Market Monitor

The INSTC, transregional connectivity and geopolitics

02 August 2019
The multi-modal International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) has the potential to boost Eurasian trade connectivity by linking Russia to the warm waters of the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. Only 160 km of track remains to be laid in Iran’s northwest for Mumbai to be connected to the Baltic... »

Gulf ports lie between lofty ambitions and harsh realities

30 July 2019
Recent news on ports and shipping in the Gulf has offered some stark contrasts. On the one hand, a landmark reached in Qatar’s project to equip Doha port to receive giant cruise ships, and the announcement of a slew of deals for Chinese companies to invest in projects serving... »

The Middle East needs radical agricultural transformation

26 July 2019
The region is facing a triple challenge: Emerging climate patterns herald a future where water resources lie below sustainable levels; rapid population growth is threatening to imperil food security; and over reliance on oil is curtailing governments’ ability to act. The situation requires new thinking on sustainability, scalable technological... »

Ethiopia: highlighting growth drivers, pinpointing risks

23 July 2019
Ethiopia’s ambitious industrialisation strategy is expected to create opportunities in three main areas: power and distribution, logistics infrastructure and export-orientated manufacturing. While growth will be rapid, obstacles will prevent full realisation of government targets. Most notably, opposition to political reform and social unrest look set to challenge policy continuity.

The US-Iran conflict: no sign of a way out

19 July 2019
Iran’s limited use of violence in the Gulf has caused US President Donald Trump to adopt a more cautious posture towards Tehran. However, conflict is likely to erupt again as long as the economic sanctions remain in place. Iran has begun violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),... »

Morocco holds pole position among MENA car makers

16 July 2019
The start-up in June of a large new car plant by France’s PSA Group in Kenitra, north of Rabat, has underlined Morocco’s unique position in the MENA region as the dominant automotive producer and exporter. Its success contrasts with the struggles other countries in the region are facing in... »

Russia’s role in the Middle East: a stabilizing force?

12 July 2019
Russia has successfully leveraged its influence in Syria to become an important, if not central, power broker in the Middle East. Nowhere was that more visible than in the meeting between the Israeli, US and Russian national security advisors in Jerusalem at the end of June 2019. While nothing... »

Saudi Aramco: strategic success means more than meeting corporate goals

09 July 2019
A lot more is at stake in the restructuring of Saudi Aramco than just its corporate strategic success. The future viability of the state of Saudi Arabia depends on the national oil company (NOC) cultivating a vibrant industrial sector. At the same time, the government’s success in achieving its... »

UAE & Saudi Arabia: economic diversification through SMART tech

05 July 2019
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are focusing on using advanced technology to foster economic growth as part of their broader development plans. The success of these initiatives will depend heavily on their ability to attract foreign investment. The UAE stands on a strong footing in this regard, while Saudi... »

Morocco: identifying industry bright spots

02 July 2019
Morocco will be a bright spot for investment in the MENA region over the next five years. Opportunities will be underpinned by solid underlying economic growth and a competitive business environment. Three particularly promising areas are export-orientated manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism.

Turkey: between transactional pragmatism and emotional strategy

28 June 2019
Turkey’s dispute with the US over its acquisition of long-range missile defence system S-400 is not a one-off: the country’s ambition to become more self-reliant in military hardware and security is a point of contention between it, the US and, more broadly, NATO. Turkey’s gradual adoption of hard power... »

Middle East utilities vs distributed generation: a losing battle

25 June 2019
Distributed renewable energy generation offers many opportunities for power sectors in the Middle East, including the ability to increase the resilience of the power system and reduce both the cost of subsidies – which weigh heavily on states’ budgets – and the need for grid expansion. However, state-owned electricity... »

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