announced the movement of its regional headquarters to Dubai Internet City (DIC). Through this move, MasterCard becomes the first credit card company to express its commitment to developing e-commerce in the Middle East region.
Mohammed Belarj, MasterCard's vice-president and general manager for the Middle East and North Africa, explained that the selection of DIC was due to regional and strategic development considerations. Al Ittihad daily reports that DIC will help companies and corporations to reap the advantages and benefits of the new digital economy. Mr. Belarj added that the company hopes to benefit from these new facilities in Dubai, and it has thus strengthened its staff in the region in recent months.
The number of Internet users in the region hits about 2 million, and this figure is expected to rise to 12 million in 2002. MasterCard and other international companies comprehend the potential of this expansion to be translated into e-commerce deals. In fact, there are some projections that e-commerce transactions in the Middle East will reach $2 billion in 2002. This is what led Mr. Belarj to state that MasterCard expects 50 percent of its business to be drawn through e-business. (albawaba.com staff)
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