Opportunities in Change
The company is in a strong position to capitalize on the high priority the state is placing on diversifying income sources, and increasing the participation of the private sector in various aspects of economic activity and the overall development of the state. As the state has secured the financing for so many projects, while the total expenditure on these projects in 2016/2017 expected to be over 50% of the total expenditure in the budget for 2014/2015, which rounded out at QAR 218.4 billion, GWC is confident that the logistics market will continue to thrive, allowing them to achieve further milestones in 2016, and maintaining its shareholders and clients expectations.
GWC has a strong footprint in logistics infrastructure of over 2 million square meters, representing state of the art warehousing and distribution centers, open yards, and container yards in addition to maintenance workshop, data center and staff accommodation. We are the pioneers in the field of real estate and logistics infrastructure development, as we continue to bid on and enter into new logistics hubs projects, such as our latest GWC Bu Sulba Warehousing Park expected to be operational by Q1 2017. We continue to grow our assets by developing our locations, such as our expansions of our Ras Laffan Industrial City site and the Logistics Village Qatar Phase V expansion, offering the very latest, state-of-the-art storage and supply chain solutions.
The various projects handled by the Economic Zones Company, or Manateq, aim to strongly address the lack of logistics infrastructure and economic zones in the State of Qatar. The GWC Bu Sulba Warehousing Park in particular aims to fill a gap in the targeted solutions aimed at small and medium enterprises in the logistics field.
With the hydrocarbon industry facing a new reality, it fell upon the non-hydrocarbon industries to make up for the gap, having for the first time surpassed the 50% contribution mark to the GDP of the nation. These industries have worked hard to deliver, and have brought about a strong 7.3% growth in real GDP in 2015, with transport contributing to this growth and representing 47% of the current $111 billion of currently planned projects in Qatar.
Having established a strong foundation in the local economic landscape, GWC has been able to deliver a strong 32% growth in net profits, maintaining its financial foothold despite the current economic environment.
In light of the changing economic trends, the Company has worked diligently to formulate a strategic document that will guide us and ensure steady growth through the next five years. We have therefore chosen to focus on our local market in order to maximize the utilization of our resources while eyeing selective opportunities in the region.
Indeed, we will always enforce and empower our local presence in the segment. Most recently, we have entered into an agreement with UPS, becoming their Authorized Service Contractor in the State of Qatar. We are definitely working towards increasing our presence in the courier segment, an industry that has received much attention lately, with even Qatar Airways Cargo exploring the possibility of adding direct delivery services.