Appalachia: This Is What Economic Revival Looks Like

On October 2, 2015 · 0 Comments

erllThe economy of southern Ohio has been devastated for years. Coal mining jobs that once paid $40,000 a year have been replaced by minimum wage service jobs–or nothing at all. Oil and gas hit bottom. And while loggers still work the forests, the timber is shipped directly to Japan and Germany, with no secondary wood processing jobs in the region. While the rest of the state has a 4 percent unemployment rate, the 1 1 counties in the Appalachian part of Ohio average as high as 17 percent.

“If you don’t have a job at Ohio University, you’re poor,” says June Holley, president of the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet).

But when ACEnet sought ways to invigorate the economy, the group realized that the area had one unrecognized asset: hundreds of tiny manufacturing firms. “We did a lot of research and were inspired by northern Italy, where hundreds of thousands of very small manufacturing firms were created in 15 years,” explains Holley. The secret was targeting markets, then working in collaborative ways to meet the …

Gulf Region Economies Opening Slowly

On September 30, 2015 · 0 Comments

greThe opening up of Gulf economies promises a range of new financing opportunities, and even some potentially hectic merger activity as Gulf Co-operation Council banks prime themselves to survive in a more competitive environment.

An opening to private investment in key sectors of the Saudi Arabian economy is exciting considerable interest across the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) region. Speculation that investment in the Saudi gas sector could require some $25bn in the next few years alone is just the sort of talk Gulf bankers and their international rivals and associates like to hear.

Opening up the world’s biggest oil exporter could have considerable impact on Bahrain, whose financial services sector, just across the causeway from Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, houses nearly 200 financial institutions with a $100bn-plus consolidated balance sheet — a significant part of which is sourced from Saudi Arabia.

But the impact of any real Saudi opening will be felt across the wider Gulf region, where project financing, new Islamic products and other instruments are fast becoming commonplace in one of the world’s most conservative …

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