GTR MENA 2020
Simon moderated a panel entitled, "Data analysis: To what extent do trade flows reflect new relationships and dynamics?” The panel addressed the contradiction that whilst tensions over relations with countries such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey have closed some doors in the West, relations between the MENA region and markets such as Asia and Africa have continued to flourish. It examined to what extent trade flows have caught up to reflect these trends and outlined some of the key factors driving these shifts, including:
- To what extent have Chinese activities created trade finance opportunities for local banks and corporates? Are we seeing more initiatives and collaborations in sectors such as technology?
- With billions of dollars pledged into African projects from across the globe, to what extent can the region be regarded as the hub into Africa for markets such as China?
- With reports of infrastructure/capex spending down, what impact is this likely to have on initiatives such as BRI? To what extent has it evolved from an infrastructure flow to a trade one?
- How important is a more transactional focus and lack of broader agenda when it comes to helping MENA assess the potential attractiveness of new business partners?