Y. Abul-Failat (with Elizabeth Eljuri), Political Risk Management in Natural Resources Projects in MENA and the Latin American Regions

In the last decade or more, events in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) region as well as Latin America (“LATAM”) has brought political risk faced by International Resources Companies (“IRC”) and the stability of the countries in which they operate in to the forefront of their concerns. The Arab Spring, the sectarian conflicts in Iraq and Syria, Iran’s rising tensions with Israel, its role in supporting the Assad regime, sectarianism and civil conflicts, seem to have become a trend in the MENA region that can only affect the stability sought. On its part, populist politics and resource nationalism characterise the policies of LATAM countries such as Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. More specifically, severe economic measures such as exchange control regimes currently in force in Argentina and Venezuela, as well as continuing expropriation and forced contractual negotiation, make it even more difficult for IRC’s to decide whether or not it is worth the risk investing in these countries.