Casablanca and Nairobi rank as leading destinations for Fortune 500 companies establishing international headquarters

The Middle East Africa (MEA) region has become increasingly important for the majority of global Fortune 500 companies, according to a new report released by Infomineo (www.Infomineo.com), a global business research company specialising in Africa and the Middle East.

The report focuses on multinationals looking at entering, or already present, in the Middle East and Africa region. Overall, there was a 17% increase in the number of Fortune 500 companies in MEA in 2016 compared to 2015, with Johannesburg being the leading destination for Africa.

The Infomineo analysis includes the regional footprint of multinationals in the MEA region, the most commonly chosen cities, and the factors which influence the selection of a region, country and city – each element revealing the dynamic growth patterns within the region and a clear trend of Fortune 500 companies establishing presence in MEA.

In 2016, 196 Fortune 500 companies had established a dedicated regional headquarters in the MEA region. In the Middle-East, Dubai is the most popular choice with 138 companies establishing a dedicated entity in the city. There has also been a marked uptick in companies deciding to cover MEA from outside of the region – 38 companies up from 22 have established a regional headquarters in areas such as London, Brussels and Paris. The leading regional destinations on the Fortune 500 list include Dubai, Johannesburg, Casablanca, Nairobi, Lagos, and Cairo. Egypt remains behind the leaders due to political instability, however, it has seen a 250% increase in Fortune 500 investment since 2015. Germany and France are leading in terms of coverage rate while China has the lowest presence in the region.

Industry type plays a pivotal role in the selection of city and country. Financial services are more likely to base MEA coverage from London, while technology companies are more inclined towards Casablanca or Lagos. The latter city is also the premier location for organisations looking to manage their operations across Western Africa with 12 Fortune 500 companies already established in the city. Automotive and Healthcare tend to have a presence in both Africa and the Middle East, while Technology is more inclined to having a presence from the outside.

Nairobi, in Kenya, is the leading destination for the FMCG companies and tends to be the top choice for organisations looking to service Eastern Africa. Dubai and Johannesburg are the most popular hubs overall, but both Casablanca and Nairobi are rapidly gaining traction and international awareness. Casablanca has the highest growth rate overall, while Dubai has the highest count. The same can be said for London, which has tripled its number of regional HQs serving the region, acting as an MEA hub. Given the geographical proximity and the talent pool present in the city, it could be that London is playing the role of a first step into the MEA region, especially for Japanese and North American companies.

There are numerous factors which impact on the organisation’s selection of a specific city. These include the local market potential, maturity of the industry, existing competitors, political stability and the quality of the employment market, among others. Determining the attractiveness of a location along these clear lines assures the Fortune 500 companies of a stable and profitable investment and significantly mitigates risk. The most attractive cities are Dubai, Johannesburg, Casablanca and Nairobi, and at the lower end of the spectrum, Cairo, Paris, Algiers and Cape Town.

Infomineo has undertaken in-depth analysis and research on the MEA region, revealing the various factors inhibiting or inspiring Fortune 500 uptake. The findings provide organisations with a thorough understanding of markets and factors which ensure a steady base of operations from which organisations can expand into the growing MEA market, and establish brand and identity within the growing middle classes. Further data on the report can be found here (http://APO.af/mPvBcr).

Distributed by APO on behalf of Infomineo.

Editorial contacts:
Red Ribbon Communications
Bilqees Gabier
083 923 9939

About Infomineo:
Infomineo (www.Infomineo.com) is a business research specialist in Africa and the Middle East. Its mission is to provide accurate and up-to-date data needed by companies to make informed decisions, facilitating investment in the region, and in turn, helping create economic opportunities and jobs.

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Malawi peacekeepers get ready to deploy to DRC with UK support

Malawi, through its military — the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) — is successfully making a positive impression as a professional and active troop contributor to United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations, having committed battalions to the Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) from the height of the post-electoral crisis in 2011 to mid-2013 and to help protect vulnerable citizens from rebel groups in eastern DRC from late 2013 up to date.

The UK has been one of the leading supporters in enabling Malawi to fulfill her peacekeeping ambitions through provision of training and material support. Eighty UK military trainers have prepared a total of 3,420 Malawian peacekeepers for deployments in the complex peacekeeping theatres. MDF’s Peace Support Wing at the Malawi Armed Forces College also received UK funding towards its establishment.

During the closing ceremony of the pre-deployment training for 9th Malawi contingent, that will deploy in the DRC as MALBATT 5, the British High Commissioner to Malawi, Ms Holly Tett, commended Malawi troops for the exceptional reputation they have developed in peacekeeping through the performance of previous MALBATT battle groups.

Ms Tett said:

“The long-suffering people of the DRC have very few guardian angels to look up to, you need to fill this gap. You all need to conduct yourselves in a manner that honours your fine military heritage and stands proud against the tyranny of those that have long exploited the people of the DRC. The UK’s support to Malawian troops in peacekeeping operations is yet another positive outcome when two Commonwealth partners work together”.

In his remarks, Commander of the Malawi Defence Force General Griffin Spoon Phiri said it was a proud moment for MDF to be able to generate a force, MALBATT 9 FIB 5, to represent Malawi in DRC, as this was a vision that once seemed impossible. Phiri thanked the British government for the support that has made MDF to be a shining example in Africa and the world at large.

MALBATT 5 Battalion comprising 850 personnel, 56 of which are women, will deploy later in May to Eastern DRC, on the border with Uganda, where they will confront notorious rebel groups such as Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU).

Malawi’s troops will fight as part of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), also comprising troops from South Africa and Tanzania, which has an unprecedented UN mandate to go after and neutralise the armed groups that cause untold atrocities to civilians and prevent the attainment of stability in Eastern DRC.

The 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland conducted the training with support from the British Peace Support Team based in South Africa.

Distributed by APO on behalf of British High Commission – Lilongwe.

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IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement for Completion of First Review of Tunisia’s Extended Fund Facility

  • The IMF supports the government’s efforts to create economic opportunities and jobs for all Tunisians, stabilize public finances for the benefit of future generations, and protect the vulnerable in these challenging times.
  • Tunisia’s economy faces significant challenges, including high external and fiscal deficits, increasing debt, and growth that is too low to reduce unemployment.
  • Increasing social spending and strengthening the social safety net will protect the most vulnerable and their purchasing power.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mr. Björn Rother visited Tunis from April 7– 18, 2017, to conduct the first review of Tunisia’s economic program supported by the four-year IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF) approved in May 2016 (see Press Release No. 16/238).

At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Rother issued the following statement:

“Following productive talks, the IMF staff team and the Tunisian authorities reached a staff-level agreement on the policies needed to complete the first review of Tunisia’s EFF. The staff level agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board. Completion of the review would make available SDR 227.3 million (about US$308 million), bringing total disbursements under the EFF to about US$627.5 million.

“Tunisia’s economy faces significant challenges. Fiscal and external deficits reached record levels, the wage bill as a percent of GDP has climbed to one of the highest in the world, and public debt further increased to 63 percent of GDP at the end of 2016. Core inflation edged up. Growth in 2017 is expected to double to 2.3 percent, but will remain too low to significantly reduce unemployment, especially in the interior regions and among the youth.

“The difficult economic situation requires strong and urgent action to maintain macroeconomic stability and boost job creation. The IMF team welcomes the determination of the national unity government to act swiftly, guided by priorities of the “Accord de Carthage” and the 5-year Development Plan. The policies supported by the EFF are helping to translate the authorities’ agenda into specific actions.

“Creating more economic opportunity for all Tunisians and protecting the health of public finance are at the heart of the government’s economic strategy. In the near term, the priorities center on increasing tax revenue in an equitable way, implementing the civil service reform strategy that puts the wage bill on a sustainable trajectory, reducing energy subsidies, and covering the immediate liquidity deficits in the social security system. Increasing social spending and improving the targeting of the social safety net will protect the most vulnerable and their purchasing power in these difficult times. A tighter monetary policy would counteract inflationary pressures, and greater exchange rate flexibility would help narrow the large trade deficit.

“The government has made encouraging progress in advancing delayed reforms to tackle the structural barriers weighing on the Tunisian economy. Critical elements of this agenda include new legislation for investment and competition, work towards the establishment of a new constitutional body for the fight against corruption, and measures to reform public banks and public enterprises. Comprehensive pension reform will make the retirement system viable for future generations.

“Tunisia’s participation in the G20 initiative Compact with Africa will be an opportunity to build on the success of last November’s investor conference Tunisia 2020 and re-affirm the government’s determination to build a better economic future for Tunisia. Rigorously implementing the comprehensive reform package supported under the EFF will ultimately unlock the significant long-term potential of the Tunisian economy and improve living conditions of all Tunisians.

“Staff met with the Head of Government Youssef Chahed, Minister of Finance Lamia Zribi, Minister of Investment Fadhel Abdelkefi, Minister of Energy Hela Cheikhrouhou, and Central Bank Governor Chedly Ayari. It also had discussions with representatives of Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT), Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie, du Commerce et de l’Artisanat (UTICA), and civil society; and coordinated closely with the World Bank and other external partners of Tunisia. The mission would like to thank the authorities and all those with whom they met for their warm welcome and the frank and productive discussions.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.

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IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement for Completion of First Review of Tunisia’s Extended Fund Facility

  • The IMF supports the government’s efforts to create economic opportunities and jobs for all Tunisians, stabilize public finances for the benefit of future generations, and protect the vulnerable in these challenging times.
  • Tunisia’s economy faces significant challenges, including high external and fiscal deficits, increasing debt, and growth that is too low to reduce unemployment.
  • Increasing social spending and strengthening the social safety net will protect the most vulnerable and their purchasing power.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mr. Björn Rother visited Tunis from April 7– 18, 2017, to conduct the first review of Tunisia’s economic program supported by the four-year IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF) approved in May 2016 (see Press Release No. 16/238).

At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Rother issued the following statement:

“Following productive talks, the IMF staff team and the Tunisian authorities reached a staff-level agreement on the policies needed to complete the first review of Tunisia’s EFF. The staff level agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board. Completion of the review would make available SDR 227.3 million (about US$308 million), bringing total disbursements under the EFF to about US$627.5 million.

“Tunisia’s economy faces significant challenges. Fiscal and external deficits reached record levels, the wage bill as a percent of GDP has climbed to one of the highest in the world, and public debt further increased to 63 percent of GDP at the end of 2016. Core inflation edged up. Growth in 2017 is expected to double to 2.3 percent, but will remain too low to significantly reduce unemployment, especially in the interior regions and among the youth.

“The difficult economic situation requires strong and urgent action to maintain macroeconomic stability and boost job creation. The IMF team welcomes the determination of the national unity government to act swiftly, guided by priorities of the “Accord de Carthage” and the 5-year Development Plan. The policies supported by the EFF are helping to translate the authorities’ agenda into specific actions.

“Creating more economic opportunity for all Tunisians and protecting the health of public finance are at the heart of the government’s economic strategy. In the near term, the priorities center on increasing tax revenue in an equitable way, implementing the civil service reform strategy that puts the wage bill on a sustainable trajectory, reducing energy subsidies, and covering the immediate liquidity deficits in the social security system. Increasing social spending and improving the targeting of the social safety net will protect the most vulnerable and their purchasing power in these difficult times. A tighter monetary policy would counteract inflationary pressures, and greater exchange rate flexibility would help narrow the large trade deficit.

“The government has made encouraging progress in advancing delayed reforms to tackle the structural barriers weighing on the Tunisian economy. Critical elements of this agenda include new legislation for investment and competition, work towards the establishment of a new constitutional body for the fight against corruption, and measures to reform public banks and public enterprises. Comprehensive pension reform will make the retirement system viable for future generations.

“Tunisia’s participation in the G20 initiative Compact with Africa will be an opportunity to build on the success of last November’s investor conference Tunisia 2020 and re-affirm the government’s determination to build a better economic future for Tunisia. Rigorously implementing the comprehensive reform package supported under the EFF will ultimately unlock the significant long-term potential of the Tunisian economy and improve living conditions of all Tunisians.

“Staff met with the Head of Government Youssef Chahed, Minister of Finance Lamia Zribi, Minister of Investment Fadhel Abdelkefi, Minister of Energy Hela Cheikhrouhou, and Central Bank Governor Chedly Ayari. It also had discussions with representatives of Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT), Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie, du Commerce et de l’Artisanat (UTICA), and civil society; and coordinated closely with the World Bank and other external partners of Tunisia. The mission would like to thank the authorities and all those with whom they met for their warm welcome and the frank and productive discussions.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.

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Source:: IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement for Completion of First Review of Tunisia’s Extended Fund Facility

      

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