Posted: 11 Aug. 2018 3.5 min. read

The only certainty is…

Nothing is certain except death and taxes. So said Benjamin Franklin in 1789. Since then, there is much that has become certain, such as uncertainty, wars, tax evasion, money laundering and business travel to name but a few. Oh, and mobile telephony. Future historians will eventually make sense of our uncertain and unpredictable times. For now, we will just have to go with the flow. It does help, however, to try and make sense of the world around us and this is precisely what our contributors do in this issue of Middle East Point of View. It is indeed a careful world we live in and much has become about assessing risk and mitigating it.

But there is still much room for excitement, especially as regards the advancement of technology. Enter 5G, the fittest and fastest mobile network so far. Emmanuel Durou, Pedro Tavares, Guilherme Oliveira, Hugo Pinto, Pedro Venâncio, and Gonçalo Horta review the new network and the challenges faced by mobile operators. Despite the need for monetization, the authors say: “More than ever, Telcos cannot afford to miss the proverbial 5G boat—it is not about differentiation anymore, it is about survival of the fastest in every sense of the word.”

Mitigating risk is of increasing importance for both banks and the construction industry. Reduced liquidity due to changing market dynamics, namely a reduction in oil prices, is forcing banks in the GCC region to rethink their lending policy due to a rise in Non-Performing Loans. David Stark and Karim Labban advise in their article NPLs on the rise that corporates “should seek creative financing and restructuring solutions to mitigate default risk and engage in transformation initiatives to adapt to the changing dynamics of the market.”

The effects of tighter financial policies in the Middle East, according to Matt Hanson, can certainly be felt in the construction industry and are leading to slightly more careless contracts. This is wrong, he says in his article The case for risk management in the Middle East construction market, as “tight management of project costs and clear visibility of project risks will become critical in ensuring overruns are avoided and stakeholders retain confidence in an organization’s ability to deliver projects successfully.”

Even business travel is no longer immune to taxes and risk. As organizations become more global, says Jayne Stokes in her article Business Travel, managing risk in an evolving landscape, “employees are increasingly expected to take on global or regional roles [giving rise] to a complex array of tax, immigration and payroll risks for both the organization and the employee.”

And what better for mitigating risk than an insurance policy? That is precisely what Walid Chiniara and Yasmine Omari propose in their article The “Triple S” family business insurance policy. Although “there is no standard “Family business” insurance policy,” per se, “it is possible to put in place a governance structure, akin to an insurance policy, to safeguard the capital of a family in all its forms: financial, human, social and intellectual.”

No issue of our magazine would be complete without a commentary on reporting and anti-money laundering standards. Angelito Catacutan reviews the “Big Change” in IFRS 15, that affects the recognition criteria of revenue and will surely affect many industries especially some of the big real estate players and key telecommunications companies, who have chosen an early adoption of the standard.

Roy Gillespie, in his article ISO 37001 anti-bribery management system: time for implementation outlines the required measures and fundamental elements to ensure a successful implementation of the system, including top-level commitment, communication and adequate resources and budget.

Finally, Andrea Derler, Anthony Abbatiello, and Stacia Garr discuss the five ways to nurture developing leaders in their article reprinted from the Deloitte Review, Better pond, bigger fish. “Developing future leaders isn’t just about putting them through programs,” they say, “new research points to the critical importance of supporting them with the right organizational context—a workplace environment that encourages knowledgesharing, risk-taking, and growth.”

We are fairly certain that you will find this issue of the Middle East Point of View as informative and pertinent as ever, as certain as we are of paying our taxes.

The views and opinions expressed herein do not represent nor reflect those of Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) LLP (DME). Opinions, conclusions and other information in this blog post which have not been delivered by way of the business of Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) LLP (DME) are neither given nor endorsed by it.