Stage set for Global Entrepreneurship Forum

Updated 03 November 2015
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Stage set for Global Entrepreneurship Forum

RIYADH: A 21-member Asian Entrepreneurship Alliance was formed at the Second Global Entrepreneurship Forum 2015, which was flagged off at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh on Tuesday.
Representatives from the Kingdom, South Korea, Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Japan, Jordan, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Lebanon, the UAE and Vietnam inked the agreements during the forum sessions.
The new alliance is expected to bring the signatories to the agreements to a common platform to boost the entrepreneurship among the youths of the respective countries.
Michael Lee from South Korea told Arab News that the new alliance will open up new areas for cooperation among the member countries in the area of entrepreneurship. “We have been toying with the idea of organizing a special program for young entrepreneurs, and finally achieved forming a new alliance for the Asian countries,” Lee said.
He added that the structure, functions and the location of the headquarters are yet to be decided at subsequent meetings.
Abdulaziz Almutairi, secretary general and director general of the Centennial Fund, signed on behalf of the Kingdom.
Almutairi said the Global Entrepreneurship Forum (GEF) is an annual event that gathers international leaders in business and entrepreneurship in one location for the purpose of sharing insights, exchanging best practices, and generating exposure for the latest trends and innovations in the global community of entrepreneurs.
The Centennial Fund (TCF) launched this initiative in 2011 as an extension of the annual Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah International Award for Entrepreneurship.
Innovation in social enterprise is the theme of this year’s forum as the GEF explores the viability of solving a variety of social issues, both locally and globally, through the vehicle of entrepreneurship.
The future of entrepreneurship in the Kingdom looks bright and prosperous, as indicated by the presence of several factors required for successful business industry leadership, including viable human capital in the Kingdom's youth, the availability of funds for capital investment in new ventures and the King’s vision of Riyadh as the world’s capital of entrepreneurship in the next decade.”
The Centennial Fund has launched more than 20 initiatives and strategic partnerships, including Youth Business International, the G20, the Global Entrepreneurship Forum — held annually in Riyadh. It also launched G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance, the Gulf Cooperative Council Union of Entrepreneurs, Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah International Award for Entrepreneurship, and the Clinton Global Initiative under the auspices of former US President Bill Clinton.
TCF has established Centennial Valley in conjunction with local universities to serve as an incubator for entrepreneurs. TCF has also announced the launch of the International Academy of Entrepreneurs.
Amer Bukuvit from Bosnia and Heerzegovina, who was the moderator at the first session of the forum, told Arab News: “It’s time for the nations to groom the young entrepreneurs and train them according to the needs of the country. It has to be win-win situation.”
Former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zlatko Lagumdzua said education and economy of a country should go together for the prosperity of a nation. Every nation has a social responsibility to provide adequate security for businesses, which will eventually promote its economy.
Samantha Caccoma, founder and CEO of Swiss-based Social Business Earth (SBE), described the forum as a fantastic concept to bring young entrepreneurs to get new ideas through exchange of experiences.
SBE is an international consulting and advisory service firm based in Lugano, Switzerland, that utilizes the model of social business, a concept developed by Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus, to maximize the social impact of businesses, charities, philanthropists and government entities.
In addition, SBE offers social business incubation services to entrepreneurs who are launching their own social business startups and assisting them with their business plan and strategy.
Feasible social business ideas alone are considered.
SBE is officially recognized by the government of Canton Ticino, Switzerland as an organization of social utility that does not distribute dividends.
Fernando H.F. Botelho from F123 said his company has low-cost software, which will help the visually impaired to do their studies and office work. He said he is looking for business partners in the Gulf region.


Iran looms large over OPEC summit

Updated 22 September 2018
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Iran looms large over OPEC summit

  • Saudi Arabia only country in Mideast, and perhaps world, with enough capacity to keep market supplied, say experts
  • At Algiers, Opec and leading non-Opec countries are expected to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset a shortage of Iran supplies

LONDON: The Opec summit in Algiers on Sunday meets amid widespread fears of a supply crunch when a forecast 1.4 million barrels a day of crude is lost from Iran in November when US sanctions kick in.
If, on top of that, more supply shocks hit the market in worse-than-expected disruption from Libya and Iraq, the price of crude could surge, said Andy Critchlow, head of energy news at S&P Global Platts. “At the moment, the market looks finely balanced,” he said.
There isn’t a lot of slack in the system. As Critchlow points out: “Upstream investment in infrastructure and new wells is historically low and it will take a long time to turn that around.”
At Algiers, Opec and leading non-Opec countries are expected to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset a shortage of Iran supplies. The gathering comes after a tweet by President Trump on Sept. 20 calling on Opec to lower prices. He said on Twitter that “they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for a higher and higher oil price.”
Critchlow reckoned KSA still had spare capacity of about 2 million bpd. And KSA would get oil back as they go into winter as it had needed 800,000m bpd merely to generate electricity for the home market to meet heightened demand for air conditioning in the summer.
But there is uncertainty about what will come out of Algiers. For a start, the Iranians say they will not attend. That could be tricky in terms of an Opec communique at the end of the meeting as statements need unanimous support from member nations. And Iran has indicated it will veto any move that would affect Iran’s position, ie, one where other countries absorb its market share as sanctions bite.
Jason Gammel, energy analyst at London broker Jefferies, said: “The magnitude of the drop in Iranian exports is likely to be higher than any hit in demand as a result of problems linked to emerging market currencies, or trade wars. That’s why we expect oil prices to continue to strengthen. The Saudis and their partners will keep the market well supplied, and I think the issue is that the level of spare capacity in the system will be extremely low. Any threat or interruption will mean price spikes. Possibly by the end of the year demand will exceed supply; for now, the market remains in balance, but threats of supply disruption will bring volatility.”
Under the spotlight in Algiers is a production cuts accord forged by Opec and 11 other countries in 2016 which has been extended to the end of this year. The agreement helped reboot prices and obliterate inventory stockpiles that led to the crash in crude prices nearly three years ago. But how long will the agreement last? Algiers may kick that one into the long grass.
Thomson Reuters analysts Ehsan Ul-Haq and Tom Kenison told Arab News: “OPEC members would like to maintain cohesion within the group around supply ahead of Iran sanctions and declining Venezuela production, However, they are expected be in favor of maintaining stability in prices while doing so. On the other hand, they need to find a consensus around how their market share would be affected by a decision to pump more oil in the market. Any decision around production will likely be offset until the November meeting.”
Critchlow said that it is what KSA and Russia say and do that matters. “They speak for a fifth of the global oil market, producing a combined total of 22m bpd.” Together, they are the swing producers when it comes to crude production and supply.
Another factor about Algiers is that it is a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which is not a policy-making forum. Big policy statements may have to wait for the main Opec summit in Vienna at the end of year. That said, there will be some very high-level delegations in Algiers, including the Saudi oil minister and his Russian counterpart.
A statement about the demand picture could emerge, especially as there are fears about the impact on the global economy from the US-China tariff war.
Looking to the future, Critchlow thought the Opec production cuts accord would carry on into 2019. “Oil priced between $70/bbl and $80/bbl is a sweet spot for Middle East producers. Its’s good for Saudi as it helps stop further drainage of their foreign reserves and moves the budget back toward balance. Do they want (the price) to go higher? I think that would cause a lot of political problems for them.”