Impact on Maxwell Stamp PLC, its Government Clients and the Government of Azerbaijan.

BU economic modelling research has driven increased profits for leading international consultants Maxwell Stamp PLC, to the tune of £12 million to date. Simultaneously the research has benefited the company’s clients, including several governments and, independent of Maxwell Stamp, has been integral to the successful development of new, internationally competitive industries in Azerbaijan.

A group of BU academics have researched two particular economic problems, both of which are very important for policy analysis.

  • Competitiveness in international trade and attracting inward foreign direct investment (FDI).
  • Identifying how taxes and other government policies affect this underlying competitiveness.

The group includes Professor Allan Webster, Professor Philip Hardwick, Professor John Fletcher, Dr Yeganeh Morakobati, Angharad Miller and more recently Professor Jens Hölscher.

Maxwell Stamp PLC

Maxwell Stamp PLC is an economic consultancy company based in London. Past clients include the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations.

Through academic consultancy, Professor Webster applied the research methodology to strengthen Maxwell Stamp PLC’s capacity to deliver high quality advice to its clients. This was achieved by identifying current and potential advantages in trade, in attracting inward investment and identifying the effect of government policies on competitiveness.

This significantly contributed to the company winning and successfully undertaking three large consultancy projects for the governments of Abu Dhabi (2010), Namibia (2011) and Saudi Arabia (2010). The combined turnover was around £12 million.


Maxwell Stamp and Professor Webster applied the research to a report for the Central Bank of Namibia disputing the South African government’s proposals to change Southern African Customs Union (SACU) combined customs revenue.

Following the report South Africa ceased to pursue the proposal. This outcome is worth $300-400 US million each year to Namibia, which is equivalent to about 13% of its national budget. 


The economic modelling techniques have been integral to the successful development of new, internationally competitive industries in the country.

Azerbaijan’s plan to invest a portion of their oil revenues into developing new, internationally competitive industries carried the risk that major changes would affect other areas of the economy. Professor Webster developed a mathematical formula using comparable labour and capital data, alongside the Western input / output model, to calculate the risk. This information was integral to the country’s economic strategy based on skilled and educated labour in sectors such as tourism.

Dr Vilayat Valiyev from the Ministry of Economic Development, Republic of Azerbaijan cited the contribution this research made to the World Bank naming Azerbaijan as one of the top 10 economic reformers in the world in 2008.



  • Webster, A., Fletcher, J., Hardwick, P., Morakabati, Y., Tourism and Empirical Applications of International Trade Theory: A Multi- Country Analysis”, Tourism Economics, 13 (4), 2007, pp. 657-674
  • Miller, A and Webster, A, The Significance of Indirect Taxes in the Overall Effect of Taxation on Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from the UK,  paper presented at the Tax Research Network Conference, 2009.
  • Webster, A. The location of inward investment, technical change and skilled labour:
  • Evidence from the United States. International Business Review (2013), in press
  • Webster,A.,Ayatakshi,S.,The effect of fossil energy and other environmental taxes on profit incentives for change in an open economy: Evidence from the UK. Energy Policy (2013),
  • International Trade in Financial Services, the Services Industries Journal, 2005, 25, pp 721-748, Webster, A., Hardwick, P.
  • Hölscher, J., Nulsch, N., Stephan, S.: Unabhängige Subventionskontrolle und staatliche Beihilfen in der erweiterten Europäischen Union, in: Theurl (Ed.): Unabhängige staatliche Organisationen in der Demokratie, Berlin, Duncker und Humblodt, 2013, pp. 273-296
  • Trans: Independent subsidy control and state aid in the enlarged European Union in Independent government organisations in democracy.