Geopolitics for competitive edge in commodity trade

After an inspiring Courage Day the participants of the Executive Programme Leadership in Commodity Trade and Supply Networks engaged in a very successful masterclass on Geopolitics by Prof. Coby van der Linde of Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP) and Dr. Cyril Widdershoven of VEROCY. 

In this first masterclass participants learned about the current state of affairs in international relations, including current and potential zones of conflict and geographical chokepoints for international commodity trade. They also engaged in two case studies. One dealt with the future of OPEC, while the other dealt with the exploitation and distribution of natural gas reserves in the East Med. 

Deepening knowledge and insight

Nima Rashidzadeh is excited to participate in the Masterclass Leadership in Commodity Trade and Supply Networks. “This leadership programme is about deepening”, he says. Nima is Regional Supply Optimization Manager for Europe and Africa at Shell where he has built an extensive international career. 

Gaining advantage

Nima appreciates the balance in content, development and reflection in this leadership programme. “In commodity trading the short term, days and weeks is usually the focus. This programme offers a different view. It encourages a helicopter view that broadens and offers long term, deep knowledge of forces that are driving the market. It is about looking beyond your own cycles of planning and gaining an advantage by reflecting on the bigger picture.”

Long term scenarios

Professor Coby van der Linde, director of the Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP) agrees with Nima. “In a world full of uncertainty, it is extremely valuable to gain knowledge and context. Without it it is difficult to make the right choices to navigate your business solidly into the 21stcentury. The long-term scenarios are crucial because we are living in a world where trade is becoming more and more influenced by politics.”

Effects of global issues

Industry speaker Cyril Widdershoven shared his insights during the masterclass as the founder of VEROCY, he is a geopolitical and financial analyst specialised in the MENA region/Turkey. He also stresses the importance of long-term scenario planning: “Geopolitics and trade are intertwined, sectors need to keep up to date on all issues. Commodities, not only oil and gas, will be feeling the effects of global and regional developments in trade, transport, risks and commercial aspects for sure.”

Pricing and manipulation

The masterclass on Price Discovery, Volatility & Risk with Prof. Craig Pirrong of the University of Houston and industry practitioners explained the economics of price manipulation. Bashing the basis. Robbert Van Den Bergh of Gazprom Marketing & Trading gave insights on competitive price benchmarks and price discovery in Europe's thermal energy markets.

Want to join?

Make sure you will be part of the next year’s Executive Programme Leadership in Commodity Trade and Supply Networks (start 2020) and register now at rotterdamcommodities.

More or contact Dr. Wouter Jacobs +31 (0)10 4082679.