Market Monitor

Drones: the strategic game changers

18 October 2019
The surprise attack on the Saudi Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities in September has drawn attention to the increasing role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, in conflict. Innovations in military technologies require a new strategic discourse, but in the realm of unmanned warfare there remains... »

Vietnam – not just a manufacturing hub

15 October 2019
Strong economic growth in Vietnam will help open up opportunities in a variety of sectors outside of manufacturing over the coming years, although the business environment remains challenging. Structural factors, including rapidly rising incomes, major urbanisation and an ageing population, will underpin expansion in three sectors in particular –... »

Djibouti: Logistics a bright spot in wider industrialisation plans

08 October 2019
Djibouti’s logistics sector will grow rapidly in the coming years, establishing the country as a major conduit for East Africa trade. Chinese firms will be instrumental in providing the necessary capital and expertise. Realising the wider economic aims of the 2035 strategy, however, including the development of a manufacturing... »

Jordan: A case study in expanding renewable energy

04 October 2019
Jordan has been at the forefront of renewable energy deployment in the Middle East, with the sector accounting for 7.9% of the country’s total electricity generation in 2018 compared to 2% in 2013. Yet, challenges hindering the upscaling of renewables are multiplying as the sector gains momentum. Being an... »

Saudi Arabia energy infrastructure attacks – how will the US respond?

24 September 2019
The key uncertainty following the recent strike against the Khurais and Abqaiq facilities – the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry and a vital spoke in the world’s energy infrastructure – is how the US and its regional partners will respond. Among the mainstream foreign policy thinkers, a consensus... »

China and Israel: evolving relations in the shadow of trade wars

20 September 2019
From a situation of no diplomatic connections and almost non-existent economic relations only a quarter of a century ago, Chinese–Israeli trade, investment and political ties are on an upward spiral. Although global tensions, most notably the US’s objection to the supply of certain technologies to China and, more recently,... »

Vietnam is a rising export hub, despite US tariff threat

17 September 2019
Vietnam will continue to emerge as a global manufacturing hub in the coming years, particularly in the electronics sector. Despite rising trade tensions with the US, structural factors including low wage costs, a large infrastructure pipeline and recently signed free-trade agreements should sustain investment in the manufacturing sector. Long-term... »

Israel goes to the polls again, but will the results be different this time?

13 September 2019
Just before Israelis embark on almost a month of Jewish High Holidays, traditionally a time of repentance and asking for forgiveness – something not often associated with the country’s politicians – they will go to the polls to choose the 22nd Knesset. It is the second time this year... »

Saudi Arabia raises political stakes by appointing royal as head of energy ministry

11 September 2019
Although the increased chatter surrounding Saudi Aramco’s IPO plans is exciting, what is needed is more clarity surrounding the motivation for recent personnel changes, and future thinking regarding energy policy and the Aramco strategy from key decision makers. What investors and potential investors dislike is uncertainty.

Saudi Arabia must find competitive edge to defend longer-term share of Chinese crude market

10 September 2019
In recent months, the market has touted Saudi Arabia’s success in capturing a larger share of China’s crude imports, surpassing Russia as the top supplier and even reaching record high export levels this summer. This development is in part the result of recent, strategic downstream investments by Saudi Arabia... »

After a brief hiatus, Saudi Arabia faces renewed growth and financial stability problems

06 September 2019
While preparing for a future protected from the vagaries of the oil markets, Saudi Arabia is likely to struggle with lower oil revenues as it attempts to shore up global markets.  It is getting very little help from other OPEC and OPEC+ members, and the more it undergirds prices... »

Egypt: Sisi’s power surplus

03 September 2019
When Abdel Fattah El Sisi seized power in July 2013 Egypt was beset by chronic electricity shortages. Six years on, and total electricity generating capacity is nearly double the peak load. Much of the credit for this rests with the electricity minister, Mohammed Shaker, who was appointed in March... »

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