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Thu, Oct 29, 2020

Middle East business leaders provide perspective on the economic impact of the upcoming US presidential election

In an empowerME survey conducted in the last thirty days, thirty-two Middle East business leaders shared their views on the possible economic impact of the 2020 US Presidential election. Atlantic Council experts Kirsten Fontenrose, Amjad Ahmad, Mohsin Khan, and Jean-Francois Seznec analyzed the data and provided the following key takeaways.

Elections 2020

Education Elections

Fri, Jul 24, 2020

The ACWA Power–Air Products joint venture for green hydrogen: A new Saudi energy policy?

In early July 2020, the city of Neom and ACWA Power of Saudi Arabia signed a joint venture agreement with Air Products of the United States to build the largest green hydrogen and green ammonia plant in the world. As the energy transition gains speed, this announcement is a significant step forward in establishing a new role for Middle Eastern oil-exporting countries in a future global economy less dependent on hydrocarbons. That said, the scale and relative inexperience of key project partners means the project still faces an uphill battle.

EnergySource by Jean-François Seznec and Samer Mosis

Energy & Environment Energy Markets & Governance

Wed, Jun 24, 2020

Rapid response: The SABIC-Aramco merger

Saudi Aramco’s acquisition of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) finalized on June 16, 2020, provides a window into the Saudi strategy to become a world-scale chemicals producer. However, the structure of the deal also offers an interesting look into the Saudi financial position amid low oil prices and a global pandemic.

EnergySource by Jean-François Seznec

Energy & Environment Energy Markets & Governance

Jean-François Seznec is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. He is also an adjunct professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies. He teaches classes on finance, energy, and politics in the Persian Gulf. He holds a MIA from Columbia University (1973), a MA, and his PhD from Yale University (1994). He has published and lectured extensively on chemical and energy-based industries in the Gulf, and their importance in world trade. He is interviewed regularly on national and international TV, radio, and newspapers. Dr. Seznec has twenty-five years of experience in international banking and finance, of which ten years were spent in the Middle East. Dr. Seznec is managing partner of the Lafayette Group, a US-based consulting and investment company. His research centers on the influence of the Arab-Persian Gulf, as well as political and social variables on the financial and oil markets in the region.