Latest Diplomatic Crisis impacts Dubai City

The Gulf countries plunging into their latest diplomatic crisis impacts Dubai city. This crisis by all accounts would definitely have some bearing on that city that tied its future to that of being a centre for the whole and detail retail trade not only for the GCC countries. It is and by far the main point of convergence of all world imports destined for Qatar. All goods whether from Europe, the Americas and / or the Asian sub-continents would automatically transit by Dubai’s Jebel Ali. Up to now that is. The analytics of such blockade of Qatar will shortly be available if however these were not to be willfully distorted for those obvious reasons. We will dwell here on oil and gas related exports that also but only in part pass through some GCC ports before leaving the Gulf.
Meanwhile what are the consequences of the above mentioned blockade of Qatar on Dubai? For instance on its ports and airports. What about its banking system. Could we take the proposed article as some sort of an answer? Although it is that of an expert, we believe that the Qatar boycott has not been factored in yet and if that were to be, it could not affect Dubai but possibly the whole of the Gulf countries . . . .

Advertisements
The Gulf countries plunging into their latest diplomatic crisis impacts Dubai city. This crisis would by all accounts and definitely have some bearing on that city that tied its future to that of being a centre for the whole and detail retail trade not only for the GCC countries but for the whole region.  It is and by far the main point of convergence of all world imports destined for Qatar.  All goods whether from Europe, the Americas and / or the Asian sub-continents would automatically transit by Dubai’s Jebel Ali.  Up to now that is.  The analytics of such blockade of Qatar will shortly be available if however these were not to be willfully distorted for those obvious reasons. We will not dwell here on oil and gas related exports that also but only in part pass through some GCC ports before leaving the Gulf.
Meanwhile what are the consequences of the above mentioned blockade of Qatar on Dubai?  For instance on its ports and airports.  What about its banking system.  Could we take the proposed article as some sort of an answer?  Although it is that of an expert, we believe that the Qatar boycott has not been factored in yet and if that were to be, it could not only affect Dubai but possibly the whole of the Gulf countries.

Dubai’s retail sector faces short-term hiccups as rents fall

Landlords offer tenant-friendly terms to retain them, says JLL.

Dubai’s retail sector will continue to face challenges in the short-term, but long term prospects are bright, according to JLL.

In its latest Dubai real estate report, the global consultancy said the sector witnessed single digit rent declines in the second quarter of the year, confirming the fact that the market remained under pressure.

“While the short-term picture for retail in Dubai is challenging due to the slowdown in the rate of economic growth and the strength of the US dollar, the medium to longer-term picture remains more positive,” it said.

Given the high supply, landlords continued to adopt approaches to leasing that are favourable to tenants, in order to retain them, JLL said.

According to the report, only one neighbourhood retail mall was completed in Jumeirah Islands, adding 2,800 square meter (sqm) of gross leasing area (GLA). Nearly 220,000 sqm of GLA is currently under construction that is expected to be completed by year-end, with The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah and Marsa Al Seef in Al Hamriya expected to contribute more than 50 percent of the total.  Dubailand will add nearly 40,000 sqm of GLA which is scheduled to be finished in the second half.

JLL said Dubai undoubtedly is the leading retail location in the Gulf region, with 3.39 million sqm of retail malls, ahead of other major cities such as Abu Dhabi (2.62 million sqm), Jeddah (1.21 million sqm) and Riyadh (1.17 million sqm). On an international scale, Dubai has approximately twice as much retail space per capita as London, indicating its reputation as a major international retail hub.

The consultancy said delays may occur given the soft market conditions.

“The pressure to complete and hand over projects is expected to intensify in the coming two years, in anticipation of the potential boost to retail spending around Expo 2020,” the consultancy said.

The retail sector, JLL said, continues to evolve, with retail brands and centres merging both online and offline experiences as lines between bricks and mortar and online retailers blur.

In the second quarter, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it expected e-commerce to account for 10 percent of Dubai’s total retail trade in the near future.

 

 

Saudi Arabia is banning Egyptian Agriculture

According to a report of Reuters dated Sunday June 18, 2017, Saudi Arabia is banning Egyptian Agriculture. It is in the midst of what is called the Gulf crisis in which Egypt sided with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in blockading Qatar.  Egypt is well known since ancient times to produce along the Nile and its delta a wide range of traditionally grown cereals. More recently these include rice that became one of the major field crops and the second most important export crop after cotton.  The country’s exports include all other vegetables and fruits like for instance the object of this article Strawberries.

According to a report of Reuters dated Sunday June 18, 2017, Saudi Arabia is banning Egyptian Agriculture. It is in the midst of what is called the Gulf crisis in which Egypt sided with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in blockading Qatar.  Egypt is well known since ancient times to produce along the Nile and its delta a wide range of traditionally grown cereals. More recently these include rice that became one of the major field crops and the second most important export crop after cotton.  The country’s exports include all other vegetables and fruits like for instance the object of this article Strawberries.
On the other hand Saudi Arabia despite its harsh climate and predominantly desert lands produces cereals, vegetables and fruits including of course date-palm.
Once again, it is to be noted that dialogue appears to be a no way of resolving matters of diversion and / or is completely absent between the parties.  Banning seems to be the ready made tool to brandish everytime a problem arises.

Saudi Arabia bans imports of Egyptian strawberries

CAIRO (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia is banning imports of Egyptian strawberries due to pesticide residues, said Abdel Hamid al-Demerdash, the head of Egypt’s Agriculture Export Council, the latest such ban to hit Egypt as it struggles to revive its economy.

The temporary ban comes into effect on July 11, Demerdash told Reuters on Sunday, adding that the memo received from Saudi Arabia did not specify the levels of residues detected or name the companies that have committed violations.

“Egypt will not face large losses due to the ban as the exporting season for strawberries ended on April 10,” Demerdash said. He added that strawberries represent 5-10 percent of the country’s total agricultural exports.

Since a currency float in November, which roughly cut the pound’s value in half, Egyptian exports have been welcomed in new markets due to their increased competitiveness.

Exports of Egyptian vegetables, fruits and legumes amounted to $2.2 billion last year. The main fruit exports include oranges and strawberries.

A series of bans of Egyptian exports however has hurt the image of an import-dependent country seeking to step up exports and curb imports in an effort to narrow its trade deficit.

Exports could also help bring in desperately needed foreign currency that has been low in supply as a result of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that drove away tourists and investors.

Sudan banned imports of agricultural and animal products from Egypt last month.

The United Arab Emirates also banned imports of peppers from Egypt a month earlier

“I expect the crisis of Egyptian agricultural exports to Arab countries to be resolved before the beginning of the new export season which begins mid-November,” Demerdash said.

Egypt exports about 1.2 million tonnes of agricultural produce to Arab countries annually, he added.

Russia temporarily banned imports of Egyptian fruit and vegetables at the end of last year shortly after a Hepatitis A scare in North America was linked to frozen Egyptian strawberries.

Russia’s temporary ban came shortly after Egypt rejected wheat shipments containing traces of the common grain fungus ergot. Russia denied the two issues were related.

(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; writing by Arwa Gaballa; editing by Louise Heavens)

© Thomson Reuters 2017 All rights reserved

 

France’s presidential elections impacting Algeria

And the prospects of mutual cooperation . . .

The two countries confronted to their specific challenges ought to have a common vision in order to contribute to a prosperous future as based on genuine co-development and not on obscuring the memory of a shared past for long lasting relationships. The recent France’s presidential elections impacting Algeria, are looked at here as positively as they could be in so many years. [ . . . ]

And the prospects of mutual cooperation . . .

The two countries  confronted to their specific challenges ought to have a common vision in order to contribute to a prosperous future as based on genuine co-development and not on obscuring the memory of a shared past for long lasting relationships. The recent France’s presidential elections impacting Algeria, are looked at here as positively as they could be in so many years.

The 187 odd years of very close relationship between the two countries will certainly be in the agendas of each as the renewed French leadership confronted to challenges from all around is settling down shortly for business anew.    

It is about preparing the future through mutual respect; a point that I always made during my various meetings with political and economic personalities, and maintained that Algeria should not be considered as a market only. It is in this context that a co-partnership between Algeria and France, far from prejudice and spirit of domination must be inscribed.

We must be aware that the new international relations are no more based on relationships between heads of State, but on custom networks and on decentralized organizations through the involvement of notably business and civil society cooperation, dialogue of cultures, tolerance and the symbiosis of the contributions of the East and the West.

Because it might be unproductive to be and remain locked in distant positions as the latest events should rather make us think of to how avoid antagonising each other beliefs be it religious.  After all Islam, Christianity or Judaism did contribute to the development of civilization.

Future relations between Algeria and France must also concern the Maghreb-Europe space and more generally the Mediterranean-Europe area. Our two countries can be dynamic agents, because southern Europe and the Maghreb cannot escape adaptation to the current global changes (the present crisis already causing upheaval in both socio-economic and geo-strategic) and more generally throughout the Mediterranean region.

Because it is necessary to go beyond narrow chauvinist nationalism insofar as real nationalism will be defined in the future as the ability to together expand the standard of living of our people by our contribution to the global value.

Today’s world is characterized by interdependence. This does not mean the end of the role of the State but a separation of politics and economics which cannot be the vagaries of the economic climate, the State dedicated to its natural role as regulator of macroeconomic and macro-social life.  I firmly believe and after analysis that the intensification of the cooperation between  Algeria and France not forgetting all other cooperation between Algeria and the USA, all emerging countries such as China, Japan, India, the Brazil, Turkey, South Korea and Russia etc…

And in a more comprehensive way between the Maghreb and Europe as based on a genuine co-development, partnership, the introduction of direct investment would upset the bureaucratic behaviour conservative annuitants and enrol them in a dynamic perspective that is beneficial to the peoples of the region thus helping to  turn the Mediterranean into a lake of peace and prosperity.  The Mediterranean can be that place of rational networking to communicate with distant cultures, encouraging the symbiosis of contributions of the East and the West.

This network should facilitate communication links, freedom insofar as the excesses of the collective voluntarism inhibit any spirit of creativity. It is that the Maghreb and Europe are two geographic areas with an opening on the Latinity millennial experience and the Arab world with natural links and overall culture and Anglo-Saxon influences…

It is essential that Europe developed all actions that can be implemented to achieve a desirable balance within this set. In fact the formation of weak regional economic areas is a step of structural adjustment within the globalized economy with for a goal to promote political democracy, – a humanized, competitive market economy – promotion of ideas through social and cultural debates so as to combat extremism and racism – the implementation of common business whilst never forgetting that these are driven by the logic of profit and not emotions.

Thus, it is necessary to pay special attention to the educational action because human thinking and creation should in the future be the beneficiary and the leading actor in the development process. That’s why I would advocate the creation of a Euro-Maghrebine University as a cultural center as well as a central Euro Mediterranean bank as a facilitator for all Exchange.

It is in this context that a realistic approach must be apprehended so as to the co-partnership between Algeria and France taking into account all potentialities.  At the global level, we are witnessing the evolution of a built-up passed based on a purely material vision, characterized by hierarchical rigid organizations, to a new mode of accumulation based on the mastery of knowledge, of new technologies and flexible organizations as networking around the world, with globally segmented supply chains of production where investment in comparative advantages takes place in sub-segments of these channels.

As rightly noted by Jean-Louis Guigou, President of IPEMED (Institute of Prospective Economic of the Mediterranean world, in Paris), it should be that, in the interest of both of the Algerians and of the French, and more generally of the Maghreb and the Europeans as well as all South-Mediterranean populations, the boundaries of the common market of the future, the borders of Schengen in the future, the borders of social protection in the future the borders of the environmental requirements of tomorrow, must be South of the Morocco, the Tunisia and Algeria, South and East of the Lebanon, Syria, of the Jordan and the Turkey, through a lasting peace in the Middle East, Arab and Jewish populations with a thousand-year history of peaceful coexistence.

Specifically, Algeria and France have economically other strengths and potential for the promotion of diverse activities and this experience can be an example of this global partnership becoming the privileged axis of the re-balancing of the South of Europe by amplification and the tightening of links and exchanges in different forms. Per the official foreign trade balance of Algeria in 2016, the countries of the European Union are still its main partners, with the respective proportions of 47.47% and 57.95% of exports and imports.  Italy is the main customer and France the main supplier.

Between France and Algeria, trade can be intensified in all areas, i.e.: agriculture, industry, services, tourism, education, not to mention cooperation in the military field, where Algeria can be an active player, as shown by its efforts to bring stability to the region.

Also, let’s not forget the diaspora with residents of Algerian origin in France that would exceed 4 million, including more than 2 million bi-nationals. This regardless of the numbers is an essential element of reconciliation between Algeria and France, because it holds significant intellectual, economic and financial potential. The promotion of the relations between Algeria and its emigrant community should be mobilized in various stages of intervention initiatives of all the parties concerned, namely the Government, diplomatic missions, universities, entrepreneurs and civil society.

Hence, any intensification of this cooperation won’t possible – whilst not forgetting the duty of memory – if Algeria and France have a realistic approach to the co-partnership for a win-win partnership away from any mercantilism and spirit of domination. The two countries must have a common vision of their future.

Algeria can overcome its current difficulties but the success of national and international industrial partnerships is not feasible without a total renovation of all central and local governance systems with a coherent vision based on both political, social, economic structural reforms including financial market, land and property market, labour and especially reform of the socio-educational system, at the dawn of the fourth technological revolution.

The objective for Algeria is to commit for structural reform, whilst assuming a broad internal mobilization of the social front, tolerating the different sensitivities, in the face of the many challenges in order to allow Algeria to emerge, in the medium and long term.  For this, the dominance of the bureaucratic approach must give way to economic operational approach, with positive social and economic impacts. Also, in the face of the new global changes, Algeria undergoing this transition towards a productive economy closely tied to its energy transition, needs an accumulation of technological and management expertise with assistance from its foreign partners.

In short, Algeria and France are key actors for the stability of the region, and that any destabilization of Algeria would have negative geo-strategic repercussions throughout the Mediterranean and African region, as I pointed out in my interview on December 28, 2016, the American Herald Tribune (3).

And of course, subject to Algeria furthering into the rule of law, democratization of society and that it’s reorienting its economic policy in order to achieve sustainable development. The current tensions between Algeria and France are only temporary, as per information gathered with friends of mine in France.

It is only in this context that cooperation must return for a win-win partnership far from all prejudice and in mutual respect.

 

Notes : See recent contributions and international interviews of Professor Abderrahmane Mebtoul

  1. -«Wahl in Algerien Der Graben ist tief – wer stimmt ab?» – www.tagesschau.de –ARD-  04/05/2017
  2. -« Après Glavany et Macron… « Dépassionner les relations entre l’Algérie et la France » quotidien financier  français la Tribune .Fr 19 février 2017 – (“After Glavany and Macron…» “Take the heat out the relationship between Algeria and France” by French financial daily la Tribune.fr  19 February 2017)
  3.  – American Herald Tribune 28/12/2016 «  Prof. Abderrahmane Mebtoul: Any Destabilization of Algeria would have Geo-strategic Repercussions on all the Mediterranean and African Space
  4.  -Interviews with the weekly Point Afrique (Paris-24/03/2016) and the Express (07/04/2016, Paris) on the prospects for co-operation Algeria-France.
  5.  -This theme was developed by Prof. Abderrahmane Mebtoul, on 7 April 2016 in Marseille at the Mediterranean Villa

 

 

UAE banning all Fruit and Vegetable imports

Early this week, all GCC media covered the latest move of the Government of the UAE banning all fruit and vegetable imports form selected countries.  These happened to be those of the neighbouring Middle Eastern countries of Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen where trading their agricultural products must represent good earnings.
The pretext of such a decision is to protect the UAE’s populations from pesticides contaminated fruits and vegetables. The Government maintains that the said countries affected by the ban must submit certificates documenting all their products were free of pesticide residues prior for imports to resume and that they would be required to comply with the UAE’s standards of food safety.
At the same time, the continuing violence in Yemen seems to be fuelling one of the most incredible in this day and age famine with millions either malnourished or starving of hunger and thirst.

UAE bans import of vegetables, fruits from select countries

Ban covers certain produce from Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen that contain higher level of pesticides

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has banned imports of certain vegetables and fruits from select countries with effect from May 15 as those products have been found to contain pesticide residues in excess of permissible limits.

The counties that will be impacted by the ban include Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen.

The maximum permitted levels of pesticide residues in foods are stipulated by regulatory bodies in the UAE.

Exposure of the general population to such residues most commonly occurs through the consumption of treated food sources.

 

LIST

All varieties of pepper from Egypt, pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, squash, beans and eggplant from Jordan, apples from Lebanon, melons, carrots and watercress from Oman and all types of fruit from Yemen are on the list of banned produce.

The countries impacted by the ban have been requested to provide a certificate of analysis of pesticide residues for all other vegetables and fruits stating that they are free of such residues as of May 15, 2017.

The relevant ministries in these countries have also been asked to comply with the food safety standards adopted by the UAE.

The ban on the above mentioned produce will continue until the necessary safety requirements are met and pesticide residues are cleared.

Through its sophisticated laboratories accredited by the British Commission for Accreditation (UKAS), the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment works relentlessly to analyze pesticide residues in all fresh produce and processed food in line with best international standards.

Food safety

Food safety is a core priority of the UAE’s food security system.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment continues its efforts to provide healthy and safe food to consumers in line with global best practices and the objectives of the UAE National Agenda and the UAE Vision 2021.

Enhancing food safety and sustaining local production are strategic priorities for MOCCAE. Furthermore, the Ministry is also keen to ensure that all foodstuffs and products in the country, both domestically produced and imported, are safe for consumption.

 

 

Malls and most exclusive Shopping Centers in the GCC

Shopping generally in the Middle East in 2016 statistics showed despite all predictions, an unabated upward trend and is now being taken fairly seriously by the countries of the GCCs leadership [ . . . ]

Shopping generally in the Middle East in 2016 statistics showed despite all predictions, an unabated upward trend and is now being taken fairly seriously by the countries of the GCCs leadership in their drive towards diversification of their respective economies. In the shopping infrastructure and profusely omnipresent throughout the numerous malls and most exclusive Shopping Centers in the GCC are the top notch locally franchised brands of imported luxury range of clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc. mainly from Europe.
Dubai, for instance has over the years become the ultimate champion city in the range and variety spread of facilities starting with its airport Duty Free area and culminating with its planned Expo 2020.
Meantime, more retail space is being provided in Dubai as well as throughout the GCCs like these  shown here below as the newest 9 malls that were developed and / or completed last year. These are listed according to their size.
  1. Mall of the World, Dubai,
To be fully completed before 2020
  1. Nakheel Mall, Dubai
To be completed this year
  1. Mall of Saudi, Riyadh,
To be completed in 2022
  1. Al Diriyah Festival City Mall, Riyadh
Completion date not known to date.
  1. Mall of Qatar, Doha
Already completed in 2016 and open to the public
  1. Doha Festival City Mall, Doha
Completed and open to the public in 2016
  1. Mall of Oman, Muscat
To be completed in 2020
  1. City Center of Ishbiliyah, Riyadh
To be completed in 2018
  1. The Pointe Mall, Dubai ,
Completed in 2016
An article of TradeArabia of 4 days ago, gives a good account on the latest in the domain and is rpublished here below.

The Middle East eyes luxury shopping tourism crown

London may have recently been named as the world capital for luxury store openings in 2016, but when it comes to a place that is vying to be the ultimate destination for luxury shopping tourism, the Middle East is set to take this crown.

 

Despite cities such as Paris, London and New York, the UAE has established itself as luxury shopping paradise with more than 50 shopping mega malls, regular shopping festivals, and leading designer goods, available tax-free.

 

And thanks to the latest tourism figures, with Dubai alone pulling in 14.9 million visitors in 2016 and Dubai International Airport still being the world’s busiest airport, with expectations of traffic at over 89 million in 2017, this surge of travellers in the region is cementing its appeal as a luxury shopping haven.

 

And other destinations are also rising up the ranks. In Abu Dhabi – the capital of the UAE – guest stays were up by 8 per cent in 2016, with over 4.4 million tourists clocking up a staggering 12 million guest nights, with the UK ranking number one in terms of the amount of tourists visiting from Europe. This increase in foreign tourists represents a new record for the capital of the UAE.

 

In addition to a long list of luxury brands and a wide variety of retail choices, the UAE’s shopping centre’s have also been globally recognised for their distinctive amenities such as one-of-a-kind ski slopes and their proximity to the iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. This also includes Yas Mall, which has been built on an island, and is home to the Yas Marina Circuit which sees record numbers of international visitors attend for the Formula One every year.

 

And when it comes to retailers, it seems the market is also booming. The UAE, is perceived as a key long-term entry market for companies, with many entering the market or expanding their stores in the region, resulting in more intensified competition on the international global shopping stage.

 

With an expertise spanning six decades, one of the leading player’s in the world of beauty, fashion and gifts, The Chalhoub Group, is helping to lead this retail evolution for luxury shopping tourism globally. Its specialty department store, TRYANO in Yas Mall, bears testament to this.

With over 20,000-sq-ft of retail space and a collection of over 250 coveted international and local brands, shoppers visiting the store, which runs across three levels, experience a ‘Sculpture Garden’, a deconstructed ‘Greenhouse’ and the ‘Fountain of Youth’, an interactive digital fountain that comes to life in streams of dancing LED lights that glitter and pulse to echo visitors’ movements

TradeArabia News Service

UAE and India to enjoy stronger trade and cultural ties

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a GDP of about $350 billion and a high GDP per capita, but it is a commodity-based economy, with hydrocarbons accounting for 40% of total exports and 38% of its GDP [ . . . ]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a GDP of about $350 billion and a high GDP per capita, but it is a commodity-based economy, with hydrocarbons accounting for 40% of total exports and 38% of its GDP. In its drive towards diversifying its economy and reduce its dependence on oil revenues, the UAE programmed for tourism, financial and construction sectors to receive most of its investments. Meanwhile, manufacturing activity accounted for 42% of output growth, transport and communication for 23%, wholesale and retail trade for 16.5% and catering and hospitality for 15.5% whilst construction and agriculture contracted these last 2 years. All of these activities are manned by active populations which according to all governments agencies and local media are made of more than 85% of expatriate population with 71% mostly Indian. The UAE and India to enjoy stronger trade and cultural ties further have to come together in a range of agreements .

Arabian Business.com  came up on Monday, 13 March 2017 with this article by Hamad Buamim, thus providing an idea as it were from the inside to show where the UAE’s heart lies hence the subject of the proposed article on tying ever more closer relationships with India. Like all countries of the GCC, the UAE has some difficulty in accepting to apply some sort of minimal fair ‘Equal Opportunity’ treatment to all their residents, if only to sedenterise them better. It must however be said on this chapter, the UAE have prominently shown the way, by being at the forefront of the other members of the GCCs.

Why the UAE is forging closer ties with India

[ . . . ] The UAE and India have enjoyed strong trade and cultural ties that date back more than a century. This unique relationship has strengthened in recent decades amid an increase in bilateral trade and investment. Non-oil trade between India and Dubai has accounted for the largest volume of trade, amounting to $19bn in the first nine months of 2016, and solidifying India’s position as the emirate’s second-largest trading partner.

The Indian business community in the UAE has contributed significantly to bilateral relations and trade. In fact, 29 percent of all new companies that registered with Dubai Chamber last year were Indian, bringing the total number of Indian members to over 36,000. At the same time, India remains one of the top export markets for Dubai Chamber members, with exports and re-exports to the country growing steadily in recent years to reach $1.7bn by the end of 2016.

Yet, we see huge potential within India’s fast-growing economy that has yet to be explored. The two countries share many synergies, especially within the areas of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and metals.

The world’s fifth-largest economy has renewed its focus on foreign trade, while it has also outpaced China in exports of locally made retail and lifestyle products. At the same time, it has stepped up efforts to strengthen its economic cooperation with the UAE in the areas of agriculture, food security, energy, defence, technology and healthcare.

India has put forth a clear roadmap to fuel future economic growth that places a major emphasis on expanding its infrastructure and boosting foreign direct investment. The country is building several cluster cities and recently opened its first international finance services centre in Ahmedabad. New policies are also focussed on turning India into a manufacturing hub for pharmaceutical and medical products under the “Make In India” initiative.

There are also exciting new technologies that India is embracing, such as blockchain, which has now been successfully tested by the country’s central bank.   Smart city concepts are also gaining momentum and the adoption of innovative solutions stands to make the country a major hotspot for smart city developments.

As a country that has excelled in rapidly expanding its infrastructure and economy, I believe that the UAE can offer the right level of expertise and investment needed to meet growing demand within India and help turn the country’s ambitions into a reality. [ . . . ]

Empire 2.0 for the Brexit from the European Union

The people of Britain voted for a British exit from the European Union (EU) in a historic referendum on 23 June 2016. What does the Brexit as labelled by all, mean for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland countries [ . . . ]

The people of Britain voted for a British exit from the European Union (EU) in a historic referendum on 23 June 2016. What does the Brexit as labelled by all, mean for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland countries and their peoples? How about each and every aspect of its life and relations with its neighbouring countries of Europe? Could Empire 2.0 for the Brexit from the European Union be the panacea? What about all those countries of the MENA region that never adhered to the Commonwealth proper and yet were and still are either under or within the British sphere of influence?
Here is a view from The Conversation as narrated by Stan Neal , Teaching Fellow in Colonial/Global History, University of Leicester on the present happenings following that seismic Brexit vote. This is literally trying the British parliamentary system to an unprecedented straining level. The Conversation reviews the historical background of the currently debated rebound jump as a palliative replacement to the now vanishing away EU.

The Commonwealth and Britain: the trouble with ‘Empire 2.0’

As Britain prepares to leave the EU, its new international trade secretary is talking up the potential of trade with the 52 nations that make up the old British empire. Some have even dubbed Liam Fox’s meeting with Commonwealth leaders to discuss trade “Empire 2.0”.

There is an irony here. It comes at a time when populist critiques of the economic consequences of globalisation are frequently combined with nostalgia for Britain’s imperial past. But these views neglect the fact that the British Empire was itself a key agent for economic globalisation and the mass movement of migrant workers in the 19th century.

There appears to be a consensus that Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the US are the result of low and middle income workers rejecting globalisation – specifically the integration of economies, industries and markets, and the connected movement of goods and workers across national borders.

Liam Fox. Chatham HouseCC BY

Brexit is framed as a “backlash” against globalisation, led by those who have been “left behind” as they struggle to find jobs due to competition from migrant workers, while traditional manufacturing jobs move overseas.

At the same time, the historical links afforded by the British Empire have been presented as an alternative to economic over-reliance on Europe. Since the referendum, these Commonwealth nations have been described as “desperate” to agree to free trade deals. And Fox’s meeting with 30 Commonwealth ministers in London appears to confirm that there is more than just imperial nostalgia at play.

Overlooking some facts

There are two big issues with the imperialist view of Britain’s global future. It is based on an over positive view of the British Empire. As argued by the academic Alan Lester, public discussion of Britain’s imperial past tends to focus on positive rather than negative aspects. Plus, it tends to overlook the historical role of the British Empire in facilitating economic globalisation and mass migration.

The First Opium War (1839-1842) is among the most infamous examples of the British Empire’s role in economic globalisation. The opium trade involved private companies smuggling the highly addictive, and prohibited, drug from British India to China. When the Chinese destroyed British-owned opium in an attempt to stop the trade, the British government dispatched gunboats to both restore national honour and guarantee access to this lucrative export market.

Chinese opium den. Thomas Allom (1858).

At the end of the conflict, in which Britain’s naval technology ensured a decisive victory, the Treaty of Nanjing opened up China’s economy to the world. The treaty required large compensation payments from China, ceded the island of Hong Kong to the British, opened five Chinese treaty ports to foreign trade and ensured that British subjects in China were protected by British laws.

This opening of China to British traders was a key moment in economic globalisation. The Treaty of Nanjing was the first of a number of “unequal treaties” that saw China grant similar concessions to foreign powers. In Chinese history it is seen as the start of China’s “century of humiliation” at the hands of foreign imperialism.

Free trade, free movement

British advocates of opening China to foreign trade, such as the opium smuggler James Matheson, criticised the Chinese market as an archaic monopoly. The Opium War was justified as part of the necessary destruction of economic protectionism, which was heavily criticised by British proponents of free trade.

But the free movement of British goods into China was matched by the movement of people out of China. The opening of the Treaty Ports to foreign powers, economic crisis in Southern China (a consequence of the opium trade) and the discovery of gold in various colonial locations provided the context for some of the largest mass migrations of the 19th century.

A popular destination for Chinese migrants were the British colonies in Australia. Around 55,000 migrants left southern China for Australia between 1851 and 1875. But Chinese immigration met with opposition from Australia’s white working class. Beginning in Victoria in 1855, the second half of the 19th century saw a series of colonial measures designed to prevent Chinese immigration. This culminated in the White Australia policy in 1901.

The contradiction between the British Empire’s role as an agent of economic globalisation and the opposition of white colonists to Chinese immigration was pointed out by Chinese migrants in 1879. In response to the exclusionary political rhetoric sweeping Australia, Lowe Kong Meng, Cheok Hong Chong and Louis Ah Mouy argued:

This outflow of our population was never sought by us. Western powers, armed with the formidable artillery with which modern science has supplied them, battered down the portals of the empire; and, having done so, insisted upon keeping them open.

Empire, economic globalisation and mass migration were connected.

The British Empire did not just open economic markets to trade, it facilitated the movement of migrant workers in the 19th century and beyond. To suggest that the empire offers a potential model for Britain’s role in the world today is to misunderstand this history.