How will CPEC affect trade relations between China and the Middle East?

CPEC Trade

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), established in 2013, but officially launched in 2015 with an overriding goal to improve China’s infrastructure, potential bilateral investment, trade and logistics with Pakistan, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and beyond. The CPEC initiative is a huge component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – a global development strategy to enhance infrastructure developments and global investment. We can clearly examine China’s strategy as a desire to expand and increase trade potentials at a global level, but with a specific focus in neighbouring regions such as MENA. This long-term initiative is set to revitalise and revive infrastructure, telecommunications, transport and more, and is set to extend up until 2030, with numerous development phases staggered along the way. Through CPEC’s projects, we can understand and assess potential implications on trade relations between China and the Middle East.

What is the significance of CPEC?

CPEC is composed of three fundamental components that highlight and outline its significance.

  1. To facilitate industrial and infrastructural development in Pakistan,
  2. To develop modern transportation and a robust telecommunications network that ensures connectivity between western China and coastal Pakistan, specifically the seaports,
  3. To allow China to develop a deep-water port and, moreover, a special economic zone in the region of Gwadar.

These tri-factors all contribute to greater implications for trade relations between China and the Middle East and each factor has its own significance in accomplishing China’s overriding goals. CPEC is a multi-phase initiative that takes the required steps and process that will enable China’s economic interests in the Middle East and North Africa to grow. Primarily, CPEC aims to establish strong routes, connectivity and connections to a seaport in Gwadar. The significance of CPEC will not only transform China’s influence in MENA but also aid the Middle East in their distribution of oil to China. Currently, the Middle East region is the largest supplier of crude oil and natural gas to China, however, it transports these via sea routes to Eastern China, where the bulk of China’s industrial activities are located. CPEC will establish routes that can deliver commodities to less accessible Western China. This will increase industrial activity within China, using new pipelines and railways to deliver through a more economical route, utilising the Gwadar port.

CPEC – Phase 1

The first phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative set to lay foundations for enhanced trading routes, establishing key areas of influence and finding optimal means to accessibility. The Karakoram Highway Renovation project was a key initiative to set out foundations for increased accessibility to Pakistan, and, consequently, to Gwadar. The highway spans a length of 1,300km, connecting Pakistan’s provinces of Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to China’s western region of Xinjiang Uyghur. The highway originally opened in 1979, however, is known as a dangerous route, due to it being at an elevation of over 4,700 metres, passing through the Karakoram mountain range and subject to landslides, earthquakes and floods. China’s renovation project aimed to make the route a safe and secure area for transportation. The renovation took place in 2015 and completed in 2016. This Karakoram highway renovation has provided a method of transportation of goods via trucks in its first phase. The project is set to continue into additional developments up until 2030.

What is the Significance of the Gwadar Seaport?

China sets out to establish a major influence in the seaport of Gwadar for numerous reasons. Due to its geolocation, it will become a key factor in bilateral trade between China and the MENA region, creating a major trade hub. The port will establish four focal contributions for China-Middle East economic relations.

  1. It will act as a major transit and transhipment port of trade with the MENA region, a cost effective solution in comparison to current trade that currently directs to Eastern China. Additionally, the Gwadar port will retain products that are currently delivered to the Dubai port, therefore, instead of deliveries from China to the port of Dubai, Gwadar could become the hub for delivery across the MENA region.

  2. Secondly, the port will become a special economic zone. Re-export zones, currently under development, will attract major foreign direct investment (FDI), especially from the Arab countries. As CPEC progresses, there has already been interest in the Gwadar port from many Middle Eastern countries. For example, Qatar, currently under an economic blockade by the UAE, losing access to Dubai’s port, has expressed interest in the Gwadar seaport, with interests in developing food storage facilities. Additionally, the UAE has expressed direct interests in the port, advertising investment opportunities, especially for the second and third phases of CPEC. “UAE and China have common interests,” – Abdul Aziz Al Neyadi, Deputy Head of Mission at the UAE Embassy, Islamabad.

  3. Gwadar will develop major facilities to aid and encourage FDIs, especially from the Middle East. China and Pakistan will facilitate the construction of a major oil and petrochemical investment zone in Gwadar. Some facilities that the Gwadar Oil Terminal City will include are large terminal and storage facilities for crude oil and associated petrochemical industries and produce-refined oil products.

    Middle Eastern investments in the seaport have already begun with Saudi Arabia reportedly contributing $10 billion investment in petrochemical facilities, the UAE finalising on a $5 billion joint venture agreement with Pakistan and many more investments expected to follow.

  4. The strategic location of Gwadar can aid Iran’s economic relations with the Eurasian region. Due to current economic sanctions imposed against Iran, the country is finding difficulties with exporting oil to India, Afghanistan and central Asia. However, the Gwadar seaport has opened up discussions to link Iran’s Chabahar port to Gwadar by highway and natural gas pipeline. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif expressed, “We believe that Chabahar — one of Iran’s developing seaports on the Oman Sea — and Gwadar — a port city on the south-western coast of Baluchistan, Pakistan, also on the Oman sea — can complement each other.”

    This development can aid Iran in exporting natural gas to Pakistan and China, while cementing trilateral trade relations. Iran will seek aid from CPEC to help them complete their natural gas pipeline to the Pakistan border.

Financial Significance

CPEC has implemented a long-haul strategy, up until 2030, and ongoing from 2013, which included the involvement of many governing bodies, from Pakistan to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran and more. The sheer financial significance and investments of CPEC indicates that China is not solely relying on China-Pakistan bilateral trade, but much deeper and enhanced trade relations with China and the whole Middle East and North Africa region. The capabilities of CPEC will undoubtedly revitalise trade relations, enhancing their strategic relationship with energy-rich Middle Eastern countries. Considering CPEC is a branch off China’s BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), it will allow Arab countries to benefit from and connect with the Belt and Road network in Central Asia & Eurasia. CPEC is transitioning into its second stage, from 2020-2025 and in hope of the entire operation to finalise by 2030.  

Investment Opportunities and Mitigating Risks

With CPEC set to transform economic trade relationships between them and the whole MENA region and beyond, it is important to take data-driven approaches to best benefit from investments. With a business credit report, or, for a more enhanced investigation, a due diligence report you can assess the risk of your investment and make sure you avoid any unwarranted risks. With all investments comes risk, however, at Cedar Rose, we have a vast network of experts in the MENA region that can aid in your risk management process. We can help keep the transition of investments secure by providing helpful insights into companies, directors and shareholders. With over 23 years’ experience in the MENA region, we are trusted globally for quality and reliable business intelligence.

Written by Jack Evangelides, Marketing Executive

 

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Cash-flow Control: Tightening the Reigns for Stability amidst Upheaval

cash-flow

Economic upheaval and financial turmoil are two facts that will always remain inevitable for every business; however, it is those who can see out the storm that prosper. Arguably, the most important factor for every business to stay on top and deal with external financial pressures is a business’s cash-flow. Your cash-flow needs to be airtight, robust, forward thinking and use statistical data and current automated technologies to avoid succumbing to burdens. So what dangers does poor cash-flow management hold? And how can you tighten the reigns for stability?

The Bigger They Are…

It is a regular occurrence to see business managers struggle to manage a business’s cash-flow, to get on top of it and make sure they are prepared for anything that may come their way. For all industries, B2B and B2C, business is changing drastically, the way we use data and technology, consumer behaviour and foreign policies affecting global business. Therefore, it is pivotal to try and get ahead of the changes with a secure financial plan and strict cash-flow management. In the last few years there has been a significant amount of large businesses filing for bankruptcy, going into administration and witnessing their profits plunge. Recently, Forever 21 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the USA after failing to adapt to a change in consumer behaviour to a more ‘online market’. Other big businesses that have been affected are the likes of Thomas Cook and Toys ‘R’ Us, two companies that once dominated in their industries.

The Rise of the Late Payment Culture

Late payments are a key factor that causes cash-flow disturbance and, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), can have drastic implications. As a supplier you need to have strict rules in place in regards to payments, otherwise you may end up doing business with a company that takes too long to pay, causing a ripple effect onto your cash-flow and your business. Moreover, when supplying bigger businesses, where shorter payment terms don’t really have an effect on them, small businesses need to keep them on a tight rein and have very clear and well-communicated mutually agreed credit terms in place.

Late payments have significantly risen, with estimates of £2.5 billion being lost annually to late payers in the UK alone and, significantly, the UK experiences an estimate of over 50,000 businesses closing because of late payments or defaults. When you are planning your cash-flow, it is important to account for late payments now more than ever.

Keeping up with the Cash-flow

What can business managers do to keep a sturdy cash-flow and avoid economic downturns?

  1. Strict Policy: When it comes to extending credit, you need to make sure that the amount of credit you provide and the turnaround time of payment fits nicely into your cash-flow structure. For example, if you provide each company with ‘X’ amount of credit and they all have a standard repayment time of ‘Y’ months, then your cash-flow may encounter problems especially if unexpected downfalls occur. It would be best practice to do your due diligence on each company that you extend credit to, and from this, use the data to set limits on the amount of credit and payment duration. With a good company credit report you can assess the amount of risk that a company poses, therefore allowing you to freely adjust your policy accordingly. For example, if a company credit report depicts company ‘Z’ to have a high risk score and a history of late payments, you would automatically know to have very strict credit extension policies with this company if you were to extend credit at all. It is also important to take into account the size of the companies and how much credit may be needed, with a company credit report, you are sure to mitigate risks through detailed insights to help with policy control.

  2. Late Payment Penalties: As much as you can do to avoid late payments, there is no guarantee that it is not going to happen. Therefore, the best thing you can do is be prepared. By setting late payment penalties your client will want to avoid them and, in most cases, adhere to the set repayment time, nonetheless, if the client does not follow protocol then your penalties set in place can make up for any inconveniences that your business has suffered. The EU has a clear Late Payment Directive giving indications of the amount of statutory interest EU companies can charge and the UK currently has the same rates.

  3. Extending your own Payables: Payment terms work both ways. The better your company is at paying back on time, having a steady income and a good cash flow, the more likely you will get favourable repayment durations. Having flexibility here can further strengthen your position in instigating business, knowing when and how much to pay to take any pressure, from short-term payments, off.

  4. Technology is your Friend: Utilise data, technology and automated systems to
    your advantage. Whether it is to organise your cash-flow, analysis predictions for your company, automated risk scoring systems, company monitoring and a lot more everyday technology and data that we come across. If a company can utilise the perks of data and technology then mitigating risks becomes a whole lot easier.

Bespoke Business Credit Reports

As aforementioned, with a good business credit report you can visually assess the risk of instigating business with another company and understand potential implications on your cash-flow. Credit reports can be used to create and amend payment policies and help keep your finances on track. You can even now order them directly through your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software with customised applications which are often provided free of charge.

Cedar Rose has been providing unrivalled credit reports for over 20 years and can deliver them on a global level. With a Cedar Rose company credit report you will receive an algorithmic assessment of risk for the company in question, which can even provide a detailed score if a company’s financials are unavailable. We provide detailed assessments of the scale of a company, history of late payments and even give you the opportunity to rate a company’s payment, let the world know if they paid on time or if they paid late through our Trade Rate initiative. Additionally, to further bolster your cash-flow, you can add our monitoring feature, which means you will receive updated reports and highlights of changes made to a company that you monitored. Don’t succumb to surprises that can weigh down your cash-flow; Cedar Rose company credit reports can help you weather the storms ahead with confidence.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

See more articles here.

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

CEDAR ROSE NAMED ‘NATIONAL WINNER’ IN PRESTIGIOUS EUROPEAN COMPETITION

Cedar Rose EBA

Limassol based business intelligence company, Cedar Rose, has been named ‘National Winner’ for Digital Technology for the second year in a row, in the 2019 European Business Awards; one of the world’s largest business competitions.

Cedar Rose was chosen from 2,753 businesses named as ‘Ones to Watch’ in a list of business excellence published in July and selected as a National Winner by a panel of 50 independent judges including business leaders, politicians and academics. Over 120,000 businesses entered the European Business Awards this year. Cedar Rose is the best business in Cyprus in the category of Digital Technology and will now go on to represent Cyprus in the final stage of the competition across the European continent.

Cedar Rose, which provides company credit reports, due diligence and identity verification services, has continually strived for excellence in order to push the boundaries and break down barriers in the data-driven world. With an overriding mission to supply the world with high quality data from the hardest of regions, such as the Middle East and North Africa, Cedar Rose uses the most advanced technologies, from AI to algorithms, machine learning and API (Application Programming Interface), to accomplish this task. The company also recently won the title of “Commercial Credit Information Provider of the Year 2019” at the Credit Strategy Awards in London.

Christina Massaad, Managing Director of Cedar Rose said: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured to achieve the National Winner award for Digital Technology for the second year in a row. All of our employees, whether they are in Cyprus, Lebanon or other countries around the world work so hard and really aim to be the best at what they do. It is great to have the judges of the European Business Awards recognise and reward those efforts. We are very excited and honoured to represent Cyprus at the European finals in December.”

Adrian Tripp, CEO of the European Business Awards said: “This is a significant achievement and Cedar Rose is an outstanding leader in their field. To be chosen as a National Winner means you show great innovation, ethics and success and are one of the best businesses in Europe. We wish Cedar Rose the best of luck in the final round.”

Cedar Rose will head to Warsaw, Poland on the 3rd and 4th of December to complete a final round of judging and attend both a Summit to engage in business issues, and the Gala Ceremony where the overall category winners for the 2019 European Business Awards will be announced. The European Business Awards is now in its 12th year and its primary purpose is to support the development of a stronger and more successful business community throughout Europe. This year it considered over 120,000 businesses from 33 countries. Sponsors and partners include Inflexion, Germany Trade & Invest and Cision PR Newswire.

For further press information or for case studies/interviews, please contact:

info@cedar-rose.com

+357 25 346630

www.cedar-rose.com

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Hub for Foreign Investment – Moroccan Business Opportunities

Hub - Morocco

The Middle East and North Africa have seen their fair share of economic and political instability, from the Arab Uprisings of 2011 to the commodities crash and oil price dive in 2015. Therefore, attracting foreign investment has always been a difficult task, but not an impossible one. Morocco has been in the spotlight as a hub for foreign investment, the country has experienced a major growth in recent years, through strategic innovations, robust infrastructure and diversifying their economy. Instability and risk are arguably the biggest blockades that foreign investors face when seeking external business opportunities. Morocco has been steered into safer grounds and is now experiencing positive growth.

Watch Us Rise
Becoming a hub for foreign investment throughout the continent of Africa is no easy task. But recent events have shown Morocco to become a regional manufacturing and export base for international companies, with over $4.2 billion investment from France, UK, Spain and South Korea in 2018. The country has aimed to boost employment, attract further foreign investments and raise output performance in sectors that generate the most revenue, such as the Automotive and Aerospace industries. The Aeronautic sector is especially prominent and active with over 140 enterprises, delivering in excess of $1.7 billion revenue in 2019, equivalent to 17 billion Dirhams. To put this into perspective, Morocco was only active with 3 enterprises 20 years ago. Morocco’s commitment to the Aeronautical sector is increasing, with plans to add 10 enterprises per year and an overriding goal to attract over 120 industry related enterprises by 2020, translating to a surplus of 8,700 jobs and a $1 billion revenue increase in exports. Morocco has justly become a robust hub for foreign investment and should be the ones to watch over the next 5 years.

Education Impacts
Earning the title of Africa’s hub for foreign investment doesn’t come easily, the government has had to make smart decisions, wise investments and provide a healthy foundation to attract others. Importantly, Morocco has aligned a focus on the internal education of its citizens, in attempt to organically grow the country from within. Education is of utmost importance for a booming country, to keep delivering prosperity and achieve targets set for 2020. Therefore, when the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI) partnered with the Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) to provide global qualifications across universities in Morocco, the potential for growth was becoming more likely.

“We wish through these new certifications, to develop the knowledge and the technicality of the financial center of Casablanca. We are happy to partner with a recognized international organization, CISI, which will enable us to offer a service that best meets this objective. We are also pleased that higher education institutions continue to trust us by supporting this initiative.” – Karim Hajji, General Manager of the Casablanca Stock Exchange

Morocco is experiencing success on many levels and the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) supports this. Casablanca ranks the highest of all African countries and stands tall at 22nd on a global scale. So why is Morocco steaming ahead of its neighbouring countries?

The Art of Giving Back
The vast landscape of the African continent presents countless possibilities to secure trade and to diversify economies, yet it takes the recognition of the potential to utilise what Africa has to offer. One of the main reasons for Morocco’s success is this recognition. Moroccans have been particular interested in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Africa as a whole for investment opportunities. From chemicals to real estate and renewable energies, Morocco is deploying capital to neighbouring and local countries throughout the African continent. Essentially, Africa is seen as the future engine for growth for the global economy.

“Moroccan policy translates into Moroccan investment into Africa,” – Ibrahimi, chief executive of Casablanca Finance City (CFC)

A World of Coverage
Cedar Rose has been at the forefront of business intelligence for many years, with the heart of the business residing in the Middle East and North Africa. A country doesn’t become a foreign investment hub without dedicated research and assurance that potential risks are relieved. We offer data that can mitigate those risks for you. Whether you need company credit reports or a more detailed due diligence investigation on companies or individuals, Cedar Rose has acquired the largest database in the MENA region, invests in local expertise in the hardest of regions and provides high quality data to help others seek secure opportunities. Currently our database contains over 1,600,000 records on companies in Morocco, this continually growing number can provide sufficient data to help corporations know their customers to the fullest extent, or even more so, with a due diligence investigation.

Have you read our article on compliance

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Africa Trade – Struggling to Trade Compliantly?

Africa Trade

Don’t worry, we’ve got your data needs covered.
Cedar Rose has been investigating companies in the Middle East and Africa for over 20 years. We not only have the largest, most comprehensive database on African companies (almost 5.8 million companies), we have linked people to people, companies to companies, and companies to people to ensure link analysis -even across borders.

Africa offers a great deal of potential as a market to trade into. That’s why China is heavily investing in African infrastructure projects. According to a recent report from Quartz news site, Chinese investments and contracts in sub-Saharan Africa alone totalled $299 billion from 2005 to 2018 and the investment is continuing. China is not the only country investing in this vast continent though. The majority of investments come from France, the Netherlands, USA and UK with Egypt receiving the highest foreign direct investment – totalling USD 6.8 Billion in 2018. Other major beneficiary countries have been South Africa, Congo, Morocco and Ethiopia.

So what is the attraction to invest in Africa?

The African Continental Free Trade Area agreement was signed by 54 African countries in March 2018, requiring members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, boosting inter-African trade. The agreement was expected to lead to the creation of a single continental market of more than 1.3 billion people, with a combined annual output of $2.2 trillion. It is hoped to boost intra-African trade by 33 per cent, leading to greater stability within.

The African continent is a huge land mass covering over 30 million square km – that is bigger than the USA, Canada and China put together. It actually covers 20% of the world’s land area and the population is almost the same as China alone so there is plenty of room for growth.

With an increasingly educated and growing population and a generally very low cost of living, Africa offers some great potential for companies requiring manpower. For example, Cairo and Algiers are approximately 30% cheaper to live in than Beijing and 13% cheaper than Delhi, hence the large number of companies setting up manufacturing plants on the continent.

Here are some of the hottest sectors at the moment:

  • Egypt – offshore gas reserves and new oil exploration and production projects, food (grains) and textiles.
  • South Africa – mining, petroleum refinery, food processing, ICT (information and communications technologies) and renewable energy initiatives.
  • Republic of Congo – (not to be confused with its neighbouring country, the Democratic Republic of Congo which has rich mineral reserves) the Republic, also known as Congo (Brazzaville) recently received USD 448.6 million in aid from the International Monetary Fund and has huge oil and gas reserves as well as iron ore.
  • Morocco – renewable energy, finance, automotive manufacturing and education.
  • Ethiopia – petroleum refinery, minerals, real estate, manufacturing including automotive and renewable energy.

Whenever you consider venturing into new markets, having accurate data is imperative. Traditionally, Africa has been a difficult place to gather data from and this has deterred investors and businesses from going ahead. But Cedar Rose has made efforts to close the data gaps and can really help if you need to know anything about an African business, director or shareholder in order to grow your business safely into the region. There are always risks associated with doing business, and with our boots on the ground and experienced researchers, we help to mitigate those risks for our customers around the world.

Our data is source graded, meaning that every data field within our database is date stamped and labelled with a reliability and trustworthiness score according to where it came from – because when conducting due diligence or investing large sums, only 100% trustworthy sources should be used to base decisions on – and there is a lot of less reliable data out there.

We are working through a fast track expansion plan to include more data for Africa within 2019, and to have as live a database as is possible for this region of the world very soon in order to support the leap from traditional data requirements to eIDV, eKYC, fintech, instant risk scoring and analysis.

Find out more by contacting Helen.Lambrou@cedar-rose.com today and join our growth into Africa.

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Written by Christina Massaad, Managing Director

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Cleaning Dirty Data Daily – The Importance of Data Cleaning

Data Cleaning

Operating since 1997, Cedar Rose is known to have the largest single cleaned database of analytically linked companies’, shareholders’ and directors’ information across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, available to our thousands of clients around the world. Data cleaning has always and will always be a priority to us.

No matter how data is gathered and collected, there will always be some level of error. Data in the real world, certainly in the regions we gather it from is mainly dirty: incomplete, disorganized, unstructured and inconsistent. Incomplete data stems from non-available data values when collected and different criteria between the time collected and the time analyzed. Examples of a lack of attribute values could be an incomplete address or incomplete translated company name. Original data contains errors such as typing, spelling, word transposition (e.g. number of premises or number of employees equal to -3, or even a Shareholder/ Manager who is 230 years old).

Data can also be inconsistent and duplicated; containing incompatibility in codes or names (e.g. Company Name: “XXX Company LTD” or “XXX Company Limited” could be considered one registered entity although in the latter case the legal form is Joint Stock Company which is not reflected correctly in the name). The lack of compatibility is mainly between the different data fields. Inconsistent and duplicate data, as in the example above, comes from different data sources merged together or non-uniform naming conventions.

These types of mistakes can result from human error, poor recording software, or incomplete control over the type of data imported. Before processing the data for analysis or use, error-prevention strategies should be implemented to reduce common errors as much as possible, and to ensure that data is accurate, valid and consistent.

Maintaining an excellent quality database is essential for our company to ensure accuracy in our credit and due diligence reports. In our data warehouse, currently containing more than 12 million companies and more than 23 million individuals, data cleaning is a major part of the extract, transform and load (ETL) process. Data cleansing (also known as data cleaning or scrubbing) is the process of spotting and rectifying inaccurate or corrupt data.  Incomplete, inaccurate or irrelevant data is identified and then either replaced, modified or deleted.

Also worth noting that all our data is date stamped and graded. Our clients can now check the date of each data field in addition to its source grading. In recent years, Cedar Rose has implemented a system for the grading and evaluation of the source reliability, as well as of the information and intelligence credibility of the majority of our data. This grading is invaluable to our subscribers and due diligence clients who can then calculate which data they can rely on 100% and which has less reliability (eg; data from third parties, assumed to be correct but not verified).

No matter what sector you are working in, from public health to extractive industries to education, you can have access to our cleaned and linked database of companies, directors and shareholders via our website at www.cedar-rose.com, via API or by a CRiS subscription.

For further information, please contact Hannah King or Nicole Konstantinou to arrange a demonstration of CRiS, or go to our website to search and download or order a fresh investigation on your client today.

Visit our newsroom for more relevant news!

Written By Elissa Ghosn, Data Analyst

 

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

API – An Insight into Data-Sharing in the 21st Century

API

Application Programme Interface, or as most know it, API, has revolutionised the way the world operates and has provided efficiency beyond belief. The inherit design of this application software acts as the backbone of modern connectivity, providing and utilising efficiency, reliability and speed. API provides alternative means to achieve outcomes, meet demands and diversifies the way Business-to-Business (B2B) operations are carried out. Astonishingly, according to TechCrunch, Salesforce generates 50% of its revenue via API, eBay nearly 60% and Expedia an unrivalled 90%. This relatively new concept, a technological marvel, has gone further than most would have imagined. It is important to understand the principles and benefits of APIs and what they can, or already do for your company.

The What
API, on the surface, is complex software with a lot of technical jargon attached to the matter. However, after understanding the practicalities and the fundamentals of Application Programme Interfaces, it becomes more evident what they intend in doing.  In layman’s terms, APIs allow one piece of software to make use of the functionality or data of another. API functionality’s main purpose revolves around B2B activity. This machine to machine interface can transfer data, in real time, and provide an array of instant possibilities and efficiencies. Importantly, APIs help create seamless networks in order to improve value transfer with suppliers/vendors, clients, partners and employees.

Incredibly, since this innovation become available in 2005, the last 14 years has shown an astonishing rise in usage, illustrating how necessary and important the day-to-day use of APIs are. Below is a table of the growth of Web APIs submitted to the ProgrammableWeb directory from 2005-2018.

API Growth

The Benefits
APIs have the functional capacity to perform a multitude of tasks that can be utilised from business to business. From sharing data and processes to real-time results, APIs are a heavily relied upon software. In a nutshell, an API can help create seamless networks that improve value transfer with clients, suppliers and more. Additionally, some core benefits are:

  1. Ease of Access – In order to provide the best customer service you want to make life as easy as possible for your clients. Well, APIs can enhance the user experience and save time making your customers jump through hoops of login forms, order forms and alike. If an API is set up for your end user, integrated into their application, you are essentially removing any barriers from them using your service. This may just generate a long-term client and a happy one at that.
  2. Innovative – In some cases it is possible for API providers to incorporate functionality that end-users have adopted and extended themselves. Through traditional web applications and user experience you have pre-determined how your service is to be used. However, via API, flexibility and innovation may open up a variety of other means for your users to engage in. This could create whole new industries and verticals that you could service.
  3. On-Demand – The real-time applications of APIs provide a platform in which your users can utilise the most efficient of services. An automation of requests and responses will eradicate any roadblocks in traditional service. Your business will be digitalised and primed to scale with the functionalities that an API has to offer.
  4. Customer Analytics – Streamlining a focus on services you provide can allow your company to more directly analyse and enhance to better suit your users. User experience may depend on how the users interact with applications and time may be overspent scrutinising these fine details, rather than working on the actual services that you provide. Streamlining your focus would enable you to understand exactly what your customer’s want, allowing you to better plan your business’s strategic road map.

Cedar Rose’s Availability
Cedar Rose has always taken pride in being one of the most innovative and up-to-date companies in its field. Thus, we heavily endorse the use of APIs to provide a bespoke service to our clients on a daily basis. As we offer data all around the world to a wide array of clients at all hours of the day, we need to make sure that we have accessible services for the greater benefit of everyone. Henceforward, we have enhanced our API capabilities to allow for instant services for credit reporting, risk assessments, due diligence and electronic identity verification. We believe that our customers deserve the best, and when you need critical data for urgent decision-making matters, we can provide you with the relevant data-transfer in a fast, streamlined and secure approach.

Visit www.cedar-rose.com today to see how we can help you.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Waste Not Want Not – The UAE Fuel Initiative

Waste Not UAE

On an international scale the world is becoming more environmentally conscious, acknowledging the past failures that have caused global warming and unwarranted extreme weather. In reaction to rising environmental concerns, the UAE has adopted a new initiative that, essentially, turns waste into fuel. The United Arab Emirates are leading the way forward with their sustainable ideas and making positive strides for a cleaner, brighter future. RDF, Refuse Derived Fuel, is the product that will make all of this happen. Additionally, this streamlined focus on eco-friendliness, alternative energy and sustainability goes hand-in-hand with the upcoming 2020 Dubai Expo, which centres on the very same values.

Set in Stone
Two UAE-based contractors, Besix Concessions & Assets and TG ECO Holding have recently inked the deal to develop and operate a RDF facility in Umm Al Quwain. The construction of the facility will begin operations in December 2019 with expectations to open by April 2020. Moreover, the RDF facility hopes to start receiving waste by September 2020 and begin full operations to convert this alternative energy to practical use.

This sustainable project is set to cost an estimate of $40 million and to be co-financed by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs. The benefits from this initiative have incredible potential and scalable possibilities, not only for the UAE but for the Middle East and even on a global scale. The expected outcome of the RDF facility is to be able to receive 1000 tons of waste per day, gathered from households. With this in mind, the Refuse Derived Fuel scheme will approximately divert 90% of household waste from landfills.

“Emirates RDF contributes to the UAE’s strategic objective of landfill diversion of least 75 percent by 2021 and it helps cement plants in decreasing their use of fossil fuels.” -Nico de Koning, project manager of Besix Concessions & Assets Middle East and general manager of Emirates RDF

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy is a hot topic of the 21st century, and, especially, within the last 5 years. An alternative energy source, in combination with a reduction in waste can potentially be a revolutionary factor and a turning point for civilisation. RDF is to begin operations and will be implemented in cement factories as an alternative fuel. This, therefore, means that it will partially replace traditional energy consumptions through the use of gas or coal. The signing ceremony was accredited highly, with climate change ministers present and the director of the Crown Prince’s court of Abu Dhabi. The plans for this initiative have been finalised and the green light has been given, now we wait to see what sustainable implications this may have within the UAE.

“It contributes to the UAE realizing its ambitious sustainability goals and it helps cement plants decreasing their use of fossil fuels.” -Nico de Koning, project manager of Besix Concessions & Assets Middle East and general manager of Emirates RDF

Get Involved – With Cedar Rose

Cedar Rose is an established business intelligence company with over 20 years of experience and specialises in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. We want to help you get involved with great initiatives such as the waste alternative energy, RDF, which the two contractors are forming. So how can we help? We can provide an extensive amount of data on companies and individuals that may help you form the right partnership, merger or help mitigate risks to keep business healthy and sustainable. As your business grows, so does the threat of risk, when you order a Cedar Rose company credit report, or due diligence investigation, you can eradicate any unwarranted potentials. Conduct healthy business with Cedar Rose.

Going Green
As a company we take great pride in making changes to sustain the environment, no matter how big or how small. We are sponsors of the Lets Make Cyprus Green organisation that promote eco-friendliness throughout Cyprus and we actively participate in their events in our fight against climate change.

What’s your country or company doing to help the environment?

Interested in more articles? Check out Saudi Arabia’s new initiative here.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant 

Sourced Image: Pixabay

 

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Trade Reference – Ending Late Payment Culture One Rating at a Time

Trade Reference

A trade reference is a trader’s opinion on the creditworthiness of another trader in the same trade. It should come from a business to business supplier with whom the firm is dealing with on a credit account basis. When applying for trade credit, the customer is asked to provide contact details for trade references in order for the supplier to get feedback about the experience of other suppliers in working with this client. 

Trade Reference in Cedar Rose Company Credit Reports
In the Middle East and North Africa, it is well known that there is a lack of available data with regards to actual payment history. In addition to this, companies in most MENA countries are not required to file financial statements which make credit analysis more challenging.

At Cedar Rose, for years, while compiling a Company Credit Report, suppliers have been contacted and asked to complete a trade reference questionnaire providing an opinion based on their experience with the company being investigated. The information is inserted in the system and constitutes a part of the payment history of the company. The data is assigned a quantitative measure and is included in the CR Score which is a credit risk scorecard and proprietary scoring model developed by Cedar Rose to evaluate a business risk level with a set of statistical indicators.

Cedar Rose Trade Rate Initiative
In late 2018, Cedar Rose has introduced the Trade Rate Scheme so business owners and credit managers can anonymously share their collective voice and have their say on late payments through a scoring system. Allowing companies to rate their customers’ payment performance online is both fundamental and lacking within the credit sector. This initiative aims to provide a more efficient and robust credit reporting service. By joining forces, business people around the world can help each other to make better informed choices about whether or not to extend credit and on which terms.

It’s very simple to participate in this initiative and there is no cost at all. Just search for the company on Cedar Rose website and click on “Trade Rate” to add your rating on the simple form – it takes less than two minutes of your time. Your rating will trigger is to freshly investigate your customer so after 15 days; an updated Company Credit Report will be available on our website at a discounted price for you to download.

In case the company you wish to rate is not available on our website yet, please email me on cynthia.gebeily@cedar-rose.com and I’ll make sure we add it to our database and let you know when the download and Trade Rate options are available.

Have you seen our article on AI?

Written By Cynthia Gebeily, Head of Credit Reporting

 

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

CYPRUS COMPANY WINS PRESTIGIOUS CREDIT AWARD

Cyprus Award Win

CYPRUS COMPANY WINS PRESTIGIOUS CREDIT AWARD

Cyprus company; Cedar Rose International, whose headquarters have been based in Limassol since 2007 were awarded Credit Information Provider of the Year – Commercial Credit at a prestigious awards ceremony in London’s Grosvenor Hotel on 16th May, 2019. The event, Credit Awards 2019 sponsored by Experian, recognised the best in the Credit industry from around the world. Cedar Rose was represented at the event by Mrs Cynthia Gebeily CICP, Head of Credit Reporting, who manages the company’s research and development centre in Beirut, Lebanon. The award was presented to Mrs Gebeily by British TV personality Jimmy Carr and Jonathan Baum, Chief Credit Officer of Lloyds Banking Group at a lavish gala dinner ceremony held in the ballroom where Queen Elizabeth II learned to ice skate. The organisers of the awards, Credit Strategy, were celebrating the 20th anniversary of the industry’s most respected awards programme. According to Credit Strategy, a Credit Award is a symbol of achievement and a veritable endorsement of success as judged by an independent judging panel, all hand selected titans of the industry, who have continuously and relentlessly worked to ensure that each decision is fair and impartial.

Managing Director, Christina Massaad, said “We are delighted and honoured to receive the award for Credit Information Provider of the Year – Commercial Credit, especially against such tough competition. Our teams in Cyprus and Lebanon work really hard throughout the year to offer the best quality credit reporting and due diligence services and they truly deserve this recognition of their efforts. I am very proud of everyone at Cedar Rose and it means a lot to know that a company based in Cyprus and Lebanon was judged to be the best in the industry by such a well-respected panel of judges in the United Kingdom.”

Cedar Rose was initially established in the UK in 1997 and is owned by Lebanese businessman, Antoun Massaad who is very well-known in his adopted home city of Limassol, and his British wife Christina. In 2004 the company set up offices in Lebanon and following the 2006 war in Lebanon when the couple fled with their family to Cyprus, the Limassol headquarters were established. The business intelligence company has been winning awards since 1998, and last year Cedar Rose was the Cyprus National winner in the Digital Technology category of the European Business Awards. What differentiates Cedar Rose from other Credit Information providers is their use of the latest technology to translate, standardise and analyse data from the most difficult to reach countries, their strong and highly qualified research and analysis team who add a manual overview to the reports provided; as well as their particular expertise in the Middle East and African regions. MENA is widely recognised as one of the most difficult regions to conduct business intelligence, though Cedar Rose has also been providing due diligence on people and companies for the MENA countries for more than 20 years. The company now provides global coverage for many of their services.

Contact: helen.lambrou@cedar-rose.com for more information, or call +357 25 346630    

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***