DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/cmlffp/mena_outlook_q3) has announced the addition of the "MENA Outlook Q3 2014 - ASEAN-MENA: Emerging hubs of South-South trade" report to their offering.
Sectarian Heights - A Moment of Reckoning
Against a backdrop of escalating conflict in Libya, Iraq and Syria, we are looking for signs that common sense will prevail as sectarianism scores a new high. The blame game between Iran and Saudi Arabia will soon run its course, as the Iraq crisis lays bare the most intense bout of sectarianism the Arab world has ever experienced.
Topping these are rising risks to Iraq's unity, given increased polarization that is escalating into civil war and will likely place pressure on oil prices over the coming quarters.
- The rapid advance of ISIS renders a protracted civil conflict practically inevitable, with additional autonomy for Kurdistan a foregone conclusion. The question today is how much further the security situation in Iraq (and Jordan, then Lebanon) will be affected before some type of international grand bargain is forged
- While the West has no appetite for boots on the ground, the US has already sent advisors to help the Iraqi army turn back ISIS. As Iran is also doing the same from its end, the inevitable is bound to emerge: Western + Saudi cooperation with Iran to counter everyone's common enemy - ISIS
- But MENA also continues to post successes that capture few headlines
- Whether elections in Libya are deemed legitimate, and help garner militia cooperation is as of yet unclear; continued oil disruptions will not cause a cash crisis but have already damaged Libya's economic recovery. In the meantime Gen. Hifter pushes on
- Tunisia's democracy is taking off with parliamentary elections set for November following a constructive National Dialogue and a consensual electoral law
- Egypt's Presidential elections were smooth enough, with the new cabinet taking concrete steps to assert its economic priorities
- By directing over three quarters of investment flows towards West Africa, Morocco is shifting its Europe-centric focus and opening up new horizons in its backyard
- The GCC is still riding on its safe haven status as fiscal positions remain comfortable and support infrastructure investment plans equivalent to -7% of aggregate GDP
MENA-ASEAN: Emerging hubs of South-South trade
- With almost half of MENA's exports now going to developing Asia, how will new technologies define opportunities for bilateral investments?
- Trade and investment relations between MENA and ASEAN have been growing at an average of 16% in the past five years. What are the drivers for these ties going forward?
- What roles can the GCC and ASEAN play in supporting the growth of Islamic finance? What are further synergies from such growth?
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