Author Archives: Paul Cochrane

UAE: China’s gateway to the Middle East

UAE: China’s gateway to the Middle East

Reading Time: 2 minutes The United Arab Emirates is positioning itself as China’s gateway to the Middle East and Africa (MEA). The action is focused on Dubai, where there are an estimated 200,000 Chinese residents.  The Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC) has been trying to market itself as a hub for Chinese corporations — public and private alike —

China and America’s battle over the Middle East

Reading Time: 4 minutes The consequences of China’s economic interests in the Middle East and North Africa involve a layer of investments on political and security levels. One such cost is in securing the safety of energy transports and another is in the provision of defense forces around the region with military hardware. An assessment of these investments reinforces

China still easing into Middle Eastern investments

Reading Time: 6 minutes Chinese firms have been investing in blue chip companies, snapping up high-end real estate and logistics firms around the world.  Shanghai International bought American meat company Smithfield for $4.7 billion in May, and China Merchants Holdings (International) Company acquired a 49 percent equity stake in port operator giant CMA CGM’s Terminal Link in June. But

The Far East comes near

Reading Time: 3 minutes That China is a rising global power is a given, although whether the People’s Republic will eventually usurp the United States as world hegemon is hotly debated. But as a saying goes in the Far East that reflects the region’s burgeoning confidence: “Europe was yesterday’s power, today it is the US, and tomorrow it will

Sponsoring slavery

Reading Time: 3 minutes Every minute, one person is sold over an international border. Human trafficking is now the fastest growing international crime; it is second in size only to the drug trade and ahead of arms trafficking, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Due to its nature as a hidden crime, there are no

Investing the money well

Reading Time: 4 minutes Lebanon’s progress to cultivate wealth from its offshore oil and gas resources has left us with more questions than answers. While the country will not extract any resources for at least five years, the agreements being negotiated in the next 12 months will determine whether Lebanon gets a good deal or not. Over the course

‘Qatargate’ breaks open

Reading Time: 3 minutes When Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup back in 2010, football fans around the globe were astounded at the decision. Many were suspicious, given that they could not even place the tiny Gulf peninsula on a map. Few knew Qatar even had a national football team. Moreover, Doha seemed a

Beijing’s Saudi gamble

Reading Time: 3 minutes It is one of those economic oddities that Saudi Arabia, regularly the world’s top oil producer, does not set the price for the oil it sells. While potentially wielding great influence over global supplies of oil through ramping up or decreasing production, the kingdom limits itself to operating within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’

The dollar’s the boss

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lebanon first fell into the crosshairs of the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in 2011. Pressure from OFAC — effectively the world’s anti-money laundering (AML) and counterterrorist financing (CTF) enforcer — saw one Lebanese bank go under for money laundering charges in the first quarter of 2011, and

Lebanese move towards smaller cars

Reading Time: 8 minutes It has been a year most car dealerships would not like to see repeated. The economic downturn, inflation, high gas prices and political uncertainty have taken their toll on sales, with only a handful of dealers meeting, yet alone surpassing, their sales projections. In short, the automotive sector is yet another segment of the Lebanese