Archive for November, 2012

November 29, 2012   Posted by: Indy

Index Dubai publishes 2012 Post Show Report

2012 Index International Design Exhibition, Dubai World Trade Centre, 24-27 Sept 2012

20,023 visitors from 93 countries, 777 exhibitors, 21 International pavilions, 46 exhibiting countries

Full details at Index Dubai 2012 Post Show Report

Independent is the exclusive North American representative for the Office Exhibition 2013, the Commercial, Healthcare, Educational and Retail sectors within Index 2013, the Middle East Region’s first Interiors Super Show.

Combined, the 2013 show will occupy more than 45,000 sq.m at the Dubai World Trade Centre and attract over 25,000 visitors from across the interiors and fit-out communities.

Contact us for more information on how you can take advantage of the growth in the Middle East Region and its continuing substantial investment in infrastructure.

Email for more information and to book your space at the 2013 show

Index 2013 – Interiors Super Show, incorporating the Office Exhibition – Dubai May 20-23, 2013

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November 29, 2012   Posted by: Indy

UAE mulls 100% foreign ownership of companies

Officials in the UAE are reviewing a draft commercial law that will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of some companies.

Officials in the UAE are reviewing a draft commercial law that will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of some companies, Bloomberg reported, citing the undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

The Abu Dhabi government and others within the UAE are reviewing the draft legislation, which would allow some sectors to operate outside of free zones, said Mohamed Omar Abdulla.

“We recognise the importance of the foreign companies to have 100 percent ownership, but within specific rules and conditions,” he said.

Companies that are eligible would “have to be within the industries that have certain priorities within the economy, like petrochemicals, communications, logistics, aerospace, financial, and others,” he added.

Under UAE law, only nationals are allowed full ownership of companies operating outside of free zones. The law currently requires foreign citizens to have a UAE national as a partner or sponsor to conduct business.

The Gulf state has been trying to diversify and modernise its economy, developing areas including tourism and finance, in a bid to reduce its dependence on oil exports.

The UAE’s state news agency in December said the cabinet had approved a draft companies law that may allow foreign ownership above 49 percent.

The legislation lays down a framework for the governance of public companies, ensuring transparency and disclosure of financial data as well as the efficiency and integrity of the board of directors, WAM said

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November 29, 2012   Posted by: Indy

Dubai ruler announces new mega city project

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced on Saturday plans to build a new multi-billion dollar project called Mohammad Bin Rashid City.

The new city project will be built by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties in what is being described as the biggest real estate joint venture in the region.

No value has been given for the project but plans include building the world’s biggest shopping mall, a Universal family theme park and a park that is a third bigger than Hyde Park in London.

The project will comprise four key components and will feature “world class leisure facilities and provide an integrated environment for the development of entrepreneurship and innovation”, a statement said. It is not clear how this project will impact the much-delayed Dubailand project.

Sheikh Mohammad said in the statement: “The current facilities available in Dubai need to be scaled up in line with the future ambitions for the city.

“Therefore we have to start work immediately on the third phase of development that is aligned to our Vision till 2030 and boost the UAE economy to enable it to enter a new era in which it will become the capital of entrepreneurship, arts, culture, and family tourism for over 2 billion people.”

He added: “Our development initiatives concerning infrastructure in all sectors should be aligned with this growth rate and we have the determination to reach our objectives and be the first in the region to achieve them.”

The new city will also include residential areas built on green building standards in terms of energy consumption, waste treatment and conservation of natural environment.

It will also feature a number of golf courses under well-known international names.

Courtesy of Arabian Business – full story here



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November 7, 2012   Posted by: Indy

MEDC announces second year of export assistance for small businesses

MEDC announces second year of export assistance for small businesses

LANSING – On the heels of Gov. Rick Snyder’s second trade mission to Asia in 12 months, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced a second year of financial assistance to Michigan small and medium businesses for export-related activities through the Pure Michigan export incentive program.

“My recent trip to China reaffirmed that foreign countries offer new markets, distributorships and other business partnerships to Michigan companies. The Pure Michigan export incentive program helps Michigan companies tap into those markets and diversify their customer bases,” Governor Rick Snyder said. “In today’s globally interconnected world, export sales offer extraordinary opportunities for Michigan companies to grow and create new jobs.”

The $2.1 million in funding is from a second year of allocations to the State of Michigan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program. State project award amounts vary based on the proposed project plan and budget.

“Through the first year of the STEP program we were able to assist many Michigan businesses with increasing their sales in foreign markets – sales that help diversify companies’ customer bases, provide longer term stability and can support higher paying jobs,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “This year’s STEP award, a $600,000 increase over last year, is the second largest award in the nation, reflecting the Small Business Administration’s strong confidence in Michigan’s successful execution of export promotion to increase international sales.”

The SBA STEP grant program provides direct reimbursements to qualified companies with 500 or fewer employees globally for export-related activities, ranging from foreign market research to international trade missions.

The program’s goal is to increase Michigan’s export sales, increase the number of new-to-export companies and introduce current exporters to new foreign markets and buyers.

MEDC launched the STEP pilot program in October 2011. More than 400 Michigan companies received assistance through the first year of the program, with 132 companies entering 62 new global markets. New export sales of more than $21.2 million were reported as a result of the program.

The MEDC’s export plan was developed through collaboration with strategic export service providers including U.S. Department of Commerce, Michigan Small Business Administration, Michigan Small Business Technology & Development Center, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Michigan State University’s Center for International Business Education and Research, along with Automation Alley, Van Andel Global Trade Center, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, and Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The MEDC coordinates a statewide export assistance delivery system with public and private resources to ensure company access regardless of geographic location.

In September, leaders from 21 Michigan companies, many of them STEP program participants, traveled to China to meet with prospective partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China. The MEDC, which facilitated the mission, arranged more than 100 matchmaking meetings for the participating companies. Several of the companies also met with distributors who can sell their products throughout China, further increasing Michigan exports.

The trip occurred in tandem with Gov. Snyder’s 10-day China trade mission, where he focused on strengthening relationships and developing pathways for increasing Michigan exports to the country.

For complete details on how companies can apply for assistance, including eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit

The MEDC markets the state with a focus on business, talent, jobs and helping to grow the economy. For more on MEDC and its initiatives, visit:


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November 2, 2012   Posted by: Indy

A State by State look at Superstorm’s effects

A state-by-state look at superstorm’s effects
November 02, 2012 4:42 PM EDT  – Courtesy of AP

The massive storm that started out as Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast and morphed into a huge and problematic system, killing at least 96 people in the United States. Power outages now stand at more than 3.6 million homes and businesses, down from a peak of 8.5 million. Here’s a snapshot of what is happening, state by state.


Gas shortages in the New York area sends motorists across state lines to Connecticut in search of fuel. Lines form at gas stations near Interstate 95. Memorial service planned Saturday for volunteer Easton firefighter Russell Neary, killed during the storm while clearing tree debris from a road. Deaths: 3. Power outages: 227,500, down from a peak of 625,000.


As Massachusetts returns to normal, it sends volunteers and National Guard members to help in storm-battered New York. Massachusetts’ federally-owned T.S. Kennedy heading to Elizabeth, N.J., on Sunday. The 540-foot ship will serve as a “hotel” for emergency workers, power crews and others helping the region get back on its feet. Deaths: None. Power outages: about 1,000, down from 400,000.


Officials estimate it will be the weekend before power is fully restored. Deaths: 1. Power outages: 1,300, down from 210,000.


Atlantic City’s 12 casinos, closed in advance of the storm, start reopening after Gov. Chris Christie gives them the OK. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood views the storm damage in Ocean County. Motorists face another day of long lines for gas. Unemployment benefits are made available to two more counties where residents lost jobs because of the storm. The state sets up a hotline to help pet owners find their pets. Deaths: 14. Power outages: 1.5 million, down from 2.7 million.


The cost of the storm could exceed $18 billion in New York alone. Gov. Andrew Cuomo tells utilities to step up power repair work or risk losing business in the state. Fuel shortages, and motorists fume in long lines at gas stations around New York City. All three of the city’s major airports were back open. Subway and commuter rail services were partly restored. The state created a $100 million fund to help people hit the hardest. Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his decision to hold the New York City Marathon on Sunday as scheduled. Deaths: 48, including 41 in New York City. Power outages: More than 1.3 million, down from 2.2 million.


The Coast Guard orders a formal investigation into the sinking of the famous HMS Bounty off Cape Hatteras during the hurricane Monday. One crew member died and the captain was missing. Deaths: 2. Power outages: None, down from 126,000.


Between 250 and 300 polling places remained without power just days before Tuesday’s election. The Red Cross closed all but two of its emergency shelters in the state. Deaths: 14. Power outages: 307,000, down from 1.2 million.


Gov. Lincoln Chafee signs a request seeking a presidential disaster declaration in three of the state’s five counties. Organizers recruit volunteers to spend the day Saturday in Westerly’s beach community, where they will clear away debris and remove sand that inundated homes, shops and other businesses. Deaths: None. Power outages: 7,800, down from more than 122,000.


Amtrak service was disrupted Friday because of the storm. Vermont was sending utility crews, Red Cross and other volunteers to help storm victims in New York. Deaths: None. Power outages: mostly restored, down from more than 10,000.


Sources: Local and state authorities; AP reporting

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November 2, 2012   Posted by: Indy

Superstorm Sandy Freight and Shipping Update Nov 2

Superstorm Sandy Freight and Shipping Update Nov 2

Offices within the affected region are generally open for business, but in many cases with restricted operations due to continuing power outages and problems with public transportation which is affecting the staff commute.

Data and Landline phone services are generally restored and operational, but cell services are still subject to interruption.

Airfreight operations JFK/EWR improve on a daily basis.

Port Status remains as per Nov 1st, ie New York and New Jersey remain closed, other East Coats Ports operational and accepting cargo. Shipping lines are generally skipping New York / New Jersey calls, and cargo being diverted to Norfolk or other ports. Maersk Line’s schedule as below is fairly typical :


Vessel Update:
The following vessels are being diverted due to the closure of the port of New York/New Jersey.
MECL Service – Maersk Carolina
Will reverse rotation to first call Charleston and Newark Last.   The new schedule is Charleston(11/2) , Norfolk (11/4) and Newark (11/6)
MECL2 – Maersk Iowa
Will arrive in Philadelphia on 11/2, Savannah 11/4, Houston 11/8, Norfolk 11/12.  All Newark cargo will be discharged in Philadelphia.
WESTMED – Holsatia
Will arrive in Norfolk today 11/1 and arrive in Savannah on 11/3.  All Newark cargo will be discharged in Norfolk.

TP3 – Axel Maersk
Will arrive in Norfolk on 11/3, and Savannah 11/5.  All Newark cargo will be discharged in Norfolk.
MEDGULF -Barcelona Express
Vessel omitted Charleston due to storm. Charleston cargo discharged in Port Everglades.
TA5 – APL Indonesia / MOL Destiny
Newark cargo discharged in Norfolk on 10/31.


We continue to monitor developments, and to update our clients on the progress of their specific movements.

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November 1, 2012   Posted by: Indy

Superstorm Sandy Freight and Shipping Update Nov 1

Courtesy of Lloyd’s Loading List

As Lloyd’s Loading went to press, freight transport continued to be disrupted in the wake of Superstorm Sandy with the Port of New York and New Jersey’s maritime facilities remaining closed until further notice.

The facilities were shut down at midnight on 28 October.

In an update issued on yesterday evening, the Port Authority underlines that its staff and engineers continue to carry out inspections at the site and assess damage. “We will resume operations at our facilities as early as possible but only when it is safe to do so.”

However, all other ports along the US and North-East and mid-Atlantic coast had re-opened by yesterday morning.

Commenting on the impact of Sandy on Maersk Line’s activities, a spokesman told Lloyd’s Loading “All our vessels and their crews are safe. Due to the rough weather, there have been some minor damages to vessels – navigational lights missing, lost SATC antenna etc. But no cargo has been lost overboard.”

He confirmed that all terminals and ports on the US East Coast – except the Port of New York and New Jersey – are open for business as usual.

“The port authorities and terminal management in the New York/New Jersey area are currently assessing the impact to the port/terminal. At this time, we do not know when we will gain access to the Port Elizabeth terminal in Newark to access possible damage to container units on the ground or when we can resume normal terminal operation,” he added.

The picture is more positive for air transport, with New York’s main airports, JFK and Newark, having re-opened on Wednesday morning. Although flight services have not been fully restored and vary from carrier to carrier.

British Airways said it was aiming to operate a near normal schedule to New York, while Air France said its flights to and from New York, Washington and Boston had resumed.

In its latest update, issued yesterday, FedEx said that the severe weather system that brought hazardous conditions across the US North-East is still leaving difficult conditions and continues to affect FedEx operations. “Unavoidable” service delays should be expected, due to local road conditions across around 15 states in the region, it added.

While the situation appears to be improving generally, a key issue remains of the power outages.

On Wednesday an estimated 6.2 million homes and businesses were without power because of the storm.

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