Arab’s Water for Israel and the World Bank

The Jordanian Government is still dwelling on the project of transforming the water of the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
Centers of specialized studies and researchers are still discussing the possibility of executing this “Vital Project”.
These centers have gathered lately in Jordan to evaluate the practical steps which have been taken under the legal supervision of the World Bank and in cooperation with the three parties of the project: Jordan, Palestine and Israel.
What draws the attention is that the World Bank, “The architect of the new liberalism”, and Israel “The main party in the conflict with the Arabs” are Jordan’s partners in an Arab vital project that has to do with Arab territorial water. They are partners in studying, financing, investing, and sharing its profits afterwards.
We are to wait only four months till Jordan announces the nationality of the two companies that will carry out the economic viability study and the environmental impact of the project.
Will these companies be American ones, the thing which goes in harmony with the project?, or will there be another surprise that Jordan hides?

The Afghani People Are Planting Opium Massively

Events in Afghanistan indicate the big failures and losses of the Afghani people of a decent life. The citizens in Afghanistan have not witnessed any improvement in terms of their economic, security and living conditions. Reports by the UN point out that one of the most prominent problems Afghanistan is witnessing nowadays is the big number of opium plantations, which as it seems, millions of the Afghani people depend on for living.
The report of drugs in the world for the year 2007 prepared by the bureau for crime and drugs combating affiliated to the UN points out that Afghanistan contributed last year by about 92% of the total production of opium in the world with an increase of 70% compared to its production in 2000.

2.5 Million Euro, the Value of the European Donation for Modernizing the Palestinian Custom House

The European Commissionary in Jerusalem announced that the “United Nations Conference for Trade and Development - UNCTAD” and European Union intend to increase their activities within the framework of offering technical aids for modernizing the Palestinian custom house, under the title of “The Palestinian Customs Modernization Programme”, “ASYCUDA-Phase III”, for improving the abilities of the Palestinian institutions.

The National Syrian Company is granted the European BIGS Certificate

The National Syrian Company “Al-Watanya” for Medical Industries has been granted the European BIGS certificate. It is the first Syrian company to be granted this certificate.

“Qatar Telecommunications” Seeks to Have a New License in Iraq

Qatar Telecommunications company - Qtel” said last Tuesday that it intends to participate along with a group of companies in offering a bid for granting it a new licenses for offering services of mobile phones in Iraq.

“Dubai Holding” Company Invests $14 bn in Tunisia

The Executive Director of “Dubai Holding”, Mohamed Al Gargaoui said on Tuesday that “Sama Dubai” affiliated to his company will start within a few months working in the biggest investment project in the history of Tunisia. “Sama Dubai” company allocated $14 bn for establishing a big city in the southern of “Al Buhaira al Janobia”, comprising theatres, playgrounds, housing buildings, and trade centers on a total space area of 2092 hectares.

“Amlak Finance” Becomes a Contributor in the “Egyptian Mortgage Refinance Company (EMRC)”

Amlak Finance” announced that it intends to contribute in the establishment of the “Egyptian Mortgage Refinance Company (EMRC)” through “Amlak Finance & Real Estate Investments (Amlak Egypt)”.

Tunisia Launches the Project of “The City of the Century”

The UAE intends to execute a big real estate project in the southern suburb of the Tunisian of capital by the name of “The City of the Century”. “Sama Dubai” will execute the project which will be a regional center for services and with a total cost of $14 bn on a total space area of 830 hectares offered by the state to the company.

Libya Concludes a Number of Contracts in the Field of Construction

Libya concluded yesterday three contracts with a total value of 1.177 million dinars for executing 10.400 housing units. The first contract was concluded with the South Korean “Shinhan Engineering and Construction” for building 5000 housing units in Tripoli within 36 months.
The second one was concluded with the Indonesian “Jmeelang” company for building 3860 housing units in Murzuk city, and the third contract was concluded with the Libyan “Rawass” company which will build 1612 housing units in Wadi al Shati City.

Rise of Real Estates Prices in Turkey

The sellings of real estate for foreigners in Turkey have increased by 17% this year compared to figures recorded at the same period of last year. The profits of investing in this sector have exceeded $1.5 bn during the first five months of 2007.

Iran Calls for Establishing “OPEC” of For Gas Exporters and Algeria Welcomes

The Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad called, during his visit to Algeria lately, and according to what BBC said, for establishing the organization of the exporting countries of gas similar to OPEC.
For its part, Algeria, which owns in addition to Iran huge reserves of gas, welcomed the Iranian call.

Companies Indexes

- The Syrian Oil Company has produced 35 million barrels of oil, in addition to producing about 2.81 million cubic meter of gas. Moreover the company exported about 2 million tons of heavy oil and about one million tons of light oil.
- The Saudi Billionaire al Waleed Bin Talal, who owns the Satellite TV Channel “Rotana”, said that “Rotana” will integrate with the satellite TV channel “LBC”.
- Jones Aparel Group said that it agreed on selling the series of “Barens New York” stores to “Istethmar” company in return for $942.3 m.
- The Dutch “ANG” group working in banking and insurance fields said that it gained profits estimated by 2.747 billion Euro in the second quarter of this year with an increase of 36.7% compared to the same period of last year.
- “Al Thuria” company for satellite telecommunications is planning to double the number of its subscribers to reach 500.000 subscribers by 2008, compared to 250.000 subscribers at this time. Moreover, the company intends to enter the Chinese market in the first quarter of next year after launching the satellite “Thuria 3” next October.

Bids & Contracts

- “Saudi Telecom” announced that it signed financing agreements with a total value of 6 billion riyals “$1.6 bn” with a number of local banks which are: The Financial Samba Group, Al-Riyadh Bank, Al-Ahli Trade Bank and al Rajehi Bank.

Small Indexes

- The volume of the Emirati external trade via Abu Dhabi Emirate reached last year 281.7 billion dirhams, whereas the volume of imports reached 45.7 million dirhams.
- The total value of the exports of the Egyptian Council for Exporting Construction Materials reached 2 billion Egyptian pounds compared to 1.7 billion pounds of last year.
- Algeria’s imports of cars have increased by 55.61%, reaching $1.67 bn in the first half of this year.
- A document of preparatory project for combating poverty and improving women abilities has been signed between the Syrian government and the UNDP at State Planning Commission in Syria with a budget of $939430.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The final preparations for holding the first annual meeting of the market of the Palestinian capital, due to be held on 8-9/9/2007 in Ramallah and Gaza, are being made at Palestine stock market, via the technology of visual telecommunications “Video Conference”.

Profile: The Qatari Qtel Company

Qtel is working in more than 50 countries in the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific through affiliated companies. The activities of the company cover more than 527 million inhabitants. Moreover, the total number of subscribers of mobile phones reached 4.3 million subscribers, rising from 1 million subscribers in 2006, which represents an increase of four times. The giant Qatari telecommunications company “Qtel” achieved huge revenues with a total value of 4.014 Qatari riyal “$1.103 bn” with an increase of 97.4% compared to revenues achieved at the same period of last year.

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 and English. Also worth a read is Tendencies, the daily Near East political watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English and French languages.