Survey: Middle East's market image in the West still dominated by conflict
The perception of the Middle East in non-Arab markets is still dominated by conflict, war and extremism, according to a global survey conducted by PR consultancy, ASDA'A Public Relations and Edelman.
The survey was conducted among CEOs operating in the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Responding to the question of 'What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear the word Arabs,' over one third of the respondents said the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The survey showed that perceptions of the Arab world continue to be based on stereotypes with 20 percent of the respondents saying that they associated the Middle East with extremism and 11 percent saying that Iraq was the first thing that came into their mind when hearing the word 'Arabs'.
On the positive side, almost half of the respondents said that they had visited the region and that their operations there had been worthwhile. A resounding 75 percent of those that had done business in the region said that they would consider doing so again. Some 44 percent, however, said that concerns about doing business in the Arab world revolved around the political climate and 33 percent said that they were worried about security issues.
Over one third of respondents said that they would like to know more about governance issues in the regional business environment and 61 percent said that the regional resource base is the most positive aspect of the Arab world suggesting that oil and gas still dominate perceptions of its potential.
President and CEO Europe Edelman David Brain noted in conclusion that the majority of those surveyed acknowledged that their main source of information on the region was TV, newspapers and magazines rather than personal contacts or family and friends suggesting that the region itself could do much to enhance its image by targeting international media.
"The Middle East needs to engage with the world and talk proactively to the international community proactively," said ASDA'A Managing Director, Sunil John. "The Arab world has to take responsibility and tell the story behind the headlines." — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)