Arab-British Business Volume 42 Issue 7 December 2020 Bi-Monthly bulletin of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce
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CONTENTS REPORTS ON ABCC EVENTS
Bi-monthly bulletin of the A-BCC Editorial Team Abdeslam El-Idrissi Editor in Chief David Morgan Arab British Chamber of Commerce 43 Upper Grosvenor Street London W1K 2NJ Tel: +44 (0) 20 7235 4363 Email: email@example.com www.abcc.org.uk
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Algeria Ambassadorial Roundtable
The UAE is Open for Business
Iraq Ministerial Roundtable
Opportunities in Egypt
Opportunities in Kuwait
Roadmap for Recovery
Oman Vision 2040
Tunisia Looks to Space
Saudi Arabiaâ€™s Electricity Sector
Dead Sea Products
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ECONOMIC FOCUS â€“ OUT SOON The next issue of our quarterly magazine, Economic Focus, is out soon. Published in partnership with Benham Publishing the magazine includes all the usual editorials and opportunities for members to profile their business services through marketing. Economic Focus is now a wellestablished title with an online
presence complementing its print format, enabling your message to reach our targeted readership of recipients who are involved in trade and investment in the Arab-British markets across all sectors. For any editorial considerations and advertising opportunities contact details are as above.
EMERGENCY RECONSTRUCTION OF BEIRUT HOSPITALS â€“ How We Can Help The Arab British Chamber of Commerce held a webinar on 9th December 2020 in order to raise awareness of the present situation in Beirut following the explosion that devastated the city on 4th August inflicting serious damage to its hospitals. The event, titled, Emergency Reconstruction of Beirut Hospitals: How We Can Help, was held in cooperation with the Embassy of Lebanon in London and the Institute of Healthcare Engineering at University College London. Viewers of the webinar heard that some 17 hospitals had been damaged by the blast; four had been severely damaged and 16 health centres had also suffered serious damage to their ability to care for patients. The total cost of the devastated healthcare infrastructure was put at around $150 million.
an honour to support such as worthwhile cause. Supporting Beirutâ€™s hospital reconstruction was a great example of constructive cooperation between the British and Arab peoples. Mr Reda urged the business community to extend its support to the Lebanese medical sector in this time of need. Chairing the event, H E Mr Rami Mortada, the Ambassador of Lebanon in the UK, warmly thanked the ABCC for its support in organising the webinar and for UKLebanese cooperation.
As Professor Rebecca Shipley, Healthcare Engineering at University College London (UCL), explained, the UK had been able to develop new respiratory devices to assist Covid-19 patients. These devices had since been adapted for use in countries such as Palestine and South Africa. This could be seen as a model for a future collaboration between the UK and Lebanon. The Ambassador expressed keenness to follow up on this possibility with Professor Shipley and her team.
The event looked at how the current crisis could be turned around by making innovative responses and adopting new practices that bring benefits to patients and long-term improvements in healthcare, including new models for the provision and delivery of healthcare.
In opening remarks, Mr Bandar Reda, ABCC Secretary General & CEO, described it as
Speakers from the UK health sector believed that the experience of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic could be of benefit to Lebanon as it responds to the crisis following the devastating 4 August explosion.
H E Mr Mortada expressed the view that the discussion would help shed light on the practical assistance that various
stakeholders could provide to help the people of Beirut to rebuild their healthcare services. The Ambassador set the scene for the panel discussion by pointing out the history of medical care in Lebanon and its traditional role as a centre of professionalism and expertise for the entire Middle East. He stated that a funding gap still existed between what international donors had pledged in support of Lebanon and what was actually required to deal with immediate and longer term needs. H E Mr Mortada said a priority of a future Lebanese administration would be the complete overhaul of the healthcare infrastructure of the country for which a partnership of public and private sectors would be essential. The important step would be to restore the sense of community and togetherness that Lebanon had traditionally been renowned for until the onset of the recent economic crisis. Prof. Mervyn Singer, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, UCL, believed that he need for reconstruction should be grasped as an opportunity for a new start in medical provision. the need to respond to the current crisis could act as a catalyst for advancing forward. Dr Jihad Makkouk, Chief of Hospitals, Dispensaries, and Medical Professions Service, Ministry of Public Health, described the progress that had been made in creating a modern healthcare sector over the last
20 years which had been halted by an economic crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 and the Beirut explosion. Professor Mark Wilson OBE, Consultant neurosurgeon at Imperial Hospitals NHS Trust, explained how technology in the form of mobile phone apps had been used by the NHS and voluntary carers to help patients during emergency cases and during the pandemic.
Dr Naji Abi Rached, Medical Director, Lebanese Hospital Geitaoui (UMC), described in vivid detail the immediate impact of the explosion on his hospital and explained how the medical teams had responded to support the injured in the aftermath of the event.
Consultations with GPs were now more frequently help online avoiding the need for patients to visit surgeries or hospitals. He offered to work with Lebanese colleagues to help adapt technology to meet the country’s medical needs. Ms Nour Najem, Chair, Lebanon Needs, one of the country’s NGOs active in medical care, said that it was vital to encourage more local products and take an holistic approach to rebuilding the healthcare sector so that every person’s needs were treated irrespective of income.
It had only taken the staff 48 hours to get the main medical units back up and running despite the devastation caused. However, there remained a significant shortfall in resources. He estimated the total cost of the damage at $150 million. Summing up, H E the Ambassador said that the webinar had succeeded in highlighting the key challenges and explained the increasing importance of digital technology for healthcare. The examples of good practice given by the speakers offered reasons for hope. The discussion would help in identifying what needed to be done to build a more efficient, patient focused service.
DOCUMEN TAT ION
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B U S I N E S S P R E M I U M
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S E R V I C E
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ALGERIA AMBASSADORIAL ROUNDTABLE
On 11 November, the Chamber organised an Algeria Ambassadorial Roundtable webinar with H E Abderrahmane Benguerrah, the Algerian Ambassador to the UK, as the keynote speaker, joined by some equally distinguished co-panellists that included the Rt Hon Lord Risby, the British Prime Ministerâ€™s Trade Envoy to Algeria. Lady Olga Maitland, Chairman of the Algeria British Business Council, Mr James Fielder, CEO, HSBC Algeria, and Mr Yassine Bouhara, Vice President of the Algerian Chamber of Commerce in France, took part in the discussion which succeeded in highlighting the many new opportunities opening up in the Algerian market. Rt Hon Baroness Symons, ABCC Chairman, pointed to the uncertainties posed by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, but remarked that one certainty was that countries will always need to trade with each other. Mr Bandar Reda, ABCC CEO & Secretary General, welcomed the high powered panel of speakers and pledged the chamberâ€™s support for entrepreneurs, traders and investors.
All speakers agreed on the great potential for closer cooperation between the UK and Algeria. In a wide ranging presentation, H E Mr Benguerrah stated that his country had embarked on a new course last year with the adoption of a new programme whose key features were amendments to the legal framework for doing business and attracting inward investment. Algeria, the Ambassador said, was moving towards growth and sustainable development by creating a more diverse economy, making use of its untapped natural resources and unleashing the talents of its well educated population.
The scale of ambition was reflected in the new investment law, the new hydrocarbons law, mining law and changes to the role of the central bank. Commenting on UK-Algeria relations, H E Mr Benguerrah said that both sides viewed their partnership as vitally important but much more could be done to increase the level of bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The Ambassador said that British firms with their expertise were welcomed in Algeria and 150 UK firms were already operating successfully in the market across various sectors.
He concluded by encouraging more British businesses to take a closer look at what Algeria had to offer and the advantages of its strategic location, modern infrastructure and incentives for investors. Lord Risby reiterated the positive message and remarked on the long history of friendly relations between the two countries. He was encouraged by the country’s determination to diversify its economy and highlighted recent successes in bilateral cooperation such as the opening of the first privately run English school in Algeria. Priority sectors in the country’s diversification strategy include: Agriculture, Renewable Energy, Pharmaceuticals, Digital, Mining, Financial and Professional Services.
“All these sectors open up the potential for exciting new opportunities for UK companies which are able to offer Algeria complementary technology, investment, experience and expertise, delivering mutual gain”, the UK Trade Envoy stated. Lord Risby urged more UK firms to become part of Algeria’s development by taking advantage of the current opening up of its economy and the new incentives available for investors.
Prospective investors were reminded of the support from UK Export Finance (UKEF) which has at its disposal a budget of £4 billion capacity to assist UK businesses with overseas partners in any sector in Algeria, he explained. Lady Olga Maitland spoke of the positive changes that were taking place in Algeria and the increasing number of UK firms that were looking to do business there. She described Algeria as an “incredible market” with its young, educated population, excellent infrastructure, strategic location and strategic vision that was now driving the country forward. Lady Olga said that a great deal of practical support was available to potential investors seeking to enter the market and urged companies to make use of this advice. Mr James Fielder, CEO, HSBC Algeria, explained the financial services that his bank had been providing to foreign companies operating in Algeria since HSBC became established in the market over 12 years ago. He said that Algeria’s new policies in were bringing about significant changes and making the most of the country’s natural advantages in location and resources.
Mr Fielder remarked on the opportunities in the largely undeveloped tourism sector with its assets such as the rich heritage, landscape, Mediterranean coastline and historic sites. Mr Yassine Bouhara, Vice President of the Algerian Chamber of Commerce in France, gave additional details of the investor incentives such as exemptions on VAT, customs dues, low rental costs and skilled workforce. He described Algeria as a true land of opportunity and advised investors to contact the National Agency of Investment Development (ANDI), where they would receive all the support they required. Major opportunities could be found in mineral resource exploration, green energy and the fishing industry, among others, Mr Bouhara stated. Algeria was currently undergoing a major transformation and UK firms were encouraged to become part of it and add to its increasing number of success stories.
THE UAE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS The ABCC in cooperation with Dubai-based The Corporate Group held a webinar on Wednesday 28th October on the UAE commercial environment and investment opportunities.
Titled, The UAE is Open for Business, the event brought together a panel of speakers representing various areas of expertise on exporting, investing and setting up operations in the country. The UAE was preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021 and would be organising a programme of events in the UK to be announced soon. In his welcoming remarks, Mr Bandar Reda, CEO & Secretary General, ABCC, described the UAE as a strategic global hub for doing business in the Gulf and around the world. He pointed to several growth sectors in the UAE economy that investors should look to, such as energy, digital technology, innovation, education, healthcare and financial services. Mr Reda thanked the UAE Embassy for its continuing support for the ABCC.
In his presentation, Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, ABCC Deputy CEO & Secretary General, briefly highlighted some of the key achievements of the UAE, of which the most recent is its space programme and the forthcoming Dubai Expo. He said that the UAE was moving at a great pace and breaking every barrier. Its trade with the UK was growing and both the UK and UAE were eager to strengthen their links. The ABCC was delighted to have worked closely with The Corporate Group, one of its longstanding members, in the planning of the webinar, Mr El-Idrissi stated. Ms Fayha Sultan, UK Director-Business Development at The Corporate Group, introduced the work of the group. A keynote speech was delivered by Mr Marwan Alnaqbi, Head of the Economic Department at the UAE Embassy, who described how the UAE was taking steps to build a sound sustainable future by moving
from an oil-based economy to one that was far more diverse. The official highlighted especially the growing digital economy and green energy and how the country had been at the forefront of adjusting to new working conditions needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The other contributors were Mr Ayman Al Awadhi, Group Managing Director, The Corporate Group, Mr Louie Balbuena, Head of Business Development â€“ Corporate Trade House, Mr Ali Hassan, Senior Representative for Europe and North America, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Mr Ian Sherlock, Operations Director, Credit Management Solution. (CMS). Each of the speakers provided detailed practical legal and commercial advice that was tailored to help businesses looking to succeed in the market. Around 150 people logged on to follow the discussion.
IRAQ MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE
From the left: Mr Bandar Reda, ABCC CEO & Secretary General, Rt Hon Baroness Symons, ABCC Chairman, H E Mr Ihsan Al-Saadi, Iraq’s Minister of Oil, H E Mr Mohammed Jasim, Iraq’s Minister of Agriculture and Dr Suha Dawood, Head of Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC).
The Arab British Chamber of Commerce was delighted host a ministerial delegation from Iraq for a business roundtable on investment in Iraq on 21st October 2020.
Major investment projects were available to UK investors in the agricultural industry. For example, Iraq was looking to manufacture agricultural equipment in the country, such as heavy vehicles used in farming.
The discussion chaired by Rt Hon Baroness Symons, ABCC Chairman, took place at the chamber’s premises and was screened live as a webinar.
The Oil Minister described how Iraq was adopting a new approach to running its economy and was seeking to become a partner with foreign investors who were being offered greater scope for involvement.
Dr Suha Dawood highlighted the need for Iraq to diversify its economy and highlighted a recent white paper that recommended an increased role for the private sector in job creation and achieving sustainable growth.
The Agriculture Minister said that Iraq was a rich country in terms of natural resources and had been self-sufficient in food produce in the past.
She said that Iraq was seeking partnership with foreign investors and mentioned that the NIC acted like a one-stop shop for investor enquiries.
The ministerial delegation visiting the chamber comprised H E Mr Ihsan Al-Saadi, Iraq’s Minister of Oil, H E Mr Mohammed Jasim, the Minister of Agriculture and Dr Suha Dawood, the Head of the National Investment Commission (NIC). The event was organised in association with the Embassy of Iraq in London.
He said that the new investment law enabled foreign investors to buy land for development of agricultural production. The UK private sector was encouraged to invest in Iraq’s agricultural sector, the minister stated.
The high-level visit to London by the Iraqi ministerial team indicated that Iraq was open for business and eager to deepen trade and investment links with the UK. For the ABCC, Mr Bandar Reda, CEO & Secretary General, pledged the chamber’s full support for Iraq and hoped to work closely to connect UK investors to the market.
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OPPORTUNITIES IN EGYPT The Chamber hosted a successful webinar on Opportunities in Egypt on 16 September.
framework for future cooperation once the UK has passed the transition period for its exit from the EU. The next speaker, Rt Hon Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Egypt, looked forward to the resumption of British trade delegations visiting Egypt post-pandemic. He further remarked that talks on a future trade deal between the UK and Egypt were making great progress and said that this agreement would mirror that which existed between Egypt and the EU. Sir Jeffrey stated that the UK was keen to resume closer trading relations with Egypt as soon as possible and was looking forward to developing cooperation in new areas. Egypt was a strategic partner whose importance is increased by the UK’s determination to engage more closely with the African markets. The Trade Envoy highlighted the opportunities that were coming available in sectors such as healthcare, education and housing. Egypt with its rapidly expanding population was a huge market for UK goods and services. Its people represented a major human resource and a high priority for Egypt was being placed on job creation.
Opening the discussion, The Rt Hon Baroness Symons, ABCC Chairman, reflected on her own experiences of visits to Egypt and her interest in fostering strong bilateral cultural and educational links as well as in the areas of business. In this respect, Baroness Symons mentioned that she also chairs the British-Egyptian Society and sits on the board of the British University in Egypt. His Excellency Mr Tarek Adel, the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Kingdom, discussed the strong level of cooperation between the UK and Egypt and the advantages offered to investors by Egypt’s location as a transit point linking Europe to Africa, Asia and the Arab World. The Ambassador warmly acknowledged the work of the ABCC in promoting bilateral trade and investment. H E Mr Adel pointed out that the reforms implemented in Egypt in recent years had put the country and
its economy in a strong position to withstand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and to respond to the challenges ahead. A main plant of the strategy was to support the private sector, he said.
Sir Jeffrey mentioned some successful initiatives on which Egypt and the UK were working such as a programme that enabled Egyptian doctors to learn in the NHS. He looked forward to seeing this collaboration being extended to nursing staff.
Egypt offered numerous advantages for companies wishing to base their activities in the country such as the inexpensive labour costs and the access to an extensive market stretching to Africa and the Gulf.
He identified significant opportunities for UK firms in further education and highlighted the potential for UK universities to open up campuses in Egypt.
Certain sectors and sub-sectors offered specific attractions to the overseas investor, the ambassador continued, in particular mentioning IT, logistics, energy and tourism. Meanwhile, the country’s economic zones and the Suez Canal Zone provided a series of incentives to the investor. He expected that a bilateral trade agreement between the UK and Egypt would soon be agreed to replace the European Union association agreement. This would set a clear
Construction, infrastructure and transport all offered important opportunities for UK investors, said Sir Jeffrey. H E Dr Alaa Ezz, Secretary General of the Union of African Chambers, delivered a detailed presentation on the progress made by Egypt in recent years to upgrade its economy and make improvements in its business regulations, mentioning the major opportunities for investors and firms seeking to set up business in the country. In particular, Dr Ezz highlighted
the potential of Egyptâ€™s free trade zones and the Suez Canal free zone. Major infrastructure projects were underway across the country to build and open new cities offering significant investment opportunities for the construction industry and related suppliers, he stated. Dr Alaa Ezz stated that Egypt was experiencing an economic boom and was expecting to record a GDP growth rate of an average of 7% over the next few years. The new Egypt was undergoing a major transformation as it took strides forward to become a much more market orientated economy with an increasing role for the private sector. Dr Ezz described Egypt as a transit hub giving access to a market of over 2 billion people. He listed some of the mega projects currently at various stages of implementation and the ambitious new road links, large railway expansion and growth in maritime infrastructure. Growth of manufacturing was a priority sector for the country and presented many opportunities. Renewable energy was increasingly important to Egypt as it sought to generate more electricity and ambitious projects could be found in areas such as solar. The country was the host for the largest solar energy plant in the world. In conclusion, Dr Ezz said that Egypt was the leading destination for FDI in Africa and urged more UK firms to look to what it had to offer. Mr Bandar Reda, ABCC CEO & Secretary General, warmly thanked all the distinguished speakers for their participation in the webinar and stated that they had succeeded in highlighting the enormous opportunities for doing business in the country. Mr Reda recalled personal family visits to Egypt over the years, remarking on the generosity and hospitality of the Egyptian people and the many unique attractions of the countryâ€™s heritage that could be discovered. He concluded by stressing that the ABCC was available to assist any company wishing to do business in Egypt. The webinar ended with a discussion of questions posed by the audience which ranged over such issues as opportunities in the retail sector, the consumer market, vocational training, renewable energy and support on offer for SMEs.
The full webinar discussion can be viewed by following the link below: https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/3022565571001836040
OPPORTUNITIES IN KUWAIT A high-level panel of speakers from the UK and Kuwait were brought together by the Chamber for its webinar on 14th September.
From top left: H E Sheikh Dr Meshaal Jaber AlAhmad Al-Sabah H E Mr Khaled Abdulaziz Al-Duwaisan, GCVO Rt Hon Baroness Symons Mr Bandar Reda HMA Michael Davenport H E Mr Diraar Yusuf Alghanim
Top level discussions on trade between the two countries had continued unabated during the pandemic under a joint steering group established in 2012. Covid had slowed down business, but it had also highlighted new areas of opportunity in areas like digitalisation, food security and tech. In her introductory remarks, the Rt Hon Baroness Symons, ABCC Chairman, stated that Kuwait was one of the UK’s oldest friends in the Middle East and the two nations shared common interests that covered far more than commercial issues. She was convinced of the increasing opportunities for expansion of their bilateral trading relationship. The first speaker, H E Mr Diraar Yusuf Alghanim, a member of the Board of Directors Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) and of the ABCC, began by praising the resilience that Kuwait had shown in its response to the covid-19 pandemic as it worked to protect its people and economy. He remarked on the repercussions of the pandemic on global oil prices and the success of the country’s private sector in improving efficiency and maintaining supplies despite potential supply chain disruptions.
One of Kuwait’s key assets was its strong banking sector, he stated, which will be more vital as the global economy fully recovers from the pandemic. Cooperation between the public and private sectors had grown during the lockdown, he said, opening up new possibilities for closer UK-Kuwait engagement. The Rt Hon Baroness Morris of Bolton OBE DL, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Jordan, Kuwait and the Palestinian Territories, reflected on her almost eight years as the British PM’s Trade Envoy. It was significant, she said, that Kuwait had been chosen to be one of the first countries to have a trade envoy; it reflected the importance of the Kuwait-UK trading relationship. Baroness Morris outlined her work as trade envoy which was to support companies seeking to do business together and to help build new contacts.
She mentioned that bilateral trade had actually recorded an increase on the previous year for the first six months of 2020, according to recently released official data. Baroness Morris looked forward to a further boost in trade post-pandemic. H E Mr Khaled Abdulaziz Al-Duwaisan, GCVO, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the UK, mentioned that Kuwait’s Vision 2035 had set out a path for the country to become a financial and trading hub for the region. Setting up business in Kuwait gave a company access to the markets of its neighbours and into South Asia, the Ambassador stated. With Kuwait making investments in its infrastructure including roads, rail and metro systems, plus its healthcare and education systems, many new opportunities were coming available for UK investors.
H E Sheikh Dr Meshaal Jaber AlAhmad Al-Sabah, Director General, Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) began by explaining how the KDIPA helps support investors in Kuwait. It provided a one-stop shop service where companies could obtain details about incentives such as an up to 10 year tax holiday; 100% business ownership throughout Kuwait; protection of assets and products. The KDIPA helped businesses with every stage of the setting up process from licensing to aftercare support. Kuwait’s aim, the KDIPA head explained, was to establish long-term cooperation with companies which set up. Opportunities in the country were emerging for innovative companies in healthcare, ICT, and digitalisation, among others.
The Ambassador welcomed the bilateral talks that had been held despite the current pandemic on numerous issues such as security, healthcare, education, cyber, R&D, environmental protection. He expressed the wish to see more UK firms taking advantage of the opportunities in Kuwait and joining the many UK firms already established in the market: such as, BP, Shell, Rolls Royce, Mott MacDonald, Foster & Partners, HSCB, DLA Piper, Wood, Parsons, Petrofac, Debenhams and Mothercare; showing that British business was active across all main sectors. The Ambassador highlighted recent contracts in Kuwait won by UK firms. UK group Addfield Environmental Systems had won a major contract to set up a waste-to-energy plant and Smiths Detection won a contract to supply baggage screening equipment for Kuwait’s new International Airport Terminal 2. H E Mr Davenport looked forward to ever closer cooperation on new areas such as a green recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic and he welcomed the cooperation with the City of London and Kuwait on green finance.
In his remarks, HMA Michael Davenport, Her Majesty’s British Ambassador to Kuwait, began by mentioning the celebrations held in 2019 to mark the 120th anniversary of the UK-Kuwait friendship treaty, which indicated the long and enduring cooperation enjoyed by the two countries.
Mr Bandar Reda, ABCC CEO & Secretary General, warmly thanked the speakers for their impressive contributions which had highlighted how Kuwait saw the UK as a long term partner. He welcomed Kuwait’s vision 2035 which was opening up many new opportunities for cooperation.
Business had not shut down during the pandemic and the ABCC was ready to support companies seeking to work in Kuwait and able to help eliminate any obstacles they faced in doing business, Mr Bandar stated.
The webinar can be viewed by following the link below: https://register.gotowebinar.com/ recording/8384944252761493000
A ROADMAP FOR A BETTER RECOVERY A new report from UNCTAD examines the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global trade and development. In a new report, the UN’s trade and development body (UNCTAD) provides a roadmap for recovery that requires an overdue and opportune shift in the structure of global trade and cooperation. Global markets and spirits are up with the news that two COVID-19 vaccines have shown to be more than 90% effective in late-stage clinical trials, UNCTAD says. But while there is growing confidence that an end to the health pandemic is in sight, the report warns that a viable vaccine will not halt the spread of economic damage, which will be felt long into the future, especially by the poorest and most vulnerable. The report, Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trade and Development: Transitioning to a New Normal, provides a comprehensive assessment of the economic impact, projecting that the global economy will contract by 4.3% in 2020 and warns that the crisis could send an additional 130 million people into extreme poverty. The way the world economy is set up is partly to blame for the disproportionate impact on the world’s poorest, who lack the resources necessary to respond to shocks such as COVID-19, the report says.
“COVID-19 has been painful and coursealtering, but it is also a catalyst for needed change,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said. “We need to reshape global production networks and reset multilateral cooperation for the better.” Global production networks will play a critical role in producing and distributing the new vaccine, as they have in moving critical medical supplies during the crisis.
But vaccine deployment will likely expose long-entrenched inequalities in the global trading system that the report says must change to “recover better”.
“Now is the right time to address the weaknesses of globalization that led to the rapid spread of the virus around the world and its uneven economic impacts,” Dr. Kituyi said.
“Such efforts must go hand in hand with the arrival of potential vaccines to market, otherwise we risk reinforcing
those inequalities that turned this health emergency into an economic crisis in the first place.” The report says the crisis can be a catalyst for new, more resilient production networks based on value chains that are shorter, and more regional, sustainable and digital. It is also a chance to make production greener. Global CO2 emissions are on track to decline by 8% this year, or 2.6 gigatons. This is roughly the same reduction that is needed annually for the next 10 years to maintain progress to just a 1.5-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures. As economies open back up, more needs to be done to ensure international production is in sync with the climate emergency.
“Much will depend on the policies adopted and ability to coordinate, both at the international and national levels,” Dr. Kituyi said. “Thus, despite the grim outlook, it is still possible to turn COVID-19 into the finest hour of the United Nations and build a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future.” The full report can be found on the UNCTAD website: https://unctad.org/system/files/officialdocument/osg2020d1_en.pdf
OMAN VISION 2040
OMAN MARKS 50TH NATIONAL DAY His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, the Sultan of Oman, addressed the nation on the occasion of Oman’s 50th National Day. His Majesty said, “We will preserve our national interests, as they are the most important constants of the next phase set by Oman Vision 2040,” according to media outlets in Oman.
“Due to COVID-19 pandemic and drop in oil prices, we are a vital part of this interconnected world, we have paid special attention at the regional and international levels to understand the effects of these conditions on all sectors, and we affirm our continued support for these sectors, especially health and education, at all levels. His Majesty added, “During the next five years, the economy will witness development and recovery that meets the needs of the state and citizens.
“The response that you showed to the government’s decisions is appreciated by us. Despite the challenges facing our economy, we assert that the fiscal balance plan will contribute to bringing the country to safe land.” The Sultan praised the wise and tactful leadership of its late monarch, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, who had enabled Oman to overcome the challenges over the past decades.
“We will continue to consult the same core principles and values in laying the foundation of the new stage, in which our dear country, God willing, will march confidently forward towards the lofty status it desires to achieve. It is the goal which we all aspire for, utilizing all our resources and capabilities in the quest to protect our national interests, considered the mainstay of the future stage whose tracks and goals were defined by Oman Vision 2040, with the prime aim of transforming all aspects of life. It is a true embodiment of collective national willpower.
“The success of this vision is the responsibility of us all, dear citizens, without exception, with everyone acting from his position and within the scope of his abilities and responsibilities. “Within the context of supporting the Government’s ability to meet the requirements of Oman Vision 2040, we embarked on developing the State’s Administrative Apparatus, restructured the Council of Ministers and entrusted to it the responsibility of implementing the forthcoming development plans, along with their enabling resources and in accordance with the prerogatives accorded to each department. The overall aim is to enhance government performance and competence. “Meanwhile, steps are underway to revise the legislative and auditing measures and develop instruments of questioning and accountability so that they might constitute a cornerstone for future action in Oman. We hereby underscore the great significance of these steps in protecting the rights of citizens, as well their role in consolidating justice and decency. This justice system will be accorded our special attention. “We have also laid down the regulatory foundation of local administration through a system of decentralization of services and development in the governorates. We will regularly follow up progress in the administrative system with the aim of supporting and developing it to empower society to shoulder its responsibility in nation building.” https://www.omanobserver.om/hm-thesultans-speech-on-50th-national-day/
Oman has developed rapidly in all areas His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, said that Oman had developed rapidly in all aspects of the modern state
without losing its authentic identity, which distinguishes it and its people, in terms of tolerance and pride in their rich past. In a speech marking the opening of a new “Oman-Britain” photo exhibition HRH Prince Charles stated: “The exhibition provides a glimpse of the rich history between the Sultanate and Britain at a fundamental stage in Oman’s long history under the wise leadership of the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said, and it also reflects an excellent picture of the joint endeavours between the two countries and the strength of the partnership between them.” The exhibition, organized through the website of the Omani British Society, includes 100 pictures representing the many and varied aspects of cooperation between the Sultanate and Britain over 50 years. For the recorded message of the Prince of Wales see, https://timesofoman.com/article/omanhas-developed-without-losing-identityprince-charles
Oman-UK ties have made remarkable progress H H Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said has affirmed the deep-rooted relations and historic ties between the Sultanate and the United Kingdom. The Anglo-Omani Association had organized a virtual photo exhibition in cooperation with the Embassy of the Sultanate in the United Kingdom, to celebrate its 50th anniversary. https://www.omanobserver.om/oman-ukties-have-made-remarkable-progresssayyid-theyazin/
TUNISIA SEEKS TO DEVELOP SPACE SECTOR ECOSYSTEM Tunisian Space Association, TUNSA, the first of its kind, will soon be launched by Tunisian scientists, experts and young students fascinated by space and space technologies. “The effective creation of this association is scheduled for late February / early March 2021. After having worked on the visual identity and the website of the association, we are now preparing the required mechanism and mobilising members. We have reached about 100 active and highly motivated members in all space-related fields,” Ahmed Fadhel, aerospace engineer, space industry entrepreneur and president of TUNSA, told TAP. According to the engineer, the association will be the ideal framework to popularise space science and everything related to space technology through academies, theoretical and even practical courses on several themes related to the space sector.
The young Tunisian aerospace engineer, who is based in Belgium, confirmed that many Tunisian space experts, both abroad and within the country, voiced readiness to support the association and help promote this space culture in Tunisia.
“Many believe that space sciences are not linked to the themes of economy, society, environment and culture. One of our missions would be to enlighten the public on these preconceived ideas and somehow democratise this field in Tunisia and make it accessible especially to young graduates and young project promoters,” he added. Scientists and young space enthusiasts who adhere to his project want, according to him, “to offer students and young graduates in Tunisia, the opportunity to work on machines that will be sent into space.
“We have experts who work or have worked on space missions abroad. These experts will mentor young Tunisians who will build satellites, robots, agricultural machinery and even medical systems that can be used in space”. Another team will be in charge of developing new methods and digital tools for analysing data from satellites.
“These data collected in the sky, once combined with other types of data (air,
land and sea) will form a very powerful and effective decision-making tool, which we will put at the service of Tunisian public authorities directly or through an emerging ecosystem of startups that will be supported by the TUNSA association,” said Fadhel. Strategic partnerships with key national actors in the field of space technologies, mainly government institutions, academic actors, and companies and industrial collaborators are envisaged by the founding members of this association. The ultimate goal is to create and develop a local ecosystem in Tunisia in the field of space. Asked about the financing of projects planned by TUNSA, Fadhel mentioned crowdfunding and citizen initiatives around the world, aimed at reducing inequalities between developed and developing countries, which is one of the sustainable development goals of the UN.
“Tunisia needs its skills in all areas to make a successful transition from a consumer economy to a knowledge-based economy. TUNSA will use space technologies to contribute to this transition”, concludes Fadhel. Tunisia News Agency
THE ROAD AHEAD: RIDE-HAILING APPS IN THE UK Unauthorised rides, monumental breaches of safety and allegations of tax evasion are among the numerous failings which have put ride-hailing apps in the headlights. Yet market giant, Uber, has recently made headlines again after successfully securing the right to operate in London, a year after Transport for London (TfL) rejected its application over safety issues. The license renewal suggests a clean slate, but the question remains as to whether Uber - or any of its ride-hailing competitors - have made the drastic changes necessary to clear up a highly dubious track record.
“UVA UK hope to appeal to drivers who are tired of simply working for tech-led companies that fail to put the interest of its workers into focus.” Uber’s license suspension in the capital last November opened up the market for competitors to vie for the monopoly crown. Bolt, Kapten and ViaVan were among the top UK contenders based on app data insights along with a number of other companies who have all been vocal about their ambitions. To make the cut, a significant rise in standards is necessary, and to a degree, companies seem to be taking heed. Matteo de Renzi, Managing Director of Gett UK, a ride-hailing competitor in the capital, commented on the continued quality of their service ‘as more people question the credentials of London’s transport providers’. Gett’s trained drivers have the uncommon perk of keeping 100% of their tips and are rewarded for referring new drivers too. Bolt, previously named Taxify, bounced back in London after being temporarily banned by TfL. Now they offer conditional bonuses to drivers along with 24/7 in-app support and an SOS button for emergencies. Similarly, French app Kapten aims to recognise drivers who hit weekly targets by giving them deals and discounts if they climb their three-tiered Rewards Programme. The effort to recruit drivers has flooded the market with alluring deals. Ola, who launched in February, offered a 0% commission incentive for the first 6 weeks, which then went up to 18%, more than Bolt, Kapten and ViaVan’s 15%, but still competitive compared to Uber’s 25% fee. Reduced commission rates and increased incentives do go some way to putting more money into drivers’ pockets. Concessions and freebies are used by companies to attract passengers, too. Gett, Ola and Wheely all run a refer-a-friend promotion for riders, while Free Now, who operate across Europe, recently ran a 50% off deal on rides. Bolt claims to offer the lowest fares in London and Kapten offers a
loyalty programme to its customers. Whether these kinds of methods are sustainable is questionable, as is the extent to which shortcuts should be permitted in order to survive in such a competitive market. The growing list of countries clashing with ride-hailing apps suggests that regulators are cracking down. China, Denmark, Hungary and parts of Australia, France, and Germany are among the numerous places where Uber has either been banned or has willingly withdrawn. Breaches of safety are all too common; the 14,000 fraudulent journeys amidst a ‘pattern of failure’ which put passengers at risk was key to Uber’s license suspension in London last year. Lyft has had at least 56 lawsuits filed against it over alleged sexual assault by its drivers and Uber’s first ever safety report revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults had been reported by its passengers in 2018 alone. Critics point to poor screening methods which allow unlicensed and potentially dangerous drivers behind the wheel. The last year has seen Uber introduce a series of new training videos for its drivers, and both Uber and Lyft have tightened up on their safety standards with more rigorous background checks. Improvements have been reflected in the competition, too, with Kapten implementing face-to-face verification of its drivers and Ola introducing modules from DriveTech, part of the AA, as part of a more rigorous onboarding process. Yet, Ola’s recent ban by TfL to operate in London over public safety issues casts a shadow over the effectiveness of their ‘Ride Safe UK’ scheme, to which Ola committed a sum of £50 million to develop safety initiatives. One competitor, UVA UK, seems to be going the extra mile. They boldly pledge to offer the most rigorous driver training of any ride-hailing company so far. And, once their drivers pass the initial deep-dive tests,
they are encouraged to take regular modules on a variety of subjects, including Black Lives Matters and LGBTQ+ issues. While critics might accuse the company of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ of ethical movements, UVA UK proposes this as a way of strengthening in-car and community relations. By allowing passengers to see the modules studied by drivers, the aim is to develop a layer of trust beyond simply a name and a rating system; part of a broader effort to make both driver and passenger welfare an absolute priority. By pledging to humanise the ridehailing system and by having solid values at its core, UVA UK hope to appeal to drivers who are tired of simply working for tech-led companies that fail to put the interest of its workers into focus. By being legally defined as a ‘technology platform’ rather than a ‘transportation company’, Uber is essentially just a ‘facilitator’ of transactions between drivers and passengers. This absolves companies of many responsibilities and arguably removes a crucial human dimension to a service which requires a certain level of trust between parties. UVA UK CEO, Ayesha Rees commented that ‘for too long ride-hailing companies have valued technology above everything else. The result is a faceless service and a loss of genuine human connection’. While UVA UK is still essentially a technology platform, it insists it will bring a human dimension to ride-hailing by improving in-car relations and putting honesty at the cornerstone of everything they do. Up until now, honesty does seem to be consistently lacking within the industry. Allegations of widespread tax evasion can more often than not be found at the root of ride-hailing app legal conflict. In 2018, ex-Uber drivers in Denmark were slammed for £1.3m worth of dodged taxes. And, last year, Lyft joined Uber’s effort to
UVA UKINVESTMENT advertorial
lobby a proposed municipal tax on ride-hailing apps in Oakland which could have generated up to $2.5m per year. The move of Uber’s Bermuda based subsidiary to the Netherlands has reportedly saved them $6.1 billion in taxes. It has also allowed the monopoly king to avoid paying a 20% value-add-tax on rides booked in Britain, a tactic which has allegedly cost British taxpayers nearly £1 billion. This is another area in which UK based UVA UK is insistent it will do better in. By only recruiting local drivers, either British nationals or official residents, UVA UK claims it will help to directly benefit the local economy. ‘Time and time again you see ride-hailing companies making huge profits within the countries that they operate in, and funneling that profit out elsewhere,’ say UVA UK, ‘we’re committed to keeping the vast majority of UK profits within the UK.’
Despite the efforts of newcomers, the assumption could be made that Uber will continue to dominate the UK market in light of their recent win in the capital. Yet, the TfL case with Uber has refocused attention to a business model which seems to be running out of road. Promises to passengers have always been propelled by cheap rates, yet riders often pay high prices during peak times as companies dictate and fluctuate fares. This came under scrutiny recently with Uber accused of capitalising on the recent 10pm covid curfew with a 2.6% fare surge. Kabbee in London is one of the few services who do not raise their fares at busy times, along with UVA UK who promise fixed prices from the word go. While price will always be a driving factor, the importance of safety is more relevant than ever now, in a post-covid landscape. In an effort to uphold the highest level of safety measures, UVA UK drivers will be
required to disinfect their cars after each passenger rides with them, along with a more thorough weekly clean. Measurable weekly updates regarding the condition of vehicles will also be compulsory, making safety checks a fundamental part of the job description. There is a clear need for a more sustainable ride-hailing business model and while the landscape of this particular industry continues to shift and change, UVA UK’s vouch to put people first in all that they do is promising. The road ahead is undoubtedly still long and competition is as fierce as ever, but if honesty remains the central pillar of business practices, then the benefit to workers and customers alike should quickly speak for itself.
To find out more about UVA UK, please visit uva.uk
SAUDI ARABIA’S ELECTRICITY SECTOR UNDERGOING LARGEST, MOST COMPREHENSIVE TRANSFORMATION Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy has announced sweeping electricity sector reforms that will ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the electricity sector and the achievements of the Kingdom’s goal under Vision 2030.
and able to invest in projects that could enhance consumer service and improve reliability. Overall, these announcements are expected to create an attractive environment for investment in the electricity sector and contribute to the economic development of Saudi Arabia, in line with the Vision 2030 program.”
The comprehensive reform package of measures includes the establishment of a revenue requirement mechanism for sector service providers and a tariff balancing account to compensate for the difference between the efficient cost to serve and the income from tariffs. These reforms are considered a crucial steppingstone towards achieving the Ministry of Energy’s goals for the electricity sector which are in line with Vision 2030, and include the following:
The magnitude of the reform is a momentous landmark on multiple fronts, it is the: • Largest Islamic financial transaction to be executed globally with issuance of a $45 billion Mudaraba instrument (interest of 4.5%) by Saudi Electricity Co. and the single largest conversion to a non-dilutive equity-like instrument from debt.
• Transition to the optimal energy mix for electricity production in the Kingdom, with shift to renewable energy and efficient natural gas sources; and • Increase system efficiency and the reduced use of liquid fuels for energy production; and
• SEC will have the largest regulated asset base of any utility in the MENA region and will have a regulated asset base which in comparable to the largest utility companies in G20 countries.
• Increase the sector’s Transmission and Distribution network security and reliability to enable effective integration of renewable energy and interconnection with neighbouring countries; and • Greater environmental compliance to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint. His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Minister of Energy, Saudi Arabia, said:
“This announcement is a major achievement for Saudi Vision 2030 and for the Ministry of Energy’s ambitious goals for creating a sustainable, reliable, and diverse power sector. The reforms are considered the largest and most extensive on a global scale. These reforms lay critical foundations by helping to create a more solid and financially viable sector attracting the required investments. The expected outcomes of this sweeping reform program include more efficient power generation, reduction in the use of liquid fuels for electricity generation and increased environmental protection. “Moreover, the reforms aim to increase the reliability and quality of service of the Kingdom’s electricity transmission network and to facilitate the production of electricity from renewable energy sources, bringing it in line with the Kingdom’s optimal energy mix for electricity production.” His Excellency Dr. Khaled bin Saleh Al Sultan, Chairman of Saudi Electricity Co., said:
“With this historic comprehensive reform program, SEC’s balance sheet will become more robust enhancing SEC’s ability to fund projects and enabling it to execute on its strategy to contribute to the development of a stronger, more sustainable, and diverse electricity sector.”
For Saudi Electricity Co. specifically the reforms mark the entry of the Company into a regulatory framework with clear rights and obligations. In return the Company will have the right to receive a fair rate of return of 6% (WACC) on its regulated asset base and fully recover its efficient cost-to-serve as determined by the regulator, Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA). Importantly the Company will operate under a predictable, transparent, and stable regulatory framework with clear arm’s length commercial relations amongst sector players and participants. The reforms also include the cancellation of government fees the Company had been paying and the reconciliation of the Company’s net legacy Government liabilities, and the restructuring of its balance sheet. HSBC, financial advisor to Saudi Electricity Co., commented:
“The creation of this financial instrument and the introduction of an international standard regulatory framework should enable Saudi Electricity Co. to maintain a more sustainable capital structure. Through the Balancing Account, the Government is expected to continue supporting the sector and Saudi Electricity Co. on a more structured and transparent basis. “These reforms will help improve the sector’s efficiency while providing a fair rate of return on invested capital. Furthermore, the restructuring also supports a key policy objective of a safe, secure and reliable power sector that is financially sustainable
• The immediate deleveraging of the USD 128 billion balance sheet of Saudi Electricity Co. from a debt-to-equity-ratio of 2.2 to a ratio of 0.6, in line with what is generally considered to be healthy debt levels for a utility company of its scale. Strategy&, a global strategy consulting business and part of the PwC network, and advisors to the Ministry of Energy for the restructuring of the electricity sector, added:
“This demonstrates how the reforms hit the reset button on the legacy of decades of ad-hoc methods of addressing the financial challenges of the electricity sector, and put in place a robust, transparent, and stable regulatory framework that will ensure the financial sustainability and health of Saudi Electricity Co. and their ability to meet all their commercial obligations including fuel payment, debt service, and dividends. It also provides Saudi Electricity Co., the 8th largest utility globally by asset size, the financial strength to raise the funds necessary to invest in strengthening the electricity grid, enhancing the network security and reliability. “The power system in the Kingdom could not achieve its ambitions without a fundamental redefinition of the sector’s financial foundation and operating model. At this important juncture, however, the expectations from the Saudi Arabian power sector are much higher than ever before. The reforms have created important instruments for achieving the policymaker’s objectives for modernizing and transforming the utility sector as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.” Source: Extract from a press release issued on behalf of the Ministry of Energy, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
GOLD MEMBER Abacus Cambridge Partners St Martin’s House 16 St Martin’s Le Grand London EC1A 4EN Tel: +44 (0) 207 397 8725 Contact Fatima Rizvi Head of Marketing & Communications Email: Fatima.Rizvi@abacuscambridge.com
Aramex (UK) Ltd
JS Wrights Ltd
Old Bath Road
292 Marvels Lane
Umar Butt Country Manager UK Tel: +44 (0) 1753210500 Email: Umar.Butt@aramex.com https://www.aramex.com
Abacus is a technology firm headquartered in London with offices in New York, Dubai, Riyadh, Lahore and Cairo. Our mission is to help clients navigate technology, implement solutions and partner through their digital transformation journey. We work in three dimensions: Enterprise Systems, Innovation Solutions and Managed Services.
Aramex is a provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions. Established in 1982 as an express operator, the company rapidly transformed itself into a global brand recognized for its customized services and innovative multi-product offering. The range of services offered by the company includes international and domestic express delivery, freight forwarding, integrated logistics solutions, consumer retail services and e-commerce solutions.
Aerona Clinical Limited
Exeter Science Park
29 The Green Winchmore Hill LONDON N21 1HS 020 3006 8000 email@example.com
6 Babbage Way Clyst Honiton EXETER Devon EX5 2FN +442087980623 firstname.lastname@example.org
Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry - Jerusalem Al Maqasad Building. 3rd Floor Al Mustawsaf Road Al Ram Jerusalem Palestine Juresalem 000000 +972 2 583-3050 email@example.com
Beroya Business Solutions Kemp House 152 - 160 City Rd LONDON EC1V 2NX 020 7660 1440 firstname.lastname@example.org
GLOBAL LINK LONDON LIMITED 232 Edgware Road London LONDON W2 1DW 07736237530 email@example.com
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OHR Aloraij UK LTD Al Rabie Aliah Plaza Riyadh 11461 +966546100008 Khalid@OHR.sa
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Water Research Centre Limited Frankland Road Blagrove Swindon SWINDON Wiltshire SN5 8YF 07525 731916 email@example.com
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CEDAR ROSE RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS CYPRUS EXPORT AWARD Business intelligence provider and ABCC member company, Cedar Rose, has been presented with the Cyprus Special Export Award for Services from the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades. The award was accepted by the CEO of Cedar Rose, Antoun Massaad, at the Presidential Palace in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia on November 12, 2020. The award ceremony was conducted at a special event held for a small group of attendees with strict protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health to ensure the safety of all guests. With the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic still weighing heavily on Cyprus and its citizens, the President delivered a positive message of hope for the coming year.
“I am absolutely sure, based on the measures taken at local, international, but also European level, that we are close to the discovery of an effective vaccine, that the pandemic crisis will be overcome so as to deal more effectively with the financial crisis in the hope that 2021 will be the year for the recovery to begin,” he said. Exports of domestic products on the island fell by 4.6% in the first half of 2020, with exports of services falling by 8.8%. However, President Anastasiades believes these losses can easily be reversed in the coming year once the pandemic has come under control. To support the economy, Cyprus has secured an allocation of €2.75 billion for the preparation of a new Multiannual Financial Framework to help cover €1 billion of spending in 2020 and an amount likely to be far greater than €300 million planned for 2021.
Cyprus Export Services Award Established in 1982, the Cyprus Export Services Award was created to recognise the efforts of businesses that have shown remarkable talent and initiative in improving the economic situation of Cyprus. By driving foreign investment, promoting new market opportunities, and increasing international awareness, many Cypriot businesses have won the award over the years. Cedar Rose was amongst five companies awarded the Export Services Awards. The honours were bestowed in recognition of services rendered during the 2018 fiscal year, with the other winners including Christakis Agathangelou Ltd, Remedica Ltd, Armonia Estates Ltd and Thomason Machinery Ltd.
Cedar Rose Cedar Rose International Services Ltd is recognised for its proficiency in delivering expert Business Intelligence advice, company credit reports, and due diligence research to the EU market throughout 2018. Established in the UK in 1997, the company relocated its headquarters to the beautiful island of Cyprus in 2007. The name “Cedar Rose” comes from
the national emblems of Lebanon and England, the countries where founders Antoun Massaad and Christina Massaad were born. Besides credit reports and due diligence investigations, the company also offers electronic identity verification and customer onboarding software to clients all around the world. Their services enable their customers to trade securely, to export and extend credit with confidence and to onboard customers without enabling fraud, money laundering or the financing of terrorism. Cedar Rose’s customers include Tier 1 banks, Big 4 Auditors, export insurance agencies, governments and private companies. The company has been a National Winner for Cyprus twice in the European Business Awards and recently won the Commercial Credit Information Provider of the Year and the CCR Credit Excellence Award for Export in the UK. www.cedar-rose.com
DEAD SEA PRODUCTS
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Established Jordanian Firm Seeks UK Buyers for Dead Sea Salts and Mud Produce Numeira - The Leading Company in Jordan for Dead Sea Minerals Established in 1997 under the Arab Potash Company (APC) as the only company with exclusive rights to extract, utilise and distribute Dead Sea mineral-rich raw materials from the Jordanian side, Numeira is the leading provider of 100% natural Dead Sea salt, mud and brine found at the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea. For the past 23 years, Numeira has worked to serve countries around Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, and within the MENA region, with a mission to produce, innovate, and supply high quality Dead Sea raw materials, while maintaining customer satisfaction, stakeholder value, and a sustainable environment. With its headquarters and primary facilities based in Jordan, the company serves local and international markets, with the capacity to produce 20,000 tons of Dead Sea salt, 5,000 tons of mud, and thousands of tons of brine every year, aiming to connect the world with the miraculous healing powers of the Dead Sea. Numeira is looking to develop the sales of its products in the UK market and seeking
to hear from potential buyers with an interest in these products. Details of its key products are as follows: Bulk Dead Sea Salt (Maris Sal) The Dead Sea has a salinity of around 34%, making it almost 10 times saltier than regular seawater. The salt builds up to form crystal beds and sheeny rocks along the Dead Sea shore. The unique mineral composition of the Dead Sea salt has proven effects that help treat various health conditions. Uses of the product includes: To achieve these desired benefits, the Dead Sea salt can be used in baths, as a scrubbing agent, or in the formulation of various cosmetic products. Dead Sea salt is extracted directly from the source and is 100% pure and natural and comes in a selection of customisable grain sizes to guarantee the perfect fit for your needs. Skin Health From inflammatory skin diseases and allergies such as psoriasis, atopic
dermatitis (eczema), purulent rashes, and acne, to skin elasticity, glow, and purity, the Dead Sea salt enhances overall skin health by promoting faster skin tissue repair, providing the skinâ€™s surface with antiallergic elements, and enhancing cell metabolism. Muscle and Joint Health Known to relieve muscle tension and ease joint pain, the Dead Sea salt, with its unique concentration of minerals, is effective for the alleviation of arthritis and rheumatic conditions. Bromides and Potassium present in Dead Sea salt help to relieve muscular aches, whilst improving oxidation and facilitating the natural regeneration of the body. Stress The Dead Sea salt, when infused in baths, creates a medium for ultimate relaxation, relieving muscle tension and joint pain through the feast of minerals that are easily absorbed by the body. It also works to alleviate symptoms of stress, such as heightened blood pressure, tightness of the chest, and even insomnia, as the minerals boost blood circulation and slow down the nervous system activity, enhancing sleep quality.
DEAD SEA PRODUCTS
Fine Dead Sea Salt - Powder Grain Size: 0-1 Mm This is perfect for spa applications needing fast-dissolving bath salts, or as a component in cosmetic products that do not require textural application.
Dead Sea mud is extracted directly from the source and is naturally self-preserving and comes in two different moisture contents to effectively suit your desired application. Skin Health
This is ideal for salt scrubs, exfoliating soaps, bath salts and other bath products, and a popular choice for use in spa therapies.
The Dead Sea mud’s mineral rich content helps to moisturise, hydrate, and exfoliate the skin, improving its overall appearance and elasticity. It also has strong detoxifying effects and works to restore the skin’s natural pH balance, relieving disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. When used on the hair and scalp, the Dead Sea mud helps to prevent dandruff and hair loss.
Coarse Dead Sea Salt
Muscle and Joint Health
Grain Size: 2-4 Mm
The high concentration of minerals in the Dead Sea mud helps soothe muscles and joints by stimulating blood circulation and relaxing the nerves, being particularly effective for Arthritic Knee Pain.
Fine Dead Sea Salt Grain Size: 0-2 Mm
This is ideal for the production of scented bath salts and is suitable for use in remedial applications at commercial spas. Granular Dead Sea Salt
This is a popular choice for aromatherapy products and scented bath salts as it mixes well with fragrances and essential oils. It also works in therapeutic applications at commercial spas.
The Dead Sea mud can be used in the production of effective healing masks for the face, body and hair, as well as in the creation of different cosmetic products. Our Dead Sea mud is extracted directly from the source and is naturally self-preserving and comes in two different moisture contents to effectively suit your desired application.
Bulk Dead Sea Mud (Silt)
Dead Sea Mud Powder (Dry)
Found on the bed and shores of the Dead Sea, the Dead Sea mud was formed tens of thousands of years ago from organic materials, which has resulted in a neat blend of high-potency minerals, making it the ideal choice for numerous therapeutic benefits.
This is a great choice for the infusion of the Dead Sea mud’s minerals with spa and beauty products, and the production of Dead Sea mud masks.
Grain Size: 4-7 Mm
To learn more about the Dead Sea’s mineral composition. A pdf document can be found on the company website – see below. The Dead Sea mud can be used in the production of effective healing masks for the face, body and hair, as well as in the creation of different cosmetic products.
Dead Sea Mud Paste (Moist) This is ideal for the production of rejuvenating Dead Sea mud masks. Bulk Dead Sea Water (Maris Aqua) The water in the basin of the Dead Sea is rich in minerals, retaining the deepcleansing and detoxifying agents offered by its high salt content, and supplying all the embedded benefits for skin, muscles, joints
and blood circulation. With its high mineral concentration, Dead Sea water is recognized as a powerful source for health and beauty benefits, helping to enhance metabolic processes, and to restore the skin’s normal functions and natural pH level, to maintain its healthy, glowing appearance. The Dead Sea water can be used on its own or mixed with essential oils for massage therapy, combined with the Dead Sea mud as a scrubbing solution, and used in the formulation of a range of cosmetic products. The Dead Sea water can be used on its own or mixed with essential oils for massage therapy, combined with the Dead Sea mud as a scrubbing solution, and used in the formulation of a range of cosmetic products. Concentrated Dead Sea Water (Concentrated Brine) This is a high-salinity mineral-rich solution (over 27%) with an oil-like viscosity that is ideal for massage therapy, and the enrichment of cosmetic products with Dead Sea minerals. Dead Sea Water (Brine) This is mineral-rich water that can be utilised for various therapeutic applications and is the better choice for sensitive skin due to its lower salt content. For further information please contact the company directly and see the website for more details about the range of products.
CONTACT Issa Gammoh Numeira Mixed Salts & Mud Co. (Subsidiary Of The Arab Potash Group) Tel: (962) 6 582-6889 Mob: (962) 780380380/777702000 Fax: (962) 6 582-6901 Email: email@example.com www.numeira.com
QATAR’S TRAVEL INDUSTRY EGYPT LISTS WITNESSES STRONG DEMAND DEBUT GREEN BONDS ON LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE
Bouncing back from the shock of COVID-19, Qatar’s resilient travel industry has begun to witness strong recovery. Travel agencies are now getting busier with phone calls of residents demanding to book flight tickets.
Egypt has celebrated the listing of its $750mn 5.25% note, due October 2025, by opening London’s markets for trading. The transaction, which represents the first sovereign green bond issuance from the Middle East and North Africa, was well received by the market, with a high quality orderbook in excess of $3.8bn, the London Stock Exchange said. The strong demand from global investors for the paper enabled the government to not only upsize the transaction from the original $500m targeted but also price the transaction well inside the opening target thus achieving the lowest ever 5-year coupon for Egypt. The bond will be admitted to the Sustainable Bond Market of London Stock Exchange, with the use of proceeds to be deployed across renewable energy, clean transport, sustainable water and wastewater management, and pollution reduction and control. Denzil Jenkins, Interim CEO, LSE plc, commented: “We are delighted to welcome the Arab Republic of Egypt’s debut green bond to the LSE. The success of this inaugural transaction highlights Egypt’s commitment to building a sustainable future and paves the way for many more issuers in the region to follow this example.” Dr Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance of Egypt, said: “The issuance of international government green bonds in the global markets will enhance the environmental rating of Egypt in addition to increasing the confidence of foreign investors in the Egyptian economy and supporting its current and future growth levels.” James Cleverly MP, Minister of State for the MENA, said: “I am delighted to see the success of Egypt’s debut sovereign green bond issuance - the largest green bond issuance in the Middle East and the first MENA sovereign green bond to be issued in London. The UK and Egypt are setting the agenda for partnership on climate issues, working together in the UN to promote adaptability, resilience and a green and resilient recovery from COVID-19.”
London Stock Exchange
“We have seen around 25 percent rise in the sale of flight tickets in October compared to the previous month. November has also started on a very positive note as demand for tickets is high,” General Manager of Milano Travel, Ali Thabet told The Peninsula.
Travel agents say that ticket bookings are set to rise in coming weeks because December is considered as a busy season for the travel industry. Schools have winter vacations and people want to fly to home countries to celebrate Christmas.
Easing of travel restrictions by governments has played a crucial role in boosting the confidence of travellers. Several countries have eased requirements related to COVID-19 restrictions which have encouraged travellers to pack their bags.
“We have bookings from the second week of December to the first week of January. There are also enquiries for some destinations in Europe, but travellers are still not sure about going to Europe,” a Marketing Manager of a travel agency told The Peninsula.
The revival in demand for travel began to pick up from September when travelling became easier for visitors. Many workers who were stuck in their home countries have started coming back.
ABU DHABI ANNOUNCES NEW FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT LICENSE The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) announced the implementation of the Foreign Direct Investment Law within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi by issuing the “Foreign Direct Investment License” which will enable investors to hold 100 per cent ownership of their businesses in Abu Dhabi.
“The recovery in the travel industry has started to gain traction from September onwards because of gradual easing of restrictions by the government,” he added. The Peninsula beneficiaries of the ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ license are foreign investors and residents in the UAE, including individuals, legal persons, and foreign companies that are engaged in FDI projects.” Al Balooshi emphasised that the procedures in securing the license are fast and easy through ADDED’s Abu Dhabi Business Center, ADBC, which only require three key steps: submitting the license application, obtaining the approval after fulfilling all conditions and completing all the required documents, and lastly, payment of fees followed by the issuance of the proposed license under ‘Foreign Direct Investment.’
The license covers 122 different economic activities related to the agricultural, industrial and services sectors, and targets businesses with total capital ranging between AED2 million to 100 million or higher.
Al Balooshi added that the new ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ license covers the practice of a wide array of business activities in the agricultural sector, including the cultivation of grains, leguminous crops, vegetables, fruits, citrus fruits, among others.
Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of ADDED, said: “The issuance of the ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ license is line with of the provisions of the Federal Law No. (19) of 2018 regarding Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, and as part of the Department’s efforts to further promote positive investment climate and thereby achieve sustainable economic development in Abu Dhabi.”
In terms of industrial activities under the license, he mentioned various activities such as the manufacturing of food and beverages, F&B, products, clothing and leather production, wood and cork products, as well as production of plastics and synthetic rubber in its primary forms, fertilizers, pesticides, and other agricultural chemical products.
Al Shorafa highlighted that the new license further consolidates Abu Dhabi’s position as a global hub for investment and ease in doing business, adding that creating the list of investment opportunities within various economic sectors and activities applicable for foreign investments will deliver a strong positive impact to the emirate’s investment environment.
Al Balooshi pointed out that the list of service activities that can be practiced with the license include legal consulting; accounting, auditing and tax advisory services; architectural and engineering activities; medical and dental clinics; veterinary activities; computer programming services; consultancy, research and development activities in science and technology, among other activities.
Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, said: “The
UK FIRM AMONG 11 AWARDED CONCESSIONS IN EGYPT MINING BID ROUND
Egypt has awarded 82 exploration blocks to 11 companies in an international bid round for mineral exploration, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said. Among the companies awarded concessions were Australia’s Centamin, Canadian companies B2Gold, Barrick Gold, Lotus Gold, Red Sea resources and Britain’s AKH Gold.
RAK MUNICIPALITY LAUNCHES GREEN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT PROGRAMME
SAUDI ARABIA MAKES GIANT LEAPS TOWARD DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN KEY SECTORS
Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Municipality in the UAE has officially launched its RAK green public procurement (GPP) programme. RAK revealed newly developed GPP Guidelines, which will support adoption of sustainable procurement practices the coming years, starting with government entities. According to a statement from the RAK Municipality, the launch of the programme comes after initial steps made by the Government of RAK in past years to procure products and services with low environmental impact. The issuance of the GPP Guidelines comes as a result of the study conducted by a specialist team and follows an extensive consultation process with stakeholders and green procurement experts. Going forward, the RAK department of finance will operate as programme administrator for GPP and will coordinate its implementation across the government.
Though Egypt has a history of gold-mining stretching back to the pharaohs, it has only one commercial gold mine, Centamin’s
Saudi Arabia ranked second globally in the field of corporate cybersecurity and jumped nine places to become twelfth among the G20 countries in the e-government development index, according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY). The high-ranking reflects the remarkable achievements the Kingdom has made ever since it embarked on its ambitious Vision 2030 launched by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman. The unprecedented progress and achievements in many other vital sectors too have put the Kingdom in a prominent position on the world map. The Kingdom ranked 7th globally in financing technical development in WCY, which is a yearly report published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). According to WCY, the Kingdom ranked eighth among the G20 countries and 27 globally in the digital infrastructure index within the e-government development index, climbing more than 40 places, and 10th globally in average mobile Internet speeds that exceeded 66.54 Mbps. Moreover, the Saudi government has won the Government Leadership Award 2020 instituted by the International Telecommunications Union.
RAK Municipality added that the GPP Guidelines include criteria for procurement of frequently purchased product categories, such as paper, furniture, light vehicles, AC, household appliances, carpets, etc. The criteria are designed to be easily adopted in government tenders.
Saudi Arabia’s National Committee for Digital Transformation recently issued the half-yearly report for the year 2020 that reviewed the goals and achievements of the digital transformation, as the committee worked under the directives and support of the Crown Prince. The report sheds light on the most important digital service achievements in all government and service sectors in the Kingdom.
GLOBAL FIRMS EYE GREEN HYDROGEN PROJECTS IN OMAN’S FREE ZONES
companies are showing interest to invest in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (Sezad) and Sohar Free Zone to produce electricity from solar and wind energy as great sources to produce green hydrogen for export.
A group of international companies have expressed their interest to invest in clean hydrogen projects in the special economic zones and free zones in the Sultanate.
The international interest reflects the Sultanate’s perfect characteristics and being one of the 5 potential destinations for investments in clean energy, according to the studies carried out by these companies. Given that, the Sultanate is rich in natural solar and wind energy, especially in Duqm. Having huge spacious lands across the country mark a great platform for placing solar panels and wind turbines to produce electricity.
Jalal bin Abdulkarim Al Lawati, from the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ), said that the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones is currently evaluating a number of investment requests in this field. Those
Sukari, which contributes up to $900 million a year to its gross domestic product. The winning companies were awarded only 29% of the blocks on offer in the bid round. Egypt is targeting $1 billion dollars in investment in the mining sector and opened up a second bid round for gold and mineral exploration from 19 November to last 4 months, the minister said.
The report focused on highlighting the efforts of government agencies in the process of digital transformation in various fields, which contributed to creating a digital infrastructure that keeps pace with changing times and meets the requirements of becoming an ambitious nation with a thriving digital society within the framework and objectives of the Vision 2030. The report includes a large number of achievements and initiatives in digital transformation in all vital sectors and areas. These include the smart government sector, where the number of documentation processes carried out through the “Unified National Platform GOV.SA” reached more than 185 million. The Saudi Customs launched the TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) system, which seeks to facilitate trade through borders, as the system reduced the time spent for trucks through the ports by 40 percent, while the number of beneficiaries of the national platform for donations launched by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development reached more than 250,000. The Baladi platform provides full municipal services under the smart cities sector while in the tourism and digital culture sector, the Tourist Visa Portal provides visas to the beneficiaries within 3-5 minutes. In the field of financial technology, the Wathaq platform was launched, which automates all procedures of issuing bank guarantees. In the digital health sector, the report noted, around 53 million appointments were booked through the Mawid application and more than 1.8 million medical consultations were provided to citizens by the Sihha application. Jalal Al Lawati said that OPAZ has initially designated a dedicated zone for the clean energy in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (Sezad). This zone covers an area of 100 km2, which is enough to generate about 10 gigawatts of electrical energy. Furthermore, OPAZ is coordinating with other concerned government bodies to allocate an area in Sohar for expansion in producing solar energy. OPAZ is seeking to place the Sultanate in the global green hydrogen production chain through the special economic zones and free zones.
Times of Oman
TUNISIA HAS LOWEST PRODUCTION COSTS OF SOME SERVICES In Tunisia, the production costs of information technology, gas for industrial use, electricity and utilities for the automotive sector remain the lowest compared with six other countries within its region. The markets that it compares favourably with are France, Morocco, Germany, Romania, Italy and Turkey, according to the report, “Factor Costs of Production in Tunisia,” published in November 2020 by the Invest in Tunisia Agency, FIPA. This occasional report provides a comparison of Tunisia with a number of countries in terms
SAUDI ARABIA MOVING AHEAD WITH WATER SECTOR PRIVATISATION Saudi Arabia has announced the establishment of the Water Transmission and Technologies Company (WTTCO), the kingdom’s first entity formed after it embarked on a privatisation programme in its water sector.
of production costs. The relevant data were obtained from FDI Benchmark, an international data platform, part of the Financial Times Group, FIPA specified. As regards the costs of the information technology, the posts of IT user support analyst and Senior IT Support Specialist are two services with the lowest unit costs in Tunisia. The first position has the lowest unit costs in Tunisia with net costs of $619 (equivalent to TD1,687.73) per month, followed by Turkey ($649 dollars) and Morocco ($893 dollars). The second position has the lowest unit costs in Tunisia with net costs of $813 dollars (the equivalent of TD2215.91) per month, followed by Turkey ($1,029) and Romania ($1,138). Regarding electricity, the unit costs of electricity supplied to industrial customers, all costs and charges included, are the lowest in Tunisia with WTTCO will manage and maintain water transmission, distribution and storage systems that span more than 8,400km and transmit more than seven million cubic metres per day of desalinated water across the country. The company will work to achieve higher efficiency and impact for the sector, while driving innovation in water technology and research. Closely aligned to the Saudi 2030 vision, WTTCO’s arrival is one of the most important transformations seen in the water sector to date, added the statement.
The arrival of the WTTCO was enacted by the Saudi Council of Ministers and announced by AbdulRahman bin Abdul-Mohsen Al-Fadhli, the Saudi minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture. The company’s launch marks a major step by The Supervisory Committee for the Privatisation of the Environment, Water, and Agriculture Sector towards restructuring the Kingdom’s water sector, said a company statement.
The new company – owned by the government – represents a quantum leap in the integration of the water sector as WTTCO will operate commercially to maximize the use of assets and achieve greater spending efficiency, while also decreasing supply chain costs.
SAUDI MINING INVESTMENT LAW TAKES EFFECT IN JANUARY 2021
The Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) is one of the largest surveys in the world, with the budget for all its stages amounting to SR2 billion. It aims to collect and analyze over 110,000 samples of valley sediments and heavy metals in the Arabian Shield over the next six years.
The recently approved mining investment law will be fully activated by January 2021, said Khalid Al-Mudaifer, vice minister for mining affairs, Ministry of Industry, and Mineral Resources. The law aims to revolutionize the Kingdom’s mining sector and boost its contribution to the gross domestic product by over SR240 billion ($64 billion), reduce imports by SR37 billion, and create 200,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030. It will facilitate the establishment of a mining fund to provide sustainable finance for the sector as well as support geological survey and exploration programs. Consisting of 63 articles, the law will help optimize mineral resources in the Kingdom, which, according to experts, are valued at SR5 trillion. To support the mining sector, the Kingdom has also launched a National Geological Database to provide access to 10,000 mining reports and 80 years of national data. During a recent webinar titled “General geological survey program a founding pillar for the growth of investment in the Saudi mining sector,” Al-Mudaifer described the survey program as instrumental in developing the sector along modern lines to achieve the national strategic goals.
Abdul-Mohsen Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, chairman of the Supervisory Committee
The vice minister said the recently launched mining programs will help improve the mining sector’s governance, increase transparency and streamline business procedures. He said the geological data collection from the program would help the relevant authorities make informed decisions to boost the mining sector and its contribution to the national economy.
“Everyone can access this data through the web-based Ta’adin platform,” he said. Stephan Sander, co-president at Sander Geophysics Ltd., said his company will carry out an airborne magnetic and radiometric survey in the northeastern part of the Arabian Shield.
costs of $ 0.0770 per kWh, followed by Turkey (0.09 dollars per KWH) and Romania (0.09 dollars per KWH), according to the report. In comparison with 6 countries namely: France, Morocco, Germany, Romania, Italy, Turkey, Tunisia has the lowest unit costs for industrial gas with costs of $0.1498 (the equivalent of TD0.409) per cubic metre, followed by Turkey ($0.24) and Italy ($0.31). As for the costs of public services for the enterprises operating in the automotive components sector and compared to the results of the other 6 countries, Tunisia has the lowest public service costs with $423,365 / year (i.e. the equivalent of TD1,152 million), followed by Turkey and Romania with respective annual costs of $521,415 and $578,181.
Tunisian News Agency TAP for the Privatisation of the Environment, Water and Agriculture Sector, and chairman of the Board of Directors of Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), expressed his appreciation for the decision of the Saudi Council of Ministers to establish WTTCO to achieve the goals of the National Water Strategy and the Privatisation Programme, which will enhance water services to achieve future growth and sustainability. Al-Fadhli said the establishment of WTTCO was a historic step in enhancing the efficiency and organisation of the water sector while contributing to a prosperous future for the Saudi economy. The water sector will do so by attracting more than SAR 60 billion in investment in water transmission and strategic storage systems, through the private sector’s participation in funding future projects.
M E Construction News
EGYPT’S NEW CUSTOMS LAW COMES INTO EFFECT The Egyptian Customs Authority started this week the implementation of the new law on customs services, Al Mal News reported. The new act came into effect after President Abdel Fattah el Sisi ratified its bill over the weekend of 14-15 November, the news portal added.
He also said the project includes training of SGS employees. The training program will focus on geophysical data acquisition, preliminary and final data processing, quality control, and data interpretation, Sander added.
The law allows for expedited clearance, with its top changes including the introduction of electronic methods and automation.
Dr. Peter K. Zawada, managing director of International Geoscience Services, highlighted the importance of data collection using modern techniques.
Unnamed sources at the finance ministry had previously expected the new act to come to force during the first half of 2020.
Speakers at the webinar also highlighted the importance of the SGS and the geological database and the impact of the new law on the sector. Arab News
E - L E A R N I N G
O N L I N E
The Arab-British Chamber of Commerce is delivering a series of courses designed to educate and train companies on the procedures of importing and exporting. These courses are designed for companies new to international trade as well as those experienced in it looking to refresh and update their knowledge and skillset. Below are the details of the courses on offer.
Introduction to Exporting Customs Procedures and Documentation IncotermsÂŽ 2020 Customs Procedures and Documentation AND IncotermsÂŽ 2020 Import Procedures Preference Rules of Origin Import Procedures AND Preference Rules of Origin
To find out more please contact: Ms Randa El-Daouk T:+44(0) 207 659 4891 E: Randa@abcc.org.uk
Arab British Chamber E-Bulletin December 2020 Latest International Business Issues, National Business News, Investment, Country Spotlight,...
Published on Dec 15, 2020
Arab British Chamber E-Bulletin December 2020 Latest International Business Issues, National Business News, Investment, Country Spotlight,...