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Thursday 25th of May 2017

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Start-ups revolution in the MENA region?

All economic activities are enterprise based and these are like any living body in need of renewal and maintenance, in other words, they go through a lifecycle like anybody else.  This begins, to carry on the same analogy, with birth.  According to the Cambridge Dictionary  it means a small business that has just been started. Wikipedia elaborating little more to define a startup company (startup or start-up) as being an entrepreneurial venture which is typically a newly emerged, fast-growing business that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing or offering an innovative product, process or service. A startup is usually a company such as a small business, a partnership or an organization designed to rapidly develop a scalable business model. Are we witnessing a Start-ups revolution in the MENA region? The answer would depend on the location of where the birth occurs. In the MENA generally, there is a relatively good understanding of the vital importance of the Start-up as it were business of encouraging its eclosion and nurture.  The reality of the terrain though does make some difference between those with the required cash and those have-nots.  Stability and domestic market buoyancy do weight in and most times take over the relevance of the cash requirement. The Middle East’s start-up scene – explained in five charts: an interesting article written John McKenna, Formative Content published on May 17, 2017 by the World Economic Forum on the situation of the Start-ups in the MENA as illustrated by colourful charts would be advisable to ponder on.  The author concludes his essay with a laconic Middle Eastern cities have a long way to go before they can compete with leading global start-up hubs.... read more

The Dead Sea might come alive with the WEF

In our article World Economic Forum 2015 at the Dead Sea, Jordan  we have tried to bring to our friends’ attention that the Dead Sea might come alive with the WEF as the international gathering of world heads of states, academia, businesses and / or communities.  It did make life a little easier by bringing friends as well as antagonists together so as to debate and / or share in the debates of ideas. We come back again this time for yet another summit next week of the WEF Middle East & North Africa 2017.  It starts on May 19 and finishes on May 21st, 2017 as previously to be held in Dead Sea, Jordan. It is understood that it will have a platform where a lot of important topics are going to be discussed in a variety of domain such as business, economics, entrepreneurship, governance, politics, demography, public and private sectors and of course growth. 1000+ participants are expected making it the most outstanding event on contemporary economics and finance topics at a time where we are witnessing a historic turning point in the process of dissemination of economic ideas and adjustments in the world of economics are dramatically accelerating. In Davos last January, Middle East business leaders have joined forces with the WEF to launch a strategy to boost private-sector investment and accelerate the pace of economic reform in the region.  Would we expect some sort of account rendering on this plan. This plan aimed to reduce the high levels of unemployment among Arab youth that is amongst many things perceived as a major driver of continued instability... read more

OPEC, Trump and Gulf Papers trends in May

It is under a title like this “How to get UAE residence visa for your parents in Dubai” in most of the GCC countries major papers that some sort of emigration appears to be underway or at least facilitated. After our daily review of the local press online; a clear OPEC, Trump and Gulf Papers trends in May was felt to be prevailing. Trump’s Middle East visit could be decisive, says Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury or head of the Church of England last week to The Guardian. At a time where low oil prices are persistently down and investments generally stagnating, expatriates employment figures though demonstrably kept very carefully away from direct sight, these papers are keen to providing answers to frequently asked questions like this “Do you want your parents to live with you in Dubai?”  With answers such as “Here’s what you need to do.” Another subject that is keenly pursued by all newspapers editors is about items of news such as this particular one that is about Oman deciding lately to allow property purchase by non-nationals residents.  GCC and foreigners rights to own real estate in the GCC member countries have always been very heavily constrained and / or restricted to certain areas of well-defined urban territories, whereas these seem to be looked at little more liberally these days for the benefit of the expatriate workers.  Could such facilitation be allowed for any specific reason or is it just an operation for fishing wide and large for some kind of PR campaign. Apart from wondering on the nature of the newspapers response to obviously a... read more

Iran elections bearing on renewed business enthusiasts

According to Fresh Business Thinking. an online resource for business owners, directors and entrepreneurs  May 17th will see the next Iranian presidential election – and the result really matters to us in the west more than that of the recent one in France, etc.  In this context of Iran elections bearing on renewed business enthusiasts, we would like to propose this article of Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs who Emailed me this note on what’s going on in Iran’s presidential elections. It does elaborate fairly well on what matters most not only for the country’s citizens but also for everyone around. This time next week we will know – we know whether the President of Iran is the reformist current president Hassan Rouhani, or someone else, most likely Ebrahim Raisi, a former judge who sat on what was called ‘death commissions.’ There is a third serious contender, the debonair Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf. Will ‘Resistance’ Carry the Day in Iran’s Election? Sanam Vakil , Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme In the run up to Iran’s presidential election on 19 May, the idea of ‘resistance’ has become a key theme. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei set the tone in his annual Persian New Year address in March by declaring the coming year the ‘Year of the Resistance Economy’, a term that has been reiterated by conservative candidates who also speak of ‘the axis of resistance’ and ‘Islamic resistance’. But exactly what is Iran supposed to be resisting? Resistance is not a new concept in the Islamic Republic. Indeed, since the 1979 revolution, conservative politicians have continued to... read more

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