What's happening in Mediterranean & Africa





United Nations looks to the day when Asia-Europe trade turns around in the Med

There are more than a few today who think profound change is coming to trade patterns of the Mediterranean, bringing about a restructuring so profound that it may well see the eclipse of Europe's Northern Range in ways some will think unimaginable.

For many in the old ports in southern Europe - Barcelona, Genoa, Venice, Spezia and others in the Adriatic and Aegian - this has long been a dream - the opening of southern gateway into Europe. But it has also been long dismissed as a pipedream by seasoned cynics of the north, who can point out reasons why this is not possible and never will be.

But what these Northern Rangers fail to see is that world shipping has changed so profoundly ashore and afloat that old southern European dreams are now making a comeback towards possible if not probable realisation. Just as old northern verities have been eroded new realities.


Belt and Road won't solve Africa's problems, but will ease other more serious issues

While African economic growth has been slowing, there is ample evidence to show there are countervailing forces - mostly from China - that are working to reverse these unfortunate trends and re-accelerate development once again.

After growing five per cent from 2010 to 2014 and declining to 3.2 per cent in 2015, Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP growth fell to 1.3 per cent last year, its lowest level in two decades.

Yet two forces, says experts, are likely to propel Africa's economic forces heading north once again. One is the role of private equity, says Proshare, Nigeria’s “premier financial, business and economic information hub”. The other, the greater one, is China's "Belt and Road" initiative, according to Kenyan government officials


Gulf States step up Saudi-led Qatar blockade, but Oman and others offer shippers escape

Tensions simmer among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states blockading Qatar from all commerce the commerce they can for the emirate's defiant and independent attitude.

Maersk Line has managed to bypass the ban using alternative routes, but admits it can no longer deliver cargo using feeders via the United Arab Emirates as it once routinely did.

But Maersk also announced that would have feeders running from Salalah port in Oman instead every 10 days to Doha for the duration.

Meanwhile, the feisty flag carrier Qatar Airways is making aggressive moves, and evoking the heroic days of the Berlin Airlift of the late 1940s.

Looking at the eastern Med trade from an Asian geopolitical perspective

In recent times the Chinese foreign policy community tended view American engagement in the eastern Mediterranean somewhat positively because it prevented the United States from focusing solely on Asia and offered some degree of protection for the rapidly increasing numbers of Chinese companies in the region.

But as the US became increasingly criticised for its military interventions in the region, so too did Chinese tacit approval of American involvement evaporate, particularly now that many fear Chinese interests might suffer from American action, writes Andrea Ghiselli, PhD candidate at Shanghai's Fudan University and Research Fellow with the Torino World Affairs Institute.

"Indeed, as emphasised by Liu Zhongmin, the director of the Shanghai International Studies University’s Middle East Studies Institute, as the Chinese economic and diplomatic presence in the region expands, China also becomes more sensitive to American policy shifts," Mr Ghiselli said.


Mediterranean & Africa
Trade Specialists

Highroad International Logistics
Professional door to door service
Choice Int'l Forwarding Co Ltd.
Your Best Choice to Africa
Recent Issue

Europe Trade

Jul, 2017

China Trade

Jun, 2017

U.S. Trade

May, 2017

Intra Asia Trad

Apr, 2017