By A. B. Zahlan
Taking an historic standpoint, this booklet outlines the evolution of the Arab building undefined, studying the purchase, accumulation and institutionalization of know-how via Arab consulting and contracting businesses. The examine is ready for the foreign Labour Office.
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Additional info for Acquiring Technological Capacity: A Study of Arab Consulting and Contracting Firms
Although a number of Arab contractors such as Altra in Algeria (a parastatal), CCC and CAT (private firms in Lebanon) and a few others demonstrated technological capabilities to undertake this type of project, dependence on international firms is still overwhelming. In almost every category of construction the Arab world as a whole provides a stable and large market which no single Arab State has. Under these market conditions, it makes little sense for firms operating only at a national level to invest in the acquisition of the specialised construction technology necessary to undertake this type of project.
In fact, the basic capabilities to do so had already existed locally by 1840. In 1840 the Ameliah workshop was under the general direction of Hekekyan with an English engineer, Taylor, responsible for the technical operations. By 1841 Hekekyan had trained 84 Egyptians in all phases of engineering works from drawing to fitting; and they had extensive and diversified experience in designing and producing a large variety of tools and machinery. /9 The cost of the plan was estimated at £10,000. Hekekyan was conscious of the increasing technology gap between Europe and Egypt; Europeans were continually making improvements, and Egypt was continuously importing them.
These mayor- may not include all the Arab States. Here one finds the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries and its progeny of oil-related institutions and the Arab Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry. These institutions have naturally contributed to the development of cooperative commercial firms - public and private - between the Arab States. /8 This vast and multidimensional effort of cooperation has naturally included the construction industry. The Arab Organisation for Industrial Development (AOID) has made systematic efforts during the past two decades to draw the attention of the Arab ministers of industry to the requirements of the construction industry.
Acquiring Technological Capacity: A Study of Arab Consulting and Contracting Firms by A. B. Zahlan