With a heavily depressed market and predictions of further drops in commodity prices into 2016, few are singing the praises of exploration and mining. But this is a cyclical industry and prices will rise again. The question is only when. In the meantime, demand for raw materials continues to rise, if more slowly than in the 2000’s, to support a high standard of living that is becoming accessible to more. In this difficult market, Greenland continues to hold firm to its plans to be a major player in the raw materials sector. Although Greenland is not a member state of the European Union, Greenland and the EU have strong ties, and Greenland is seen as a strategic partner for Europe in raw materials. Increasingly the Arctic more generally is drawing interest as a region that holds significant potential as a future supplier both for petroleum and minerals.
The changing global landscape of international tax entail challenges for multinational companies in adjusting and adopting their investment approach to the new regulatory environment.
There are currently several ongoing regulatory changes within the international tax area.
The OECD base erosion and profit shifting project (BEPS) - initiated in 2012 - is looking at whether and why multinational corporations’ taxable profits are being allocated to locations different from those where the actual business activities take place. A BEPS action plan was published by the OECD in July 2013. The main purposes of the BEPS action plan is to
- ensure that companies are taxed in the countries in which they are conducting their business activities, and
- prevent double non-taxation as a result of gaps in the interaction between domestic tax systems.
The action plan includes 15 action points within areas such as hybrid arrangements, interest and other financial payments deductions, transparency, substance and transfer pricing. The OECD issued its final reports on 5 October 2015.
Situated in the Arctic, between northern Canada and Europe, Greenland is one of the last frontiers of mineral and petroleum exploration. That is not to say that there is no history of mining in Greenland – far from it.
Greenland has a long mining history dating back to the 1800s, including the cryolite mine in South Greenland, which provided crucial product for extracting aluminium. In the 1900s a lead mine in East Greenland and the Maamorilik lead-zinc mine in West Greenland were active, where the latter remains an active exploitation license today. And in the 2000s gold and olivine were mined. So in looking to a mining future, Greenland builds on its past.
Making the grade
British companies carry out more foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Germany than in any other European country - and by far. Between 2008 and 2013, the latest reporting period, 402 FDI projects were carried out by UK-based firms in the country, fDI Markets data shows. This compares with 293 projects in France and 270 in Ireland. BP, British Telecom, Vodafone, GlaxoSmithKline, British Airways, EasyJet as well as a diverse range of British software companies have all invested in Germany in recent years.
There is extensive political agreement in Greenland that the country’s mineral sector should be developed into a principal industry contributing positively to economic development and the creation of new jobs.
This objective is a vital element of the plan for long-term economic development, which includes the development of business sectors as an alternative to the fisheries sector. Greenland’s government aims to maintain a high level of mineral exploration to further incentivise the mineral resources industry to obtain exploration and exploitation licenses. In an interview, Julie Hollis Head of Geology Department; Ph.D.Ministry of Mineral Resources and Henrik Stendal of the Ministry of Mineral Resources explain this strategy
Situated in the heart of the arctic, midway between North America and Europe, Greenland is a country that is looking to the future. Many hope that a key foundation of that future will be the development of a strong minerals and petroleum industry.
Although tiny in populace, with only around 57,000 residents, Greenland is vast in area, covering over 2 million square kilometres. Even accounting for the extent of cover of the Inland Ice, the remaining exposed area of rock is still the size of the entirety of Sweden. A major goal of the Government of Greenland is to develop the significant potential for minerals and oil and gas to the benefit of Greenlandic society. This goal has broad political support both within government and the wider community. In 2014 the Government published a new five year Oil and Mineral Strategy for 2014 – 2018 (www.govmin.gl), the aim of which is to have five to ten long-term mines operating at any one time and to facilitate discovery of commercially viable petroleum fields.
Demographic change means that companies today are facing a previously unknown challenge: the battle over the best employees. Only companies that are able to keep good employees are able to increase productivity, grow and survive amid the competition.
But the very employees they are in search of, the young "Generation Y", have become choosy. A commensurate salary and good career opportunities go without saying. A comparative study of the years 2004 and 2014 by the Centre of Human Resources Information Systems of the University of Bamberg established that Generation Y placed particular importance on soft factors such as work climate (2004: 53%, 2014: 94.3) flexible hours 2004: 28%, 2014: 85.9) and work/life balance (2004: 27%, 2014: 67.9%) when choosing an employer.
Bogotá, the Business Hub in Latin America, Bogotá is a prosperous cosmopolitan city with 7.6 million inhabitants, and it is fast becoming the hub for business in Latin America.
International executives find in Bogotá a city with benefits that facilitate transactions and offer a favourable climate for business. Juan Gabriel Pérez, Executive Director of Invest in Bogotá, explained: "The advantages offered by Bogotá over its Latin American peers include: the first cargo airport and the third in terms of passengers; 36 direct flights to international destinations; a privileged location that facilitates access to an extended market; a young, skilled workforce, and strength and economic stability".
Iceland is an advanced economy, located strategically between Europe and North America, part of the common European Market, enjoying a free trade agreement with Canada and most favoured nation status in the US market. Bearing this in mind the new extensive free trade agreement with China offers investors multiple opportunities. Both Chinese investors, looking for opportunities to sell their products and services to Europe, and investors from the US, Canada and Europe, interested in the fast growing Chinese market, have been exploring the possibility of establishing production or value added operations in Iceland.
Unless SMEs in Africa can get improved access to finance, economic growth in Africa – which many believe will power the next phase of global economic growth - might just grind to a halt.
Across almost every measure of economic growth and development, Africa is on the up. And, better still, the economic transformation of Africa is being propelled by indigenous forces – particularly the committed body of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout the continent. In fact, there's a lot to suggest that continued growth in Africa depends on the continued growth of its SME sector. So far, so good - but there are some problems. If the SME sector in Africa is to progress further, it needs better access to energy, expertise and skilled labour. More than anything else, however, it needs money.