May 18, 2020

Brazil Eyes Growth Opportunities in Middle East Trade and Investment

Lebanon
Food and Drug Corporation
FDC
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Brazil Eyes Growth Opportunities in Middle East Trade and Investment

The Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) has expressed strong optimism over the Middle East as source of investments after a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) showed the region recording high foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows last year.

According to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2014, the Middle East’s FDI increased by 65 percent in 2013 compared to 2012. This growth was boosted by increasing flows from GCC states.

The report stated that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, and Oman has a high level of foreign exchange reserves, specifically in their respective oil and gas industries. Qatar and Kuwait led the GCC states in terms of investments abroad.

Qatar increased its outflows by fourfold, while Kuwait surged by 159 percent. Meanwhile, the FDI flows to the UAE went up by nine percent to reach $10.5 billion, making the country the second highest FDI recipient in the Middle East in 2013 after Turkey.

Michel Alaby, General Secretary and CEO, Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce has always played a significant role in opening up opportunities from both regions to further their trade relations and investments.

“The Arab Nations and Brazil have been key trade partners and this reflects in the robust increase in trade values. These positive numbers of FDI to Arabs reflect an emerging and promising market for as we do believe that this will affect positively the bilateral relation between Brazil and Middle East.”

In 2013, the report showed that the global FDI flow reached $1.45 trillion, up 9 percent from 2012. UNCTAD projects that FDI will further increase to reach $1.6 trillion in 2014, $1.75 trillion in 2015, and $1.85 trillion in 2016.

The Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce represents 22 Arab countries. It was established in 1952 with the mission of strengthening commercial bonds between Brazil and the Arab countries, while increasing cultural and tourism exchange between Arabs and Brazilians.

The entity provides various services, such as document certification, market data, translation, among others, and promotes events, workshops and courses. It also offers the Commercial Knowledge Center, a reference center for research on commercial relations between Brazil and the Arab countries.

 

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Jun 8, 2021

UK office space slashed as hybrid working looks set to stay

offices
hybridworking
realestate
PwC
Kate Birch
3 min
As more UK firms announce a hybrid way of working, new research suggests a third of businesses will reduce their office footprint by more than 30%

With hybrid predicted to be the working model of the future, and businesses both large and small announcing that WFH will continue for employees into the future, the traditional office space is being re-thought.

Businesses are both questioning how much space they need for a hybrid working future, especially if it means they can potentially save money, and what form that space should take.

UK firms slashing office space

Back as early as February, HSBC – whose real estate footprint currently stretches to around 112 football pitches worldwide – said it would be cutting its post-COVID office space by half globally and by 40% in London over the next few years, as it looks to implementation of a hybrid working model in light of the pandemic.

Lloyds Bank followed suit. Following an internal survey where 77% of employees said they wanted to continue to work for 3+ days a week post-pandemic, the bank announced it was also moving to a hybrid model, and so looking to cut its office space by 20% over the next two years.

In fact, the latest research from consulting firm PwC reveals that a third of organisations surveyed (258 of the UK’s largest companies) believe they will reduce their office footprint by more than 30%.

The findings of PwC’s Occupier Survey indicate there is likely to be a sizeable fall in occupied office space with half of executives surveyed saying that despite taking into account mass vaccinations, employees will continue to work virtually 2-3 days a week.

And companies continue to announce the hybrid working model for their employees. Accountancy firm EY has just announced that its 17,000 employees are moving to a hybrid way of working, WFH for at least two days a week. This follows PwC which in March said workers could stay at home for half the time and KPMG which this month said it would expect employees to only work two days in the office every week.

More collaborative work spaces

However, what’s also clear from PwC’s research is that the role of the office is not going to disappear completely, but instead adapt to a new way of working, with half of all organisations with more than 100 employees saying they have a real estate and workplace strategy that considers the long-term impact of COVID-19.

“We may see an increased demand for flexible space as many businesses operating models may well need that option if holding dead space is to be avoided,” says Angus Johnson, UK Real Estate Leader at PwC UK.

According to the survey, more than three quarters of respondents said they are likely to reconfigure existing office with 43% of financial services firms stating that they are extremely likely to do so as a result of the pandemic.

“It’s also clear that the nature and purpose of office space is going to change. As occupiers seek new, different space to meet their accommodation needs, environmental aspects will be increasingly important. If the real estate sector is to truly succeed as a more dynamic, greener industry it’s imperative that creative thinking comes to the fore.”

And companies are already thinking creatively how they can utilise office space in a hybrid future. So while HSBC is cutting a significant amount of office space, it is not downsizing its prestigious Canary Wharf headquarters, and instead reimagining the space. In April, CEO Noel Quinn announced the firm was embracing an open plan floor, with no designated desks or private offices, and instead using hot-desks in line with the future hybrid working style. “My leadership team and I have moved to a fully open-plan floor of the building in east London with no designated desks,” he said on LinkedIn.

Lloyds also reported it was adapting its office space, so that rather than individual offices, it will have a more collaborative workspace. And just last month, KPMG announced it too was ditching desks and individual offices, and replacing them with meeting rooms and conference halls for a more collaborative workspace.

 

 

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