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Entrepreneurial Platform Economies

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Mobilization of futurism creates wider global-age skills-gaps; today, openly visible are varying levels of tactical smartness about understanding global-age battlefields amongst political leaderships and their economic performances. There are three types of common elections promises creating three types of daily realties; firstly, revival of stack-chimneys and hard labor work may sound nostalgic on a podium but in realties nothing but economic death traps while lack of new global-age smart skills being ignored, secondly, declaring trade-war to cover-up internal limitations of skills on exports in realties do not bring back jobs rather slows economies and thirdly, creating fake bubbles and crises politics or shepherding invisible unicorns as miracles of innovation are all in realities hurting local grassroots prosperity. What’s clearly on rise is the restless citizenry and populism. Why is all this happening, why lack of serious debates; why such chaos?

Some pragmatic solutions: The unstoppable force of Platform Economies; when smart digital platforms operate like complex AI centric automatic transactions processing plants replacing lingering bureaucracies where old manually structured organizations are morphed instantly into digitized assembling and disassembling achieving desired architectural shapes processing unlimited tasks at miniscule costs, unlimited bounce and with full scalability, all in real time.

Yes, you have watched this in Sci-Fi movies.
Yes, this is 2020 reality.
Yes, this is just a start.

Study the robotization of society and elimination of bureaucracies; transforming sluggishly established business models into new butterflies to finally alter local economies. Same platforms can bring amazing results in public sectors buried under paper. To play is this arena deeper strengths of self-discovery and self-optimization are critical.

Business-Reality Blending into Entrepreneurial-Virtuality Diffusing into Technology 

This is a new split-second-transactional-world of business, entrepreneurial platforms save the day, growth comes with solid understanding of 100% accuracy and quality, productivity lands with delivery of promise with 100% fluidity and profitability rains with national-global-alliances and this is how grassroots prosperity blossoms, this is how restless citizenry saved form populism. How do you educate public – private sectors on such pragmatic solutions?  How do create new thinking?

Why is this now a crucial necessity; if declarations of external trade-wars only prove presence of unskilled-citizenry unable to stand up to global exportability, it’s now time for declarations of internal skill-wars to train highly skilled-citizenry to outperform on global trading via collaborative synthesizim. This is how, national mobilization of entrepreneurialism and deployment of platform economies come into play.

Economic Forecasts:  2020 -2040 -2050

Briefly glance at 1990, 2000, 2010, study the behavioral shifts in consumerism and services, global shifts demanding instant gratifications and competitive forces of superior quality and human performance. The forecasts of future are very easy; just multiply such factors with 100% to 1000% …expect ferocious demands for tactical-creative-skills. Global out-cry for honest control on data-management real hunger for collaborative alliances.  Future is about skills and sleepy nations ignoring such challenges will awaken to harsh realities. As an example, where we are today, compared to the skills needed to fall off cliffs with planks bounded on our arms during the Wright Bros era to our modern day landing of Airbus 380-A at busiest airports. We need massive transformation to cope future.

Justify corporate existence with lifelong learning and not just profits

National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism uplifts thousands of mid-size businesses to enable creation of digital platforms to generate exportability and profitability to create local grassroots prosperity; this is how new models of economic uplifts are made. Without debate, discussions, just silence becomes a proof of incompetency. Now new thought leadership needed to create highly skilled-citizenry.
Nation’s biggest assets will not be how many machines but how skilled their citizenry.

The transformation to platform economy made possible by three key factors:
Witnessing the recent huge virtual empires without visible structures,
Recognizing block-chain advances creating layers of efficiencies with deliverable reach,
Understanding free-technologies drowning once mighty organizations and institutions,
Transformation is the only way for lifelong learning as a global-age economic survival methodology

Beyond 2020, any large major trade group or organization unless preparing for powerful digital platforms may not be able to survive with just old websites, shopping carts and basic portals.

Some 25 years ago; majority occupants of corner offices of tallest skyscrapers of the world had almost no ideas what email, URL or websites were and thus a massive transformation took place. We are at that very point, all over again.

Management must demonstrate understanding to compress large complex organizational structures with diverse and distributed activity and shrink them into virtual power-balls on a platform to bounce creating extreme performance with national or global scalability in real time. Nations and regions that missed the varying levels industrial revolutions could simply advance now to the Platform Economy. Once you decide that your business model is already qualified for creating a sophisticated digital platform around it, suddenly, the organization faced with three challenges.  

Most transformations are not new funding dependent but mostly mobilization starved.

To study your own current organization you will be required to dismantle ambiguity by creating high rational for each and every single move, every angle at every junction. Not that easy, but such planning sometimes is already there and perfected over a course of time or in need of fine tuning to fit on brand new schematics. In either case specialized high value guided tours can help with such pains.

Solid business models land solidly on digital platforms and immediately start working wonders.

There are two simple options, firstly, create a dedicated person on Platform Economy and have this person trained enough to be able to articulate the exiting business model to over lay over digital platforms with recommendations and secondly attend some world-class global events and special workshop and round-table discussions on these topics.

Caution; avoid tackling this as IT issue, as it is not. This is an entrepreneurial issue, solid business modeling, wrapped in collaborative synthesizim, landing on right technologies, like how to create bounce with relevant alliances to boost your business, plus Micro-Power-Nation, like many dozens of small nations and their massive markets that would open up new venues, plus understanding futurism. Once all this sorted out in national mobilization and deployment of the platform modeling, IT teams will come in to do their relevant parts. Window installers, brick-layers and elevator engineers build skyscrapers but they do not design skyscrapers, architects do.

Mastery of your vertical market, supremacy of your image and innovative performance are the real issues, as rest becomes deployment of virtual bricks and mobilization of mortar.

Champions of Platform Economy wanted for global projects…

Study in depth on Google, find and evaluate your hidden talents and rare untapped special skills, entrepreneurialism is a savior, degrees have become irrelevant, if any such bold ideas fit, become a champion. Study even harder… this November 4th to 7th at  WEB Summit Lisbon, Platformara from Ireland, a Division of Expothon is building and growing global teams. New energies and global ideas unleashed for game changers.

Chambers of Commerce and Trade Associations of the world are primed to enjoy the ride and dramatically boost their local economies. With 10,000 Chambers and some 100,000 trade Associations
a massive transformation is at play as special skills and industry specific-dialogues are the critically missing links. Expect some powerful platforms in these sectors soon.

Quadrability Thinking: is a four-dimensional executions and simultaneous working style that fits smart environments laced with Artificial Intelligence, block-chains intertwined with global complexities of commerce and new global-age-style performance. Platform Economy demands such warriors.

Observe the speed, how fast 2020 will unfold and set pathways towards 2030.

Naseem Javed is a corporate philosopher, Chairman of Expothon Worldwide; a Canadian Think tank focused on National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism Protocols on Platform Economy and exportability solutions now gaining global attention. His latest book; Alpha Dreamers; the five billions connected who will change the world.

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Economy

Free-Market Capitalism and Climate Crisis

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Free market capitalism is an economic system that has brought about tremendous economic growth and prosperity in many countries around the world. However, it has also spawned a number of problems, one of which is the climate crisis. The climate crisis is a global problem caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. These externalities are chiefly a consequence of day to day human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and conventional agriculture. The climate crisis is leading to rise in temperatures, sea levels, and more erratic weather patterns-The floods in Pakistan and depleting cedars of Lebanon are vivid instances for these phenomena, which are having a devastating impact on the planet.

One of the main reasons that free market capitalism has contributed to the climate crisis is that it prioritizes short-term economic growth over long-term environmental sustainability. Under capitalism, companies are primarily motivated by profit and are not required to internalize the costs of their pollution. This means that they are able to pollute without having to pay for the damage that they are causing. Additionally, the capitalist system is based on the idea of unlimited growth, which is not sustainable in the long-term. As long as there is an infinite demand for goods and services, companies will continue to produce them, leading to ever-increasing levels of pollution and resource depletion.

Another pressing issue that free market capitalism is recently going through is that it does not take into account the externalities of economic activities. Externalities are the unintended consequences of economic activities, such as pollution and climate change. Under capitalism, companies are not required to pay for the externalities of their activities, which means that they are able to continue polluting without having to pay for the damage that they are causing. In her book “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs Climate” Naomi Klein argues that the current system of capitalism is inherently incompatible with the urgent action needed to address the Climate crisis.

To address the climate crisis, it is necessary to put checks and balances over the free market capitalism and/or make a way towards a more sustainable economic system. This can be done through a number of different effective policies, such as:

Carbon pricing: This can be done through a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, which would make companies pay for the carbon emissions that they are producing. In the article “The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends” authors suggest that revenue-neutral carbon tax is the most efficient and effective way to reduce the carbon emissions.

Increasing renewable energy investments: an increment in the investments in clean energy technologies, such as solar and wind power, can result in the reduction in  the use of fossil fuels.

Regulating pollution: Governments can regulate pollution to limit the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere.

Encouraging sustainable practices: Governments can encourage sustainable practices, such as recycling and conservation, to reduce the use of resources.

It is remarkable that evolving Capitalism can be harnessed to address the climate change. The private sector has the resources and innovation to develop and implement new technologies and sustainable practices, but they need the right incentives and regulations to do so. Finding the balance between economic growth and environmental protection must be a priority for capitalists.

The free market capitalism has been the driving force behind global economic growth, but at the same time, it has contributed to the ongoing climate crisis. The solution to this problem is not to reject capitalism, but rather to reform it to the societies’ suitable demands. Government should consider providing a level playing field so as to make the probable transition from fossil-based energy systems to Green energy technologies possible. The capitalists should not consider short-termism over long term environmental sustainability. Government intervention to put a price on carbon emissions, invest in renewable energy, regulate pollution, and encourage sustainable practices is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis and build a sustainable future for all. However, here is the catch:  Is achieving net-zero-carbon emissions by mid-century a probable target? The answer is quite uncertain, however it is critical point to strive for in the face of  escalating Climate Crisis.

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Economy

Egypt’s “Too Big to Fail” Theory Once Again at Test

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Authors: Reem Mansour & Mohamed A. Fouad

In the wake of 2022 FED’s hawkish monetary policy, the Arab world’s most populous nation, Egypt, saw an exodus of about USD20bn of foreign capital.  A feat that exerted pressure on the value of its pound against the dollar slashing it by almost half.  This led to USD12bn trade backlog accumulating in Egypt’s ports by December 2022.

Meanwhile, amidst foreign debt nearing USD170bn, inflation soaring to double digits, and a chronic balance of payment deficit, Egypt became structurally unfit to sustain global shocks; the country saw its foreign debt mounting to 35% of GDP, causing the financing gap to hover at USD20billion. 

While it may seem all gloom and doom, friends from the GCC rushed to inject funds in the “too big to fail” country, sparing it, an arguably, ill-fate that was well reflected in its Eurobond yields spreads and credit default swaps, a measure that assesses a sovereign default risk. 

For the same reason in early 2023, the IMF sealed a deal worth of USD3bn, with the government, which unlocked an extra USD14bn sources of financing from multilateral institutions, and GCC sovereign funds, to fill in a hefty portion of the annual foreign exchange gap, albeit  a considerable amount averaging USD6bn per annum is yet to be sourced from portfolio investments.  

With the IMF stepping in, the Egyptian government agreed on a structural reform program that requires a flexible exchange rate regime, where the Egyptian pound is set to trade within daily boundaries against the US dollar, rationalize government spending, especially in projects that require foreign currency; and most importantly the program entails stake-sales in publicly owned assets, paving the way for the private sector to play a bigger role in the economy.

In due course, through its sovereign fund, Egypt planned initial offerings for shares in companies worth about USD5-USD6bn, and expanded the sale of its shares in local banks and government holdings to Gulf investment funds. 

Through the limited period of execution of these reforms, the EGP hit a high of 32 against the greenback, and an inflow of portfolio investments amounting to USD1bn took place, according to the Central Bank of Egypt. 

Simultaneously, Citibank International, cited a possible near end of the devaluation of the Egyptian pound against the US dollar.  Also, in a report to investors, Standard Chartered recommended to buy Egyptian treasury bills, and pointed to the return of portfolio flows to the local debt market in the early days of January, 2023. Likewise, Fitch indicated the ability of the Egyptian banking sector to face the repercussions of the depreciation of the pound, and that the compulsory reserve ratios within Egyptian banks are able to withstand any declines in the value of the pound because they are supported by healthy internal flows of capital.

While things seem to be poised for a recovery, the long term prospects may lack sustainability.  The Egyptian government needs to accelerate its plans to shift gears towards a real operational economy capable of withstanding shocks and dealing with any global challenges. Egypt, however has implicitly held the narrative that the country is ‘too big to fail”. This is largely true to the country’s geopolitical relevance, but even this has its limitations when the price to bail far outweighs the price to fail.

Former President George W. Bush’s administration popularized the “too big to fail” (TBTF) doctrine notably during the 2008 financial crisis. The Bush administration often used the term to describe why it stepped in to bail out some financial companies to avert worldwide economic collapse.

In his book “The Myth of Too Big To Fail” Imad Moosa presented arguments against using public fund to bail out failing financial institutions. He ultimately argued that a failing financial institution should be allowed to fail without fearing an apocalyptic outcome. For countries, the TBTF theory comes under considerable challenge.

In August 1982, Mexico was not able to service its external debt obligations, marking the start of the debt crisis. After years of accumulating external debt, rising world interest rates, the worldwide recession and sudden devaluations of the peso caused the external debt bill to rise sharply, which ultimately caused a default. 

After six years of economic reform in Russia, privatization and macroeconomic stabilization had experienced some limited success. Yet in August 1998, after recording its first year of positive economic growth since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia was forced to default on its sovereign debt, devalue the ruble, and declare a suspension of payments by commercial banks to foreign creditors.

In Egypt, although the country remains to face a number of challenges, signs remain relatively less worrying than 2022, as global sentiment suggests that leverage will be provided in the short-term at least. Egypt’s diversified economy, size and relative regional clout may very well spare the country the fate of Lebanon. However, if reforms do not happen fast enough, the TBTF shield may become completely depleted.

Hence, in order to avoid an economic fallout scenario a full fledged support to the private sector’s local manufacturing activity and tourism is a must.  Effective policies geared towards competitiveness are mandatory, and tax & export oriented concessions are required to unleash the private sector’s maximum potential and shift Egypt into gear.

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Sanctions and the Confiscation of Russian Property. The First Experience

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After the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, Western countries froze the assets of the Russian public and private sector entities which had been hit by blocking financial sanctions. At the same time, the possibility that these assets could be confiscated and liquidated so that the funds could be transferred to Ukraine was discussed. So far, only Canada has such a legal mechanism. It will also be the first country to implement the idea of confiscation in practice. How does the new mechanism work, what is the essence of the first confiscation, and what consequences can we expect from the new practice in the future?

Loss of control over assets in countries that impose sanctions against certain individuals has long been a common phenomenon. The mechanism of blocking sanctions has been widely used for several decades by US authorities. A similar methodology has been adopted by the EU, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and some other countries. Russia and China may also resort to these tactics, although Moscow and Beijing rarely use them. In the hands of Western countries, blocking sanctions, however, have become a frequent occurrence. Along with the ban on financial transactions with individuals and legal entities named in the lists of blocked persons, such sanctions also imply the freezing of the assets of persons in the jurisdiction of the initiating countries. In other words, having fallen under blocking sanctions, a person or organisation loses the ability to use their bank accounts, real estate and any other property. Since February 2022, Western countries have blocked more than 1,500 Russian individuals in this way. If you add subsidiary structures to them, their number will be even greater. The volume of the property of these persons frozen abroad is colossal. It includes at least 300 billion dollars in gold and foreign exchange reserves.

This is not counting the assets of high net worth Russian individuals worth $30 billion or more which have been blocked by the G7 countries. However, the freezing of property does not mean its confiscation. Although the blocked person cannot dispose of his assets, it formally remains his property. At some point, the sanctions may be lifted, and access to property restored. In practice, restrictive measures can be in place for years, but theoretically, the possibility of recovering assets still remains.

After the start of the special military operation (SMO), calls began to be heard in Western countries to confiscate frozen property and transfer it to Ukraine. Confiscation mechanisms have existed before. For example, property could be confiscated by a court order as part of the criminal prosecution of violators of the sanctions legislation. However, such mechanisms are clearly not suitable for the mass confiscation of property. Blocking sanctions are a political decision that do not require the level of proof of guilt that is required in the criminal process. To put it bluntly, the hundreds of Russian officials or entrepreneurs put on blocking lists for supporting the SMO did not commit criminal offenses for which their property could be subject to confiscation. The sanctions have spurred the search for such crimes in the form of money laundering or other illegal operations. But the amount of funds raised in this way would be a tiny fraction of the value of the frozen assets. To implement the idea of confiscation of the frozen assets of sanctioned persons and the subsequent transfer of the proceeds for them, Ukraine needed a different mechanism.

Canada was the first country to implement such a mechanism. The 2022 revision of the Special Economic Measures Act gives Canadian authorities the executive power to order the seizure of property located in Canada which is owned by a foreign government or any person or entity from that country, as well as any citizen of the given country who is not a resident of Canada (article 4 (1)). The reason for the application of such measures may be “a gross violation of international peace and security, which has caused or may cause a serious international crisis” (Article 4 (1.1.)). The final decision on confiscation must be made by a judge, to whom a relevant representative of the executive branch sends a corresponding petition (Article 5.3). Furthermore, the executive authorities, at their own discretion, may decide to transfer the proceeds from the confiscated property in favour of a foreign state that has suffered as a result of actions to violate peace and security, in favour of restoring peace and security, as well as in favour of victims of violations of peace and security, or victims of violations of human rights law or anti-corruption laws (art. 5.6).

The first target of the new legal mechanism will be the Canadian asset of Roman Abramovich’s Granite Capital Holding Ltd. The value of the asset, according to a statement by Canadian authorities, is $26 million.

Roman Abramovich is on the Canadian Blocked List, i. e. his property is already frozen, and transactions are prohibited. Now the property of the Russian businessman will be confiscated and, with a high degree of probability, ownership will be transferred to Ukraine. This is a relatively small asset (from the standpoint of state property), but the procedure itself can be worked out. Further confiscations may be more extensive.

The Canadian experience can be copied by other Western countries. In the US, work on such a mechanism was announced back in April 2022. although it has not yet been adopted at the legislative level. In the EU, such a mechanism is also not finally fixed in the regulatory legal acts of the Union, although Art. 15 of Regulation 269/2014 obliges Member States to develop, inter alia, rules on the confiscation of assets obtained as a result of violations of the sanctions regime. The very concept of violations can be interpreted broadly. So, for example, Art. 9 of the said Regulation obliges blocked Russian persons to report to the authorities of the EU countries within six weeks after blocking about their assets. Violation of this requirement can be regarded as a circumvention of blocking sanctions.

There are several consequences of the Canadian authorities’ initiative.

First, it becomes clear that the confiscation rule is not dormant. Its use is possible and is a risk. This is a serious signal to those Russians and Russian companies that have not yet come under sanctions, but own property in the West. It can be not only frozen, but also confiscated. This risk will inevitably be taken into account by investors and owners from other countries, which could potentially be the target of increased Western sanctions in the future. Among them are China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others. It is unlikely that the confiscation of Russian property will lead to an outflow of assets of these countries and their citizens from Canada and other Western jurisdictions. But the signal itself will be taken into account.

Second, the Russian side is very likely to take retaliatory measures. Western companies are rapidly withdrawing their assets from Russia. The representation of Canadian business in the Russian Federation was small even before the start of the operation in Ukraine. If the practice of confiscation becomes widespread, then the Russian side can roll it out in relation against the remaining Western businesses. However, so far, Moscow has been extremely hesitant to freeze Western property. While the US, EU and other Western countries have actively blocked Russians and their assets, Russia has mainly responded with visa sanctions. The confiscation could overwhelm Moscow’s patience and make the retaliatory practice more proportionate.

Finally, the practice of confiscation modifies the very Western idea of sanctions. It currently implies, among other things, that the “behavioural change” of sanctioned persons would result in the lifting of sanctions and the return of property. The freezing mechanism was combined with this idea. However, the confiscation mechanism contradicts it. Sanctions now become exclusively a mechanism for causing damage.

From our partner RIAC

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