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European investments in Iran are following a tentative course, primarily due to political uncertainty from across the pond. Should the issue of the nuclear deal finally be put to bed in Washington, this may trigger widespread investment. However, President Trump’s hawkish administration could still throw a spanner in the works.
Peeling back the outer layers of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation is the most effective way for investors to assess its overall integrity levels. Forced resignations, bribery, and political instability cast doubt as to how trustworthy the centralised control over Egypt’s agribusiness is in reality.
Sources indicate that the aviation industry in Saudi is set to fly high. With a swathe of deals already under its belt, the space for investment in the Kingdom’s airports are well and truly opening up. In line with the broader reforms being implemented domestically, the aviation sector may undergo a boom in the medium-to-long term.
Summary: Among Egypt’s less explored commercial opportunities are those that lie in the technology sector. A work in progress, the Suez region has been chosen to play host to Egypt’s ‘Technology Valley’ in the hope that tech companies and ICT services will support the domestic shipping industry and contribute to the wider economy. The balance between opportunity and risk merits attention.
Reforming Iran’s decades-old banking laws is of the utmost priority for the new Rouhani administration. More than 18 months after ‘Implementation Day’ of the nuclear agreement, and despite positive developments in terms of GDP growth, Iran’s fledging banking sector remains a major hurdle preventing the economy from realising its potential.
Sources suggests that Egypt’s ‘deep state’ is lobbying to improve its reputation in the United States. By agreeing contracts with various PR firms, the mukhabarat is now assuming a role that was once upon a time the remit of official state institutions. This highlights the bloated role Egypt’s intelligence community now plays, which may have profound implications on the economic and investment prospects.
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Island based development projects are growing increasingly central to the United Arab Emirates’ (“UAE”) domestic investment strategy. Yas island provides a case study in how Mohamed bin Zayed is leveraging his vision and power in Abu Dhabi as well as who the benefactors of resource distribution under the Crown Prince will be going forward.
Jordan’s privatisation success is based on a clear strategy: a strong reformist agenda that is fully supported by the government, the provision of the appropriate procedures for its implementation, and a high degree of transparency through the privatisation process.
As Rouhani presses on with forming his new cabinet in Iran, the composition of his government is worth reviewing. The President will face a number of political battles in Tehran over the next four years and is thus reliant upon those within the cabinet: a team comprised of those he trusts most as well as those who sit at the table as a result of compromises made within the establishment.
Like Abu Dhabi, Dubai is home to a cadre of merchant elite families who play prominent roles in the city’s economic and political affairs. Several key family names stand-out for their heightened ability to exert influence in the Emirate, whether commercial of political, and foreign investors would do well to identify these families.
As legitimate actors in the tobacco industry clamp down on the illicit cigarette trade, under regulated enclaves such as the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone in Dubai continue to award space for contraband and counterfeits. This may be fuelling international terrorist groups and presents a severe business risk to investors.
Russia and the KRG have enthusiastically announced a new deal for oil exploitation and commercialisation. While, officially, the economic benefits of this deal are being highlighted, their political implications are much more important. This deal remains obscure and politically exposed to the Kurdish power struggle.