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. ***

Investigative Due Diligence: Challenges and Solutions

Investigative Due Diligence

Cedar Rose has been leading the way with Middle East, focused Investigative Due Diligence Investigations since 1997. International companies doing or aiming at doing business with companies or persons in the MENA region tend to face many challenges, the main one being corruption, therefore, enhancing the need for investigative due diligence to be undertaken.

This is defined as the misuse of public power by politicians or appointed civil servants for private gains. Corruption at Government level tarnishes the perception of the country’s stability and quality of investment potential thus hindering foreign direct investments. The entire population can be affected as a result of inefficient allocation of resources. It might manifest itself as a simple payment request by a low level governmental employee, commonly referred to as petty corruption. Large scale corruption schemes where decision makers are implicated at the very highest political, executive, judicial or legislative levels is commonly known as the ‘Bystander’ effect.

The Bystander effect – is a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present. The greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that one of them will help.

Corruption at corporate level may manifest itself in many ways but it always leads to the same results: Bad reputation and a loss of market share. Bad reputation and negative commercial standing mean less business due to the lack of trust.

In general – Corruption schemes mainly include:

  • Bribery schemes – the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of a thing of value to influence a business decision.
  • Kickback schemes – vendors make undisclosed payments to employees of purchasing companies in order to enlist the employees in overbilling schemes
  • Bid-rigging schemes – an employee fraudulently assists a vendor in winning a contract through the competitive bidding process
  • Economic extortion schemes – employee demands payment from a vendor for decisions made in the vendor’s favor. Refusal to pay the extorter results in harm to the vendor
  • Illegal gratuities schemes – giving or receiving something of value to reward a business decision

These schemes can be committed by the public sector and by private companies, equally. Their existence in both private and public sectors has devastating results.

Lack of transparency in the MENA region, has its direct effect on understanding the reputation of a subject individual or a subject company. How do you know for instance that you are dealing with a company of good reputation and commercial standing? Open source searches and media scan may facilitate understanding the reputation of a company or a person. Yet, is it enough? Can you take these open sources as trusted sources? The answer is: Definitely not. With today’s access to social media and internet sources anyone and any company can create the profile that suits them more but this would not necessarily be the profile reflecting the reality. They use media and social media platforms to make you believe what they want you to believe. To these companies or persons, Perception is Reality.

It is worth noting companies operating in the MENA region are not obliged by law to publish their corporate and financial information. Some companies do not even care to have a detailed website or any social media presence describing their activities and line of business.

Many Politicians are businessmen and many businessmen are politicians. This may lead to nepotism, favoritism, and leveraging of the existing political system to obtain personal benefits.  The association of a politician with a company may sometimes be visible but this may not be the case most of the times. This is mainly because their exposure will trigger questions regarding any possible conflict of interest, and the misuse of power among many other questions.

Understanding the business network (such as Ultimate Beneficial Owners – UBO Affiliates and business involvements is paramount. Access to corporate information in MENA jurisdictions does not necessarily mean direct access to the shareholders of the company, to its UBOs or even to its affiliates. Access to this information may require exhaustive investigative approaches to various types of sources and commercial authorities. In some jurisdiction, the corporate information is only available in the Arabic language which even adds to the complexity of the whole process especially for International companies willing to do business in the MENA region and which do not have dedicated and specialized Arabic speaking analysts and researchers to overlook the whole KYC process.

Corporate information is not essentially found in one place. This information may be rather decentralized and scattered across different departments of a commercial authority. The concept of one stop shop is a foreign one to many jurisdictions. This of course only adds to the complexity of obtaining credible corporate information. While some jurisdictions have transformed into e-governments thus facilitating access to corporate information, others are rather complex ones. The investigative process of obtaining corporate information is a manual and complex one which takes days if not weeks.

We at Cedar Rose are here to listen and to assist with your requirements.

Please contact Business Development Manager, Helen Lambrou at helen.lambrou@cedar-rose.com for information or simply call on +357 25 346630.

See more articles on investigative due diligence here.

Authors:

Lamia Massaad, Head of Research & Analysis

Wassim Antar, Senior Due Diligence Analyst

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

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. ***

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. ***

Green Card Initiative: Saudi Arabia opens its Economy

Green Card

Saudi Arabia is continuing its efforts to reach their 2030 vision of diversifying the economy, however not through traditional means. Similar to the United States green card system, Saudi Arabia is implementing a similar initiative, officially known as ‘Privileged Iqama’. This idea has been in the pipeline for over 3 years, hinted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The idea is simple yet effective, attracting visitors to reside in the Kingdom that, in turn, would boost the economy. The Kingdom is undergoing mass transformations to reach their vision, to develop robust public service sectors, enhance tourism, and strengthen the economy to create an overall better place to live, financially and socially. However, what is ‘Privileged Iqama’ and how can it really help?

“We are working on a specific program similar to the green card.” – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in retaliation to a question on non-oil revenue measures.

Privileged Iqama
Privileged Iqama, commonly known as the Saudi ‘green card’ aims to provide permanent residency to foreigners if they meet a certain criteria. It is understood that the individual would need to be wealthy, highly-skilled and without a criminal record. If you meet these three conditions you will be entitled to a residence permit without any need for a sponsor, which is the traditional regulation currently implemented in Saudi Arabia. Your status will be permanent, subject to annual renews, or, possibly, unlimited. Although, you may be screened and required to prove that you meet the conditions, however, there are many other benefits that you will receive if granted a Saudi green card. For example, the benefits include the opportunity to have ownership of property and transport, recruit a workforce, receive private employment, travel without restrictions to and from Saudi Arabia and even sponsor visitor visas for relatives. 

When this initiative was first hinted, in 2016, it was said to take up to 5 years before implementation, so far the Kingdom is right on track with their promises and their 2030 vision. 

The Benefits of the Saudi Green Card
Expatriates have always sought out the Kingdom as a great place to reside in, however, there are a handful of cases where it hasn’t worked to their favour. The burden of having a sponsor and not being given the same rights as a legitimate resident has often unfairly left some individuals who have had to pay huge sums of money to relieve a dispute. Due to the magnitude and success of expatriates in Saudi Arabia, combating this problem and finding a solution to provide them with a necessary pass, or a green card in this case, to healthily instigate business may have positive outcomes. The new system plans on producing an enhanced and robust social cohesion, inviting many to establish businesses and, for those who are already established, to continue positive and robust growth for their enterprises. The success of companies and individuals within the Kingdom will translate into the success of the country. Affluent living will attract more investors and entrepreneurs to the Kingdom, diversifying the country’s economy and keeping on track with the 2030 vision. 

In another light, providing privileged Iqama will also reduce travel barriers, with many residents having to make ‘visa runs’ every few months, eliminating queues at embassies and many other inconveniences that come with having a visa. The current limits on visas will be a thing of the past. Although this initiative is currently in its early stages, the country is making quick ground on transforming in line with their 2030 vision. Is Saudi Arabia on your radar? 

Know the Kingdom
Saudi Arabia may just be your next potential business move, however, every transition comes with a risk. Attaining a privileged Iqama is one thing, but understanding the way a country works, how to do business and any mitigating unwarranted risks is another. It is important to do your due diligence, learn how the country operates, the typical business week, formalities that you need to know, the legal system, what similar types of businesses exist and more. If you are considering engaging in employment or local partnerships, it is useful to have the full background on the individuals and businesses you may be working with.

Cedar Rose can offer in-depth investigations into regions such as Saudi Arabia, which we have been covering for over 20 years. With a due diligence investigation we can provide a safer passage to instigate business. The more you know the better. Avoid harmful surprises with high quality data, research and discreet investigative reports from Cedar Rose. 

While you’re here make sure to check out the importance of company credit reports 

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. ***

TAQA Takeover – The Schlumberger Acquisition, Saudi Vision 2030

TAQA Takeover

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is undergoing mass transformations in the oil industry. Recent events have seen Saudi Arabia’s Industrialisation and Energy Services Company – TAQA – acquire onshore drilling rigs throughout MENA which were previously owned by Schlumberger. This large operation sees the acquisition of rigs from Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan and Iraq, and amounts to a significant $415 million. TAQA believes this acquisition aligns with the core ethos of Saudi’s 2030 vision, envisaging economic and infrastructural growth. Saudi Arabia have much depended on oil that practically fuels its economy, this acquisition will bring a more robust and stable outlook to the country with hope to generate further income and achieve prosperity.

The Logistics
TAQA’s triumphant acquisition, instigated via their drilling subsidiary Arabian Drilling Company (ADC), will seek to operate a fleet of 58 onshore rigs and 9 offshore rigs across MENA. This investment in growth will generate steady income for the country and provide employment opportunities for an estimate of 6,000 employees across the firm. This acquisition is in respect to TAQA’s 2021 strategy of becoming a leading regional oilfield services and equipment company. This pan-regional drilling powerhouse will unlock value and drive growth in Saudi Arabia. Their growth-driven strategy is reflected in 3 pillars:

  • To create value through expanding into new markets and strengthening their current position,
  • Maintain current value via keeping up-to-date and current with new technologies and by providing optimum services for their clients,
  • Striving for efficiency in relation to safety, reliability and competiveness.

TAQA’s values are aligned with Saudi’s 2030 vision which bolsters the country’s position of achieving their vision.

“This acquisition is fully aligned with Saudi Vision 2030. It unlocks value and drives growth across our entire value chain through a more integrated regional approach, while positioning a leading Saudi company as a global player. The transaction also follows on from ADC’s accelerated expansion activity in 2018 when 16 rigs were commissioned to support the growth of Saudi Aramco. This new combination clearly demonstrates that TAQA and ADC are delivering on their transformation and growth strategies, and further strengthens what is already a long-standing and trusted partnership between TAQA and Schlumberger. We look forward to supporting ADC in the next phase of its expansion and have full confidence that this will benefit all stakeholders, most notably our regional clients.” – Azzam Shalabi, CEO, TAQA and chairman of the ADC board

This much awaited acquisition is set to take place in the second half of 2019, post-regulatory approvals, and will aim to generate revenue, employment opportunities and sustainability. ADC has recently undergone other expansions from as early as 2018 where the company saw an increase in 16 rigs to support the growth of Saudi Aramco. It is evident that ADC, subsidiary to TAQA, is taking an accelerated, progressive and prosperous path. ADC traditionally has a history of innovation, efficiency and safety throughout its 55 years of operations.

Strive for Excellence
Acquisitions and mergers require meticulous due diligence research to make sure you mitigate any potential risks. No matter the size of the merger, if counterparties are not investigated correctly and thoroughly the effects could be costly on your business. Cedar Rose specialises in business intelligence, such as due diligence investigations, especially throughout the MENA region. Know the company and individuals (such as directors and shareholders) you are dealing with beforehand, be aware of their associations to other entities or organisations, ensure all paperwork is in order and remain compliant. Contact our Client Services team on info@cedar-rose.com with your particular requirements.

Head on over to our newsroom for more invigorating articles. 

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

Sourced Image Freepik

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

Solar Power Controversy: How to Utilise Alternative Energies

Solar Power

It is evident that the 21st century portrays a mission for sustainable, renewable and alternative energies. Solar power is one of the most advanced forms of clean energy that current technologies have to offer, it is a source of energy that is beginning to be used more widely across the globe. Solar power energy, harnessed by technologies such as solar panels, is most optimised in countries that provide the most sun. This gives the continent of Africa a significant outlet to harness renewable energies. Countries such as Egypt, Sudan, Chad and Niger are all witnessing an average of over 10 hours of sun per day. So why hasn’t Africa managed to utilise their ideal climate to produce sustainable energy?

Solar Power Potentials
There are approximately 600 million Africans who live without electricity and those that have access experience power shortages and high prices. If this continent was able to utilise solar power technologies it could transform it in many areas. Socially, more citizens will have access to electricity which will in turn bolster their economy, providing more opportunities for the people of Africa. Additionally, diversifying the economy with solar power energy will provide stability and economic growth for Africa. Having a strong focus on renewable energies also provides a more sustainable environment, a healthier environment that will be organically sustained for the future. Current means of energy through fossil fuels are simply redundant, polluting and inevitably coming to an end, countries need to take the right initiatives for a sustainable future.

Although, as a whole, Africa poses as a continent that lacks availability to constant electricity, there are a few countries that show the possibilities of alternative energies.
For example, Morocco is an iconic country, paving the way forward with solar power technology, not only for other African countries, but for all. The Moroccan government is pushing to generate over 50% of its electricity, through only renewable energy, by 2030. To enforce this, they are pending the completion of the world’s largest solar plant, through the construction of Noor Ouarzazate. This significant solar power station has already undergone many installations and is still growing. Since 2013 this project has grown and achieved incredible results.

The Roadblocks
However, for many parts of Africa, it is not that simple. The production requirements for solar power plantations aren’t something that grows overnight. It requires a substantial amount of funding and investments to ensure the projects can develop in a robust manner. African governments invested a mere $12 billion annually, towards the power sector. In order to enact sustainable methods, much larger investments are required. By 2040, approximately $63 billion will be needed to be invested in the power sector.

Alternatively, weak infrastructure that currently exists in many African countries, including those nations with traditionally stronger economies, plays a part in the scepticism against adapting renewable energy. Businesses are continuously disrupted due to Africa’s power generating capacity, causing rationing, shortages and blackouts. Infrastructural issues in Africa hinder opportunities to diversify their energy.

Steps in the right direction
Although a big proportion of Africa poses as a harsh economic landscape to introduce solar power energy, more nations are becoming aware and making the right movements towards a more sustainable future. North Africa in particular portrays a region that has adopted solar energy and it is setting an example to the rest of the continent.

Moreover, national governments are attempting to tackle the issues with scaling up these initiatives through offering more reasonable payment solutions. Pay-as-you-go solar solutions have become a success throughout the continent, providing a financially healthier framework to build upon.

African Business
Are you considering doing business in Africa? Cedar Rose has an extensive amount of data on companies and individuals within the region; we offer award-winning business credit reports, in-depth due diligence investigations and other services that may assist you in working within Africa.

Visit www.cedar-rose.com today for more information.

For more articles on clean energy make sure you check out our newsroom.

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. ***

Adapt, Overcome and Diversify – The Oman Way

Adapt - Oman

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA), collectively, have embarked on a mission to diversify their sources of energy. From solar power initiatives in Egypt and the UAE to windfarms in Oman, the MENA region is expanding their sources of energy in an eco-friendly manner. Each entity that makes up the MENA region has had to adapt to these newer forms of energy, spreading a major influence across the nations. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has envisaged a region that draws much of its energy from renewable sources. Many nations in the MENA region have implemented visions of greener energy and Oman is the next country in the limelight with their current ongoing implementation of a windfarm in the Dhofar Governorate.

Adapt
Oman has adapted to an ever-growing demand, to diversify their energy sources, and is expecting to complete the windfarm project by Q3 2019. This initiative will be the GCC’s first utility-scale windfarm with expectations of generating electricity to supply around 16,000 homes. The Dhofar Governorate presents itself as a suitable region for the implementation of the wind turbines. However, due to the harsh weather conditions, the wind turbines needed to be tailor made by GE Renewable Energy, in order to withstand intense heat and arid desert conditions. Nonetheless, the Dhofar project is one of many ideas to harness renewable energy in Oman.

The entire project is funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) which reinforces Oman’s commitment to amplifying their energy sources. As stated, an estimate of 16,000 homes will be supplied with clean renewable energy; however, this is not the only significant factor. In addition to transferring cleaner energy across Oman, the nation is also offsetting an average of 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, annually. This alone is an incredible feat and a sign of a modernising and forward-thinking society. The world, in the last decade, has turned its head towards cleaner energy and greener solutions to replace the redundant ones currently in use. The Gulf region already suffers with extreme heat and humidity and relies on air conditioning to sustain comfortable living during most of the year. Governments and organisations in the region have proven to be very supportive of new initiatives and have implemented many techniques to provide more sustainable living.

“Supporting the diversification of Oman’s energy mix and economy is our top priority, in line with Oman’s sustainability goals, which aims to generate 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.” – Saleh Al Rumhi, CEO of Tanweer. 

Is Oman the next step for you?
Oman has proved that it can adapt, overcome and diversify to newer means of energy. Eradicating their reliance on traditional forms of energy has superseded future support to transform the nation entirely. This is upheld by the overriding vision which aims to generate 10% of electricity from renewable resources by 2025. The onset of these initiatives is generating an exciting, forward-thinking and ambitious nation that may prove to be pivotal in the upcoming years.

With Cedar Rose, you can navigate, instigate and operate within Oman. Being the leading industry experts for the MENA region, Cedar Rose has compiled sourced and relevant data on Oman that may help your company’s next move. Cedar Rose has been active in this region for over 20 years, in which we have gained a network of resources at our disposal, to provide quality data for others to use. By ordering a due diligence investigation we will be able to conduct an in-depth investigation of your potential business partner, customer/supplier or conduct research for investment motives. Cedar Rose’s due diligence teams consist of experienced and professional individuals, fluent in Arabic, French and English who can conduct meticulous research for your peace of mind. Our data is globally trusted, reliable and detailed. To find out more, go to https://www.cedar-rose.com/solutions/investigative-due-diligence or email orders@cedar-rose.com for a full quotation.

If you enjoyed our article on Oman, make sure you check out our other articles as other countries adapt towards clean energy 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. ***

Data Driven Targeting: Knowledge is Power

Data-Driven Sales

Data is essentially the ‘bread and butter’ of the 21st century. This ever-growing concept is used in our everyday lives. From professional to personal and night to day, data is core to our everyday operations. In regards to data, the only limitation is your imagination, it can be utilised in a copious amount of ways in order to provide significant results. Business has never before been so competitive, with more and more companies competing to provide the best services, sell the greatest products and succeed in their industries. Thus, finding the key to get that edge on your competitors is vital in this day and age. Strategic selling is more necessary than ever, rather than the tradition spray-and-pray techniques that lead to lower sales conversions.  So how can data-driven targeting enhance your company’s sales?

How Data can transform your Sales Team
Imagine having all the possible data on every potential client of yours, you could know the ins and outs of their business, who they sell to, are they growing, what’s there maximum credit limit and more. Now, what if your team could utilise this information, filter it and, from there, map out the best potential clients based on many data fields. You would essentially have the key to the most pinpoint and accurate selling possible. However, it is not as simple as that. With data comes errors, you may look within your own company to draw out data, to utilise what you have and from there generate a decision. Human errors play a big part in the misleading and mishandling of data, in fact, according to IBM poor quality data costs the U.S economy alone $3.1 trillion annually.

The first step is always to look within. What data do you have in-house that you can utilise? Getting the grasp on your own data can help your company strategically plan the best way forward. Your data-driven targeting techniques may be limited by using only in-house data but it will guide you to what you need. Setting clear and tactical sales plans to know what your customers want, to establish a specific clientele and to create a team who are, essentially, one step ahead of the competition is the ultimate goal.  Once you acknowledge the fact that you can use your own company’s data to distinguish a sales path you can then progress towards understanding what specific data you are looking for. Data such as: Employee numbers, location, investors, company news, Standard Industry Codes (SIC), recent acquisitions or more. However, the limitations of in-house data may be a dilemma towards pinpointing your clientele.

There are numerous solutions to digging up more data, and, more specifically, high quality data. It is important to understand that quality data carries a lot more weight than the quantity of data. Data that is outdated, written in local language (foreign to your own) or incorrect due to human error, can have major negative implications on your company. Thus, it would be wise to research into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools such as Salesforce. Platforms such as this contain a multitude of data packed, pampered and ready to be utilised. This hub of intelligence can potentially provide your company with all the answers that it has been looking for. Your sales team has learnt to utilise data, has understood the specific data necessary for the clientele you desire and now has the resources to filter out unnecessary or unwanted information, leaving you with clear sights of who you should be targeting. Data-driven selling techniques may just be crucial for your company’s growth.

The Cedar Rose Solution
Data isn’t always the easiest to gather, nor is it the most reliable, therefore it is important to sieve through your data to correctly manipulate it. Additionally, some regions prove to be much harder to draw data from, language barriers, difficult jurisdictions and lack thereof are a few reasons that may put the brakes on your data quest. Nonetheless, Cedar Rose may have the answers you are looking for. For over 20 years Cedar Rose has been compiling data from the hardest of regions, translating and transliterating for your convenience. We make it easier than ever to attain source graded, award-winning and globally trusted data. Our database (CRiS) has data on over 23 million individuals and 12 million companies, specialising in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Moreover, CRiS is also available on CRMs such as Salesforce, to spread what we have for the benefit for others to use. If you want to take the Salesforce route, contact nicole.konstantinou@cedar-rose.com for more information regarding Cedar Rose on Salesforce. Otherwise head to contact orders@cedar-rose.com and book your free trial with our exhaustive database today.

If you enjoyed our article on data-driven sales, make sure you check out our recent article on business credit.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

Sourced Image: Freepik

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

Vietnam Potential – The Middle East Visualise Great Cooperation

vietnam

The Middle Eastern economies are constantly growing, attracting tourism, investment and expansion opportunities. Due to major strengths in oil and gas, the Middle East continues to be a major scene on an international scale. The recognition that is being received is also constantly growing with more countries wanting to reap the rewards of what this region has to offer. The newest country to be attracted to a piece of this ever growing pie is Vietnam. Vietnam, with strengths in food, farm produce, consumer goods, seafood and building materials proves to be an ideal candidate for future business with the countries within the Middle East. There is a potential for great cooperation between the two areas, which many countries may benefit from.

Hard Evidence
The Vietnam-Middle East trade turnover reached an estimate of $12.67 billion, by the end of November 2018. The countries of the Middle East believe the potential for cooperation with Vietnam will increase the trade turnover due to the various strengths each region holds. Vietnam may be an untapped market for the Gulf countries, especially considering the fact that their food importation approximates to $40 billion a year. Astonishingly, this figure is forecasted to reach $70 billion by 2035, almost doubling, showing the great potential for the Middle East and expressing why countries are interested in cooperating with the region.

Furthermore, domestic seafood supply only meets an average of 25% of people in the U.A.E, leaving 75% dependant on imports. This fact may prove to be a guiding influence for exports from Vietnam, with their notable exports of seafood. Farm produce and food export alone, from Vietnam to the Middle East, reached $774.6 million last year. The demand between Vietnam and the countries of the Middle East is high, trade is already in place and the potential for growth through increased cooperation is considerable.

The Ins and Outs – With Cedar Rose
In order to create a robust and cooperative system between the regions, a level of understanding, business intelligence and regulatory ‘know-hows’ is needed.  With any potential business transaction there is the potential of risk, however, taking the right steps and following certain protocols may help you mitigate the inevitable risks. Cedar Rose offers enhanced, extensive and professional data and research on millions of companies within the Middle East. We can be your lifeline for a smooth business transaction. We have been operating within this region for over 21 years, building up a series of connections, knowledge and the necessary local research skills within the Middle East. Export your products efficiently using our services to mitigate the risks.

Through our Business Credit Reports, you can receive a vast amount of data on your chosen company, including a CR Score to visualise the risk factor that comes with going into business with your chosen company and, furthermore, the option to monitor the company for any changes. Additionally, after any business has been conducted, you will be able to rate the company on how efficient their payments were. Once a company has been rated by two separate suppliers, and the ratings verified by our team of expert analysts, you will also see the average rating in any credit report you purchase on them. Our award-winning credit reports can provide an exhaustive amount of information to enable secure and sensible trade whether exporting to the Middle East, Vietnam or any one of the 170 countries we now can cover for you.  

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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. ***