Siemens CEO: Competition in Iraq good as long as there’s a level playing field

Lara Habib
Lara Habib - Al Arabiya English - Davos
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The CEO of Siemens told Al Arabiya that his company does not mind fierce competition in Iraq as long as “there’s a level playing field so that the best team could win.”

An intervention by US President Donald Trump’s administration placed pressure on Baghdad to favor General Electric despite Siemens being an early favorite in contract bids to improve Iraq’s energy supply system, the Financial Times reported last October.

“Fierce competition is good as long as there’s a level playing field so that the best team can win. That’s what we ought to have. If there are other forces in play it’s always hard to have a level playing field but we are a good company. We have great examples to show. We don’t need to promise a lot of stuff,” Joe Kaeser said in an interview with Al Arabiya on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Iraq last November would reach a deal with both GE and German rival Siemens to install liquefied natural gas-operated mobile power units at some small southern oil fields.

“We can say look what we did in Europe and in Egypt. But obviously Iraq is different and we need to adapt to it but we bring education and humanitarian help,” he added.

Asked whether Siemens’ double-digit growth from last year would continue on this year, Kaeser said that there was potential despite several geopolitical challenges that might hinder progress in several countries in Middle East.

“The potential is there but there are geopolitical challenges, think about Iraq and its surroundings. So we’ll see how it goes. I’m very optimistic. We have good products and we are very close to our customers and local organizations. I really like what I see and I’m very confident that we can do more,” he said.

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