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ION Strengthens Its Presence in the Middle East as the Region Emerges as a Commodity Trading Hub

CTRM and related software markets certainly appear to be booming now and one geographic region stands out as being very active. The Middle East and UAE have seen a great deal of activity when it comes to CTRM software with some vendors even opening offices there to enhance their prospects. Among them is ION, who according to Sunil Biswas, Chief Product Officer at ION Commodities, has seen considerable success there. “In the last five years numerous UAE-based organizations, particularly those located in the Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC) and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) have selected ION as their preferred solution provider. They leverage our platform for trading, risk management, and operational efficiency. In the last 18 months alone, we have successfully onboarded over 25 customers in the UAE, with 90% registered in the DMCC”.

Mr. Sunil Biswas, Chief Product Officer, ION

The Middle East, as well as Singapore, has seen a great deal of activity and commodity trade in the last couple of years. ION puts this down to a couple of trends saying in a recent blog article that “energy and commodity markets are experiencing two significant shifts: a redirection of trade flows and a change in financing dynamics. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) emerged as a critical player in this transformation alongside other GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. All are well positioned to benefit from the evolving trade dynamics, economic diversification efforts, and infrastructure investments.” ComTech has noted similar trends and commented on the activity there in its recent blog articles. ION has been investing in the region and says that “ION recognizes the tremendous potential within the UAE’s energy and commodities markets. Our commitment to understanding the local market and regulatory changes has led us to extensively invest in our solutions to meet the specific needs of commodity firms operating in the region. To continue building relationships with key stakeholders, in 2016 ION established an office in Dubai for a dedicated team with deep domain knowledge of the industry and region.”

Longer-term, it does seem as if trade volumes and flows are shifting inexorably eastwards due to many factors including geopolitics, and this trend seems set to continue. Both the UAE and to some extent, Singapore, have benefited from this movement. While pointing to redirected trade flows and changing financing dynamics as two key trends driving this shift, ION rightly points out a few other factors at play including “economic diversification efforts are gaining momentum across the region, with countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar investing heavily in non-traditional industries such as renewable energy, metals and mining, and agriculture.” It also notes the regions expanding presence in emerging markets as well as diversification in several middle eastern countries.

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