Notes from the field

Our work takes us all over the world. Here we share some of our more personal perspectives on some of the destinations we have visited, filed on location.

07.01.2016

Beirut’s spirit of enterprise

The last time I visited Beirut four years ago, the city’s downtown area was bustling. Rich Gulf Arab visitors thronged this high-class shopping district. But these days, the glitzy fashion stores are struggling. Since the oil price plunged, their clientele have stayed at home. This once vibrant area now seems dead. more >
04.01.2016

Trouble in paradise?

To a first-time visitor, the Seychelles look like a peaceful paradise. Lush green hills give way to white sandy beaches lapped by a warm turquoise ocean. The weather is great, the people are friendly and the local rum’s a treat. But things are not all that they seem. The islands have seen their fair share of foreign threats and new dangers again loom on the horizon. more >
28.10.2015

Slovenia’s capital: more transparent, but still very discreet

If Ljubljana is anything to go by, business in Slovenia is picking up and the unconventional business practices of the past have disappeared. But while transparency is encouraged, business is still largely done behind closed doors. more >
22.10.2015

Prague: a straightforward place to do business

A booming economy, relatively low corruption and widely spoken English make the Czech Republic an easy place to do business, but mixed messages from the government and growing Euroscepticism could discourage some investors. more >
09.10.2015

Mongolia: Still Waiting

Under the surface, Mongolia has it all. Coal, copper, gold, iron, oil, uranium – a veritable periodic table of opportunity. When China’s voracious appetite for resources drove up the prices of minerals, Mongolia seemed an investor’s paradise: stable, democratic, but underdeveloped. But its potential still remains largely unfulfilled. more >
16.09.2015

Crunch in Chisinau

Tents dot the square in front of the Moldovan National Assembly in the centre of Chisinau. A speaker on a makeshift podium reads a poem. People queue up in front of a poster to throw darts at the faces of the country’s oligarchs and politicians. Police officers in protective uniforms encircle the crowd. more >
15.09.2015

In Helsinki, it’s who you know

Helsinki feels more connected to central Europe than to its Scandinavian neighbours. Nestled between Norway, Sweden and Russia, Finland is the only country in the region to have joined the Euro. more >
26.08.2015

The quiet life in Erbil won’t last

The capital of Iraqi Kurdistan feels empty compared with 2013, but things are picking up as the Kurds strive for financial independence. more >
25.08.2015

Morocco: The Gateway to West Africa?

Compared to its neighbours, in recent years Morocco has made significant economic strides. The country has registered economic growth every year since King Mohammed VI succeeded his father Hassan V, an achievement that many Moroccans are quick to attribute to the sovereign. Casablanca is accessible and bustling with business travellers, as befitting the commercial capital of the most prosperous country in North Africa. more >
28.06.2015

Turbulence in Tunisia

It seemed like a good time to come to Tunisia. I had flown into Tunis last Wednesday and spent two hectic but fruitful days in the city. In the mornings I would easily hop between meetings as traffic was manageable and taxis plentiful. In the afternoons, when most offices had closed for the day due to the holy month of Ramadan, I worked in the calm of my hotel. The people were welcoming, the weather was pleasant, and the homemade Iftar dinner I was lucky enough to have been invited to was delicious. more >

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