World free zones organization : from Dubai ‘s non-profit organization for tax-free zones in the world

  • 31 May 2014

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai , held the global launch and presentation of the World Organisation Free Zone in Dubai.

World Free Zone Organization ( WFZO ) is a new non-profit entity that acts as a liaison and coordination between the tax-free zones in the world, and that is set to transform the way they operate in many economies around the world.

Founded in Geneva, and based in the Dubai Airport Freezone in UAE , WFZO become the world leader in terms of knowledge of the zones, will strive to improve the knowledge and perception of the free zones , to provide a range of services for members and the community. In addition WFZO provide help to increase awareness of the benefits of free zones in terms of economic, social and FDI .

The objective of the organization and ‘ optimization functionality ‘ and the efficiency of the free zone at the global level with the standardization of parameters and methods and market analysis specifications for the use of members of governments, companies ‘ and individuals interested to the same .

The WFZO , which is open to all member countries of the UN, is composed of representatives of free zones , free zones as well as associations of local, regional and international worldwide. The WFZO will be funded for the first three years from Dubai . It currently has 22 tax-free zones on its territory and 14 countries are part of the founders, is tax-free zones in the UAE, Africa, Europe , India, China , the U.S. and Latin America.

Mohammad Al Zarooni – president of the newly – international body said: ” The WFZO intends to promote a spirit of cooperation , dialogue and guidance. It will provide assistance to countries that can benefit from the model of the free zone . The United Arab Emirates have been a shining example of the dynamic role that zones play in economic and social development . WFZO This will further enhance the development of free zones in other parts of the world. ”

According to a recent World Bank report , in fact, the United Arab Emirates are the first Arab country for ease of doing business. They have a long history of zones that attract businesses and foreign investment, transforming the country into a business hub that connects East and West.


Tourism in Spain a positive trend that gives hope

  • 31 May 2014


The Spanish policy of lower taxes – to beat the record set in 2008, when there were 8 million of tourists cruise passengers – may give a further blow to the tourism in the country. In addition, the 5% reduction in port charges for the use of infrastructure by passenger ships should also include employment development, expected to be around 8%.

In any case, the tourism sector in Spain is in good health, as stated by the Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Energy.

With 15.3 million foreign arrivals from January to April, amounting to an increase of 9.2 % compared to the same period of last year, Spain continues to mark a sustained growth in the tourism sector, according to the survey of tourist movements at the Frontier ( Fruntur ) .

In April, the number of foreign visitors was 5.3 million, an increase of 13.2 % over the same month of last year. The good performance of the first quarter of the 2014 was helped by the increase of tourists from the United Kingdom ( +6.5%) , the largest market for Spanish tourism (amounting to more than 20% of the total) ; Germany (+11.3 %); France (+10.9% ), but also Italy, with 878 377 tourists who scored a 20.3% increase in flows to Spain during the month of April.

The Netherlands and Belgium have also registered increases in numbers of tourist who chose Spain respectively of 10.2% , 3.2 % and 13.2 % . The main destinations are the Canary Islands ( 12.4%) , followed by Catalonia ( 13.3% ) , Andalusia ( 11.4% ), the Valencian Community (+14.3%) and even the Madrid Community, after a fall in tourist flows , record an increase for the fourth consecutive month (+9. 1 %).




The Mediterranean and the common cooperation in waste management

  • 31 May 2014

On the latest two days of May, a panel on “Waste Management in the Mediterranean Countries” organized by Pam – Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean – an international organization established by the UN in 2005, was held in Caserta .

The event aims to disseminate good practices for recycling benefits from an improved use of resources. There were participation of delegates from fifteen countries involved in the Standing Committee, (for European countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Portugal and Serbia; for the Mediterranean countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey). All participants are convinced that an efficiently manage of the cycle of urban or industrial waste is an unavoidable necessity.

The panel of Caserta is a first step which should be followed soon by a second meeting operational trade agreements in various sectors, starting from that of hazardous wastes. An example of such an agreement has already been signed in Greece and Turkey, «but is lacking in many countries of the south», says Giancarlo Morandi, President of COBAT (national consortium collection and recycling). At the end of Caserta, COBAT established a first contact with the Egyptian authorities to pilot projects in some cities of the country for the recovery of waste.

Greece has initiated a program on the management of hazardous waste, as explained Ekatirini Sidiroupoulou, head of the Greek delegation to the PABSEC (Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation). The country had «learned over the years the best practice in the European Union level, trying to maximize cooperation between the central state local authorities to improve the performance: in particular, we are developing a program on solid waste with European funds 2014-2020 focused on coastal areas».

The Israeli experience -told by the parliamentary Meir Sheetrit- began in 1979 in a small town south of Tel Aviv with the collection door to door: «In the eight years – he said – when I was mayor, we have reached 95 % of differentiated between wet and dry. Today the Israeli government is putting in a project that aims by 2020 to eliminate landfill coming to recycle, reuse and reduce drastically the five million tons of waste generated each year».

The production of waste in Morocco is considerably lower, as explained by Afriat Abdel Malek, Moroccan Senator: «We produce 0.76 pounds of waste per capita per day, and in recent years we have improved the collection rate professional to cover 80% of the country». But population growth and urbanization puts Morocco in front of new challenges: «With population growth and urbanization – says Malek – waste to increase and we hinder the emergence of illegal dumps. But we must also implement the action plan on recycling which however needs the cooperation of everyone, from the government to the citizens».

The event has also received the support of numerous national realities, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Confindustria, and COBAT. Alessandro Ortis, co-chair of the Panel on Trade and Investment in the Mediterranean, he asserted that there is a need to open «a discussion between parliaments and operating companies to find the best way to handle the waste cycle, from production to collection and qualification. The wastes are a mine of natural resources that we can use for sustainable development and environmentally friendly».

The permanent assembly of the Mediterranean wanted to stimulate a dialogue between representatives of the institutions, industry, associations and industry experts, aimed at the promotion of regulatory frameworks, partnerships and international cooperation capable of protecting citizens, productive activities and the environment, through a virtuous waste.

«The era of abundant resources and low cost – says Luciano Morelli, president of the Confederation of Caserta – is over. The development of recycled materials and the proper management of municipal and industrial waste permit to minimize the use of landfills to conserve natural resources , to increase the competitiveness of many industrial sectors and , not least, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases» . «On the European side of the Mediterranean, the waste has become the primary source of raw materials, especially in a country like Italy very poor in mineral resources», says Giancarlo Morandi, President of COBAT (National Consortium Collection and Recycling. «Italy is the first European nation to the importance of his companies that recycle the materials collected as waste from municipal waste, hazardous waste, such as lead-acid batteries, those that will represent an emergency in the immediate future as the photovoltaic panels. Provide all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean our knowledge and experience we can certainly accelerate positively as already in place in several states».



The Turkish Central Bank cuts interest rates

  • 30 May 2014


The Turkish Central Bank cut interest rates on repurchase in a week , by 0.5% , bringing them from 10% to 9.5%. Unchanged , however, are still the rates on overnight loans ( increased up to 12% in January ) and those on the deposit facility ( 8%).

The choice was made by the Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey, Bashi , in opened opposition to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is the evident that the Bashi’s main fear is the specter of currency speculation , as happened to the currencies of some emerging countries, as a consequence of tapering policy of implemented by the Federal Reserve.

The idea of Prime Minister Erdogan , however, would be to significantly reduce the interest rate (until the 4.5 %). The consequence could be the upsurge of the inflation ( already at 9.4% in April 2014 ) and the further devaluation of the Turkish Lira and therefore of the profits of foreign investors.

Another reason that makes the Turkish Central Bank so cautious in rate cuts lies in the commitment to keep inflation below 5%. This goal is far from being achieved and Bashi is afraid about the reputation of the central bank.

The consequences of monetary policies can already occur in some aspects of the Turkish economy . The demand for gold , in fact, has fallen by 42 % (in the first quarter of 2014); This aspect of the economy is primarily due to the weakening currency and the measures introduced by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency ( Bbdk ) -that restrict the consumption and price volatility. This data are in a report by the World Gold Council , which highlighted the link between the weakening of the Turkish lira , the increase in local prices and the consequent preference of investors towards investments denominated in euro and dollars. The study finds , however, that investors remain interested in the market and show their readiness to re-enter at the appropriate time . The prohibition of installment payments for the purchase of gold by credit card , which entered into force on February 1 last year to the decision of the Bbdk , has further affected the market demand.




The Turkish economy: reflections on first quarter data of 2014

  • 30 May 2014


According to the latest data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute ( TUIK ), industrial production in the month of March 2014 recorded an increase of 4.2 % . However, the seasonally adjusted about industrial production recorded a contraction of 0.4% .

However, according  Reuters data (without seasonally adjusted), Turkish industrial production had an increase of 4.15% compared to the same month of 2013.  In general, industrial production reached  of 5.3% in the first quarter of 2014.

The values ​​released by TUIK shows that -despite the Lira devaluation, rising interest rates and political tensions- Turkey’s economic growth has been stronger than expected .

The strongest sector of the Turkish economy has been manufacturing. In fact, since the devaluation of the Lira manufacturing had a rise in the volume of exports. Despite the collapse in consumer confidence, in fact, the growth indicators are showing mixed signals, with a significant increase in exports due to the recovery of European markets .

The Turkish Ministry of Economy has also released data on FDI about the first quarter of the year. Foreign direct investment (FDI ) in Turkey increased by 50% in the first quarter of the year, reaching 4.2 billion U.S. dollars. The increase, compared to the same period last year, was of 49.6% ($ 2.7 billion U.S. dollars). However, in 2013, FDI inflows amounted to 12.6 billion , 4.1 % less than the previous year.

The flow of FDI is distributed as follows: the manufacturing sector was the one who most benefited from foreign capital ($ 1.04 billion ), followed by the energy sector -with 808 million ( 61.9% of foreign direct investment )- of which almost 2.6 billion from the European Union . According to the ministry, last March in Turkey were formed 267 new companies have been added to the 38.116 companies already active in the international capital in the country.

According to the Investment Support and Promotion Agency ( Ispat ) , Turkey could continue to attract foreign investment in the near future – above all in the energy , banking, insurance and finance.

Many analysts think that the expansion period of the Turkish economy, which coincided with the coming to power of the AKP in 2002, is coming to an end. The official data about the years 2002-2012 reveal amazing progress, such as- for example – the increase in individual income, which rose by 3,676 to $ 10.666. The Turkish economy passed a very positive decade, in fact the growth has been accompanied by the substantial reduction of public debt (reduced by 30 percentage points) and by the decrease of the indicators of inflation and deficits.

However, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said that in 2014 the Turkish growth may slow down compared to the previous year.

According to the EBRD document, in fact, since the beginning of 2014, Turkey faced many difficulties in the economy mainly due to political uncertainty and higher costs of finance. As a result, the EBRD announced that, for 2014, expectations for growth in the country fell by 3.3%; in fact, expectations for growth were 2.5% in January, they were of 4% in 2013.

Policy tapering of the Federal Reserve in the U.S.-which is the end of the policy of buying government bonds, which has traveled in parallel with a strategy of strong reduction in interest rates – could damage Turkish economy. The Fed policy had positive effects on emerging markets ( as Turkey, Brazil, India and China), who become a popular destination for foreign lenders. In any case, clarifies the EBRD , Turkey’s growth has been stronger than some analysts had predicted and international institutions at the beginning of the year and a slight acceleration (3.2%) is expected in 2015.

The EBRD, which was originally established with the purpose of making investments in the countries of the former Soviet bloc, also noted that the crisis in Ukraine could hurt demand for exports of Turkish products as well as the income of the tourism sector. In addition, the economic slowdown of Turkey, exacerbated by geopolitical crisis between Russia and the West, could have a negative impact on economic performance of the region.