ARTICLES

The defense business as a new strategic weapon

Spain exported arms worth 4,347 million euros last year, more than double that just five years ago

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), one of the main centers of study of the scope and distribution of military expenditure, has recently published its latest global report analyzing the evolution of the purchase and sale of weapons, whose data it is extracted, as the first conclusion, the upward trend of the global arms market in the period 2013-2017, with an advance of 10% compared to the previous five years 2008-2012. According to the Swedish Institute, defense spending has reached 1,739 billion dollars in 2017 on a global scale, representing a minimum of 2.2% of world GDP, a percentage that could be much higher given the significant volume of expenditure that escapes to the statistical control and the plans of manufacture for “own consumption” on the part of the great powers in this section like the USA,

While there were always economic interests supported by military intervention, now the arms industry is presented as another industrial sector, which has to create and maintain its own demand and often acts as a catalyst to delimit the economic spaces of influence.

A clear example can be seen in the Middle East, where the recent suspension of the denuclearization agreement of Iran unilaterally by the United States, the unexpected escalation of tension between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Yemen conflict, the role of Russia in the end of the war in Syria or the consolidation of military regimes in countries like Egypt are just a recent example of the endless list of conflicts that have turned the area into a large-scale weapons market.

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The countries of the Middle East have doubled their imports in the last ten years. Thus, although the news about the sale of arms by Spain to Saudi Arabia has jumped to the press a few days ago, the Arab country and many of its surroundings are, for a long time, potential customers of growing relevance, not only for our country.

Saudi Arabia is the second largest importer of large arms in the world, just behind India, with an increase in purchases of 225% in the last five years compared to the previous one. Equally spectacular was the increase in arms imports by Egypt in that period (215%), which places it as the third largest importer between 2013 and 2017, ahead of the United Arab Emirates. As can be seen, the area accumulates the main focus of demand worldwide, taking into account that countries also from the Arab world such as Iraq, Algeria, Turkey, Oman, Bahrain or Qatar also occupy prominent positions as importers and that Israel is also a military power with significant participation in international trade.

This framework of tension in the area is reflected in geopolitics, starting with the alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which in turn tries to lead the area as the visible head of the Sunni confession countries, as opposed to the axis of Shiite confession. which aims to lead Iran, a country that to date reflected a growing economic opening to Europe and Russia. The confessional struggle seems an alibi to divide a market where the United States wants to maintain the dominant position.

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The statistics in regard to Spain, even taking into account that its arms exports are directed mainly to European countries, are not alien to this trend. Already in 2015, the year in which the signature of the sale agreement of the 400 pumps that have now sown controversy, exports to Saudi Arabia already accounted for 14% of the total with annual growth rates above 80%.

In global terms, Spain exported arms worth 4,347 million euros last year, more than double that just five years ago, which places our country in seventh place in the world ranking of exporters, Saudi Arabia is the third client with greater weight

Regarding the reputation of the receiving states of the armament, it is difficult to set limits, given that many of the current or potential clients could be put into a different perspective and still a high percentage of countries in the world are imperfect dictatorships or democracies. In any case, we must not forget that it is a commercial game where the gap left by one competitor is occupied by another and the pragmatic vision of employment and the trade balance, not only in terms of arms sales but also to other economic sectors involved, it has a complex frame of discussion when it is opposed to moral factors without an overall vision.

Thus, perhaps it is not advisable to disseminate a simplistic assessment limited to the sale of weapons with a lot of media noise. If we focus on a possible balanced context, it might be advisable to take decisions at European level and to draw up a common strategy on defense issues, without forgetting, on the one hand, the competitive factor of the arms industry, but designing, at the same time, a position of greater prominence in the main sources of tension close to the European Union, starting with the Middle East and Africa, whose instability and proliferation of conflicts do not favor European interests, as they are areas of high strategic value for the continent, now in orbit of the United States and China, weapons through.

Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs Newbies

In this post, I want to comment on business ideas for entrepreneurs who are just going to start their first business. It is important as a first-time entrepreneur, choose the best business idea. I will explain to you the businesses that as entrepreneurs have more chance of success and which as a first business you have to avoid.

BEST ENTREPRENEURIAL BUSINESS IDEAS

Here are some tips that can help you when undertaking for the first time:

1. Franchises

The best entrepreneurial business idea that I recommend are franchises. These are business models that were already successful, and somehow, they found the recipe for success. With a franchise, you can increase your likelihood of success by up to 80%, unlike putting an inexperienced business. You can go to the franchise fairs to get an idea of how they work and the prices.

2. Well located businesses

In our list of business ideas for entrepreneurs, we have to consider the fact of having an excellent location. For example, in the last post of business ideas for Mexico, I commented that a bad business idea is to put a grocery store or small store. However, well located, it can be a successful business. Preferably, it must be together (or less than 50 meters) from a neighborhood, residential or fractionation. Therefore, as a beginner entrepreneur, think about the location of your business.

3. Online business

Starting a business online means setting up a website, and generating income by selling a tangible or intangible product (such as an ebook) or advertising. This business idea for entrepreneurs is recommended for the following reasons: 1) investment costs are very low, just by investing in a hosting service to store your information on the internet and buy a domain, in total a year can cost up to $ 60 dollars , 2) learn how to sell, and how to serve customers, whether by mail, phone or chat and 3) Learn the characteristics of the entrepreneur as being perseverant, not giving up, getting up before problems, etc.

4. Business in which you already have experience

There are many people who worked in a company for years, and now that they retire, they need to generate new sources of income. Therefore, in entrepreneurial business ideas , we must consider that all this experience is invaluable to start a business. For example, a person who worked his entire career as a sales agent, has these strengths: he has contacts, social relations, knows the industry, knows who the suppliers are, knows how to negotiate, etc. Also do not think you need to retire to do it. With 3 to 5 years of experience, you will have enough capacity to understand how that business turn and open your business.

5. Business with partners

Starting a business alone is difficult, because of the amount of tasks to be developed, the time, and the motivation to continue forward. A good business idea for entrepreneurs is to get a partner. It can be a friend, relative, or known to have the interest to start a business and / or have the necessary experience to implement it. Limit the roles, responsibilities and investment of each one before working with a partner. Have a clear definition of what they are going to contribute to the company, and how they will work as a team.

ENTREPRENEUR BUSINESS ERRORS

6. Invest too much money

A true story: I had a college colleague who had plenty of financial resources available. He decided to start his first business with an investment of 1 million dollars … in 2 years, he had closed and liquidated all the assets to cover his debts. With this, I want to explain to you that despite the entrepreneurial business idea that you have, do not invest too much money. Understand that the probability is against you, and that is why you have to fight against the irrational instinct to believe that the more you invest, the more you earn.

7. Pyramids, Multilevel, Make Easy Money

This idea of entrepreneurial business is the worst thing you can do. I know there are many people on the internet who offer to make easy money, for multilevel business, adwords or make money with 0 investment and 100% profitability in almost a day. The concept of this fraud is simple: you invest your money, and they give you a commission for each person you put in the pyramid. However, no product or service is sold. Simply the person administering it collects all the money from the payment to enter the system, and one day suddenly disappears. I recommend you to look for low-investment business ideas , which may take you more time to earn money, but do it honestly and legally.

8. Do not make a business plan

Many people (if not the majority) think that making a business plan is like a procedure; It only serves to ask for a credit and period. However, it is not about making a plan for the final product, but about the process of knowing how your business will work, and determining through financial analysis , whether it is viable in number or not, BEFORE investing a single cent. Therefore, among the business ideas for beginner entrepreneurs , you have to develop your business plan to be sure that it is worth your idea.

9. Work on something you do not like

The worst thing you can do is start a business with something you hate. I remember in a book by Robert Kiyosaki the story of a billionaire, who once a week went to Las Vegas to bet all the money he could. When they told him why he did it, he said that because money did not matter to him, because he earned it with a business he hated. He would have preferred to do what he liked, to make millions. This is the key to a good entrepreneurial business idea , do what you like. For this, I recommend watching the video to find the best business idea , where, through a methodological system that I designed, you can find the best business idea that relates to your interests and tastes.

10. Surrender very easily

The most important advice I want you to stay with is the following: There are going to be obstacles at all times; The job of the entrepreneur is to find a way to move forward, whether he has jumped, avoided, find another way … This is the symbolism that must have a mind focused on solutions. Any entrepreneurial business idea that you design will have its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is the mindset in solutions that makes the strengths and opportunities take advantage, and that your company remains afloat.