Voltaire Network

The Problem of Housing

- The Exhibitions of the Industrial "Sima" ane "Electric" For Industrial Atomization in Damascus
- The E.U. is to Freeze Iranian Assets
- Merrill Lynch Says: A Green American Light for the GCC Countries to Change Exchange Rates
- An Increase Of 17% In the Syrian Tourist Sector
- Syria Ahead of 17 Countries Among 127 In Terms of the Readability Of The Internet Website

| Beirut (Lebanon)
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The Problem of Housing

It seems that the main cause of the problem of housing in most Arab countries has not to do only with the financial capabilities rather with the non serious –commitments of the governments of these countries to fulfill their duties towards its peoples.
A special report prepared by the Holding "Al-Mazia" company that most Arab countries, the rich and poor ones, are facing the problem of how to provide houses for their citizens , be it in Jordan, the Gulf countries, Yemen Egypt, or Syria,
In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Economy and Planning have estimated the number of the Saudi families which do not own houses by about 38%. The case is not different in Syria.
The report goes on to say that that there is an urgent need to provide houses for about 1,5 million person in Syria, whereas the annual increases in the number of the houses did not exceed 10% annually, which led into the spread of illegal and arbitrary housing in the big cities and especially in the capital Damascus , following the rise of prices of real estates by 300% since 2003.

The Exhibitions of the Industrial "Sima" and "Electric" For Industrial Atomization in Damascus

With the participation of more than 387 industrial companies from 52 countries, the Syrian Establishment for Marketing " Sima" is to launch on the 27th of this month the most prominent annual industrial event, "Sima" International Expo on the fairgrounds .
The exhibition is due to start coinciding with the 4th session of the international session of the International Exhibition for electricity and industrial atomization Electratech- 2008, with the participation of national, regional, and international companies like the Turkish, Russian,and Ukrainian companies, in addition to distinctive participation of Egyptian, Chinese, and Iranian companies .

The E.U. is to Freeze Iranian Assets

A European diplomat has said that the European Union, comprising 27 countries, are taking the legal and technical procedures for freezing the assets and money of the state-owned Iranian " Mili" bank, but a source at the European presidency, headed currently by Slovenia, said that that Brussels wants first to see Tehran’s reaction on a modified and improved group of political and economic incentives to be offered to Tehran by the Higher Representative of the Foreign Policy in the European Union , Javier Solana before adopted by the ministries of the European Countries on these sanctions.

Merrill Lynch Says: A Green American Light for the GCC Countries to Change Exchange Rates

The American Investment Bank Merrill Lynch & Co has said that the United States has given the Arab Gulf countries its approval on making changes with regard to policies of exchange rates connected with the Dollar in these countries.
The bank further said that it was possible that the UAE and Qatar to move towards a back age of currencies in the few coming months, and that each will raise the value of its currency by 55% before the end of this year, concluding that it Saudi Arabia will not take a similar step before the end of next year.

An Increase Of 17% in the Syrian Tourist Sector

Syrian Prime Minister. Mr. Mohammed Naji Utri has said that the Syrian tourist sector, backed by the government, as it constitutes one of the main pillars of the overall process of development in the country, has witnessed an increase by 15% in terms of growth rate in the past few years.
Mr. Utri’s comments came during the opening ceremonies of a private exhibition for domestic tourism in Syria and following the announcements of the Syrian Minister of Tourism that the revenues of the domestic Syrian tourism have exceeded 101 billion S.P. , forming 25% of the total tourist revenues, asserting on "the necessity to reach about 35% for securing a sustainable and continuous progress in the tourist sector in Syria.

Syria Ahead of 17 Countries among 127 In Terms of the Readability of the Internet Website

An international report has revealed that Syria is ranked 110 among 127 countries in the world in terms of the availability and readiness of the internet website as well as the technology of information and telecommunications.
It is the first time Syria is enlisted in this classification.
It is worth mentioning that this international report, to be published for the 7th time consecutively and which includes 127 countries, is considered the most credible and comprehensive report for evaluating the impacts of applying the technology of information and telecommunication in the process of development and the competitive potentials of the countries.

Small Indexes

- The Arab Tourist projects being carried out in Egypt have provided about 170000 and 450 new job opportunities.
- The Emirati Minister if Oil, "Mohammed Al-Hamili" said that the UEA, which is a member at OPEC, is ready to raise it production of oil in necessary.

Companies Indexes

- The number of tourists who visited the archeological sites in Jordan has risen to %55 during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period of last year, with a total number estimated at 472,3000 visitors compared to 285000 visitors.
- The number of the hotels run by the international " Marriott" company in Saudi Arabia has risen from 3 to 12 following signing an agreement between the company and " Fawaz Al-Hakir" company for managing 9 new hotels in Al-Riyadh , Jeddah, Al-Damam, and "Al-Jabil".

Bids

- The governmental Algerian Energy Group " Sonatrach" has said that two agreements have been signed with a consortium led by it and also by the Libyan National Company for Oil with the aim of exploring gas in a Libyan field.
- Dubai National Bank, the biggest Gulf bank, has said that it is interested in buying the share of "Royal Bank of Scotland" at the Saudi-Dutch bank aiming at entering the sector of retail businesses in the biggest country in terms of oil production.

Indicators is a daily economic watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on Voltairenet.org in Arabic, English and Spanish. Also worth a read is Tendencies, the daily Near East political watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English, French, German, and Spanish languages.

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