Middle East Google's 'fastest growing market'

CEO says Middle East leads emerging markets growth worldwide.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

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The MENA region is Google’s fastest growing market, company CEO Eric Schmidt said on Wednesday.

“These are our fastest growing operations in the world,” he told delegates at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Media Summit. “The strongest parts of Google are here and in Latin America.”

However the chief executive declined to put a timeline on when the internet giant might move its Arabic engineering team – currently based in Zurich – to the Middle East.

“I am quite sure that we will have a significant Arab engineering presence here in the region,” he said. “But we started in Zurich partly because of a similar time zone and partly because the people who understand the Arabic world have to interact with all of the people who [work on the backend].”

Earlier in a Q&A with delegates, Schmidt admitted that regulations had tightened with regards the use of information stored on Google’s servers.

“These days we’re highly regulated on these matters and in most countries there are now some very, very significant consumer protection laws which we obviously honour,” he said.

“If we were to violate your trust, not only would you become upset, everyone wouldn’t trust as well… There are many things we can do with that information, so we are very careful.”

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