The 10 Things We Learned At Davos

The alpine town of Davos in the Swiss Alps.

By Dennis K. Berman

Here’s the scary part about Davos: You schlep to this Swiss redoubt expecting to meet a secret colony of people in the know. But turns out they don’t know either. Which is in fact why they’re here, too — to find and interrogate people who do.

This collective “pinging” feels more akin to a high-frequency trading platform than a seminar devoted to improving the state of the world. The cocktail parties are no more than lubricated information markets, where each node is trying to calibrate itself based on information transmitted and received. What emerges about Europe, or social media, or green energy is eventually rendered a mushy consensus. This is what they might call in Davos the market-clearing price of a thought.

So, what was the mushy consensus?

“Not optimistic. But Less Pessimstic.”

Imminent crisis averted in the Eurozone, dozens of CEOs in private interviews struck a remarkably similar tone about the world economy. It’s banal if only for the scramble of phrases: Some spoke of the timeless “caution,” others declared themselves “not pessimistic but not optimistic either” and “hesitant.” The only honest position seems to be this: No one has a clue.

“Governments don’t create growth. They create circumstances.”

Perhaps the most provocative quote of the week, from an unnamed CEO. Such antipathy was in wide circulation across the week, as CEOs variously complained about financial overregulation, competing international standards, and European governments’ inability to change labor and safety-net laws. The struggle over corporate tax dollars — particularly in the strapped U.S. and Europe — is only beginning. There just doesn’t seem much trust left between government and business, which does not bode well.

via The 10 Things We Learned At Davos – Corporate Intelligence – WSJ.

Use an SA company to trade in the free zone

This is a photo showing the construction of Li...

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)-registered companies will have to be located within the free zone or they will lose their registration, a senior government official has reiterated.

“The UAE’s federal law stipulates that any company registered by a free zone has to have a presence in that free zone and, therefore, it has always been mandatory for any DIFC registered company to be located in the centre or it would lose its registration,” Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, told ‘Emirates24|7’.

“However, we work closely with the registered firms to ensure that their location transition to DIFC is as smooth as possible and would not disturb their business plans.”

A number of DIFC-registered companies were allowed to conduct business outside its premises due to lack of space in 2007 and 2008 with companies also taking advantage of lower rents than the free zone.

Total leasable commercial space in DIFC’s own buildings stood at 1.217 million square feet as of June 2011, while total commercial office space within third party developers was at 769,000 square feet. Earlier this year, DIFC said about two million square feet of commercial office space was likely to be handed over by third-party developers in the next 18 to 24 months.

This website reported earlier that occupancy level in DIFC Gate District has remained at over 95 per cent, while third-party developments within the free zone have leased 58 per cent of their office space.

Realty agents believe that most of the DIFC-listed companies have already moved base to the third party developments within the free zone  where rents are lower than the Gate District.

A senior official of a company, which moved its office to Liberty House, told this website: “We directly negotiated with the owners and managed to get a good deal… just that we had to sign a long-term lease.”

via DIFC firms must be located within the free zone – Emirates 24/7