A large number of our markets are currently heavily impacted by low prices for oil and other commodities and by stagnating growth in world trade. As a result, many of our clients are faced with the need to reduce cost and increase operating efficiencies. The lower demand combined with often increased capacity supply have put many markets under competitive pressure, in some cases very severe, generally resulting in strong buyers' markets. In addition to putting pressure on prices, this also has the effect of increasingly moving the burden of risk onto suppliers of services. Additionally, clients often require more integrated, innovative services or turnkey solutions. While this creates opportunities that are consistent with our strategy to provide value-added services, it goes hand-in-hand with an increased pressure to transfer the associated risks from the client to the provider of the services.
Particularly in the context of the above, effective management of both risks and opportunities is essential for the successful realization of the group's strategy and plans. The proper identification, assessment and management of risks and opportunities - notably with respect to tendering, preparation and execution of projects - is therefore an integral part of our management approach.