Midea steps up operations in Middle East

Midea steps up operations in Middle East

Midea's fridges are seen in an electronic shop in Beijing on November 15, 2021. ANDY WONG AP Chinese home appliance maker Midea Group is stepping up its efforts to expand its footprint in the Middle East, establish more overseas manufacturing bases and boost brand awareness by providing products and technologies for the FIFA World Cup Finals football tournament in Qatar.

Dennis Lee, the general manager of Midea Building Technologies Overseas Sales Co, said that the proportion of the self-owned brands has reached 80 percent in Middle Eastern countries, with products sold in the market mainly from our factories in China, Italy and Egypt.

In the past several years, Midea has been looking for opportunities to achieve localized manufacturing in the Middle East, in hopes of speeding delivery for local consumers, Lee said.

The company has provided 2,500 air conditioners for 100 security check centers at the competition venues for this year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and its central air-conditioning systems have been installed at eight venues, most media centers and some supplementary facilities.

He said that Chinese companies have grown into main participants in international sporting events because of the projects of world-class sporting events.

There is a huge demand for air conditioners in the Middle East due to its high temperatures and humidity, according to Lee. In 2010, Midea invested $57.48 million to acquire a 32.5 percent stake in Egypt's major air conditioner supplier Miraco to become the company's second-largest shareholder.

The company has set up an overseas office in Dubai, capital of the United Arab Emirates, and a refrigerator, washing machine and water heater factory in Egypt that serves the Middle Eastern and African markets.

We will continue to provide low-carbon, energy-saving and intelligent building solutions for the Middle Eastern market, speed up our localization efforts, especially in the business-to business segment, and employ more local people in sales, technology service, finance and operations in the future, Lee said.

He said the province-based company will focus on Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, deepen cooperation with local partners, increase investment in research and development, as well as expand retail channels in these markets.

The demand for high-efficiency heating ventilation air-conditioning systems for medium and large-sized projects is soaring, according to Midea. In recent years, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar are paying more attention to green energy systems and energy-saving products, which will bring about important opportunities for our overseas expansion, Lee said.

Zhou Nan, secretary-general of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products home appliances branch, said the Middle East and Africa serve as important markets in the Belt and Road Initiative, which offers huge growth potential for enterprises to build self-owned brands and develop cross-border e-commerce.

Despite geopolitical instability, Chinese enterprises have not slowed their pace of development in these countries, said Zhou.

Liang Zhenpeng, a consumer electronics analyst, said setting up production bases in overseas markets not only brings China's advanced manufacturing, research and development and management capabilities to overseas markets, but also creates job opportunities for local people and increases the competitiveness of Chinese enterprises in the global market.