Corruption in Morocco

A report published by the International Transparency Organization has classified Morocco for this year in the 72nd position among 180 countries instead of putting it in 79th last year, grating it an average of 3.5 out of ten instead of 3.2 of last year.
Some observers render this improvement to some positive indicators achieved by Morocco and taking by the organization into consideration like approving the UN treaty for combating corruption, and project of establishing the central commission for preventing corruption.
Other observers underestimate this improvement like the Chairman of the National Commission for Protecting Public Properties in Morocco who said that: "What we have seen is that corruption is still widely spread in the country". He proved that by "The negative bias" of the government during the last parliamentary elections which indicates that the government had no intention to combat corruption. He further said that there was a necessity for taking a clear political decision and activating the principle of punishment with the aim of putting an end for this phenomena.

"Petro-Canada" Company Builds a Factory for Natural Gas in Cooperation With the Syrian Gas Company

"Petro-Canada" Company has decided to build a factory for treating natural gas "Ebla Gas Factory" in cooperation with the Syrian Gas Company in Al-Furqulos area and close to the gas factory, South of the Central region which is affiliated by the Syrian gas company with the aim of integrating and connecting the two factories together.

Syria Grants Facilities for Importing Fuel from Iraq

The Syrian Ministry of Economy has granted administrative facilities for concluding the contracts of importing fuel from Iraq for the interest of the Syrian energy stations. It is worth mentioning that Syria and Iraq signed an oil agreement in 2003 and renewed in 2006. Moreover the Syrian government has already concluding about 10 contracts with private companies for importing fuel.

The Emarati "Tameer" Company and the Project of (The City of Glory) in Jordan

"Tameer" company, the golden sponsor of Cityscape 07 exhibition, has unveiled the details of its distinctive project in Jordan, i.e. "The City of Glory" ("Madinat Al Majd"), with a total cost of about $500 m. The General Director of "Tameer" company, Engineer Mohammad Habib said that the company’s participation is the first of its kind in the exhibition through building "The City of Glory" located on Amman highway leading to al Zarqa city, as the most modern city in Jordan built according to "Tameer’s" international criteria.

The Establishment of an Egyptian-Sudanese Cement Factory in Attbra

The administrative board of "Al Moqaloun Al-Arab" (The Arab Contractors) company said that it is building currently a cement factory in Attbra in Sudan with a joint capital between the company and the Sudanese side and with a total production capacity of 1 million and 400 tons a year. The factory is due to be opened in April 2009.

The Export of the Iranian Goods to Central Asia Via the Caspian Sea

Iranian Assistant Minister of Trade, Mahdi Ghadanfari said that ships for transporting the Iranian goods to countries of Middle Asia in the Caspian Sea will start their journeys next Monday for one time every two weeks.

Asia Faces Difficulties in Fulfilling the Millennium Goals of Development

The Asian Bank for Development said that the develop countries in Asia are facing difficulties in realizing the goals of the millennium for development set by the UN despite the region is on its way to decrease the percentage of poverty thanks to the rapid economic growth rate in China and India.

Small Indexes

- The Directorate of Economic Development in al Sharja has issued during the first nine months of this year 4000 and 723 trade, service, and industrial licenses, among them 2161 trade licenses, 2425 professional licenses, and 137 industrial licenses.
- The total value of Tunisia’s exports of date has reached during this season 179 million Tunisian dinars "$134.5 m".
- Oil Minister in Ecuador said that his country intends to join OPEC officially during the next meeting of the organization.
- The Iraqi Minister of Finance Bayan Jaber said that Iraq has prepared its budget with a total value of $42 bn for 2008 with an increase of $1 bn of this year.
- The Center of the Researches of Economy and Business expected London’s to lose 6500 opportunities in 2008 due to chaos in the market, pointing out that the banking investment sector will lose alone 2300 jobs.

Companies’ Indexes

- The Chinese ZTE company will rise the number of the pre-paid cards in Syria from 325.000 cards to 5 million cards with an active capacity of storage that reaches 25 million cards.
- A company run by one of the members of the governing family in Qatar is investing about $1.5 bn in Zimbabwe for building an oil refinery and a hotel.
- Kuwait oil company announced that it will start producing the free natural gas for the first time in the history of Kuwait starting from next December.
- In a competitive step between the two American companies: "Fairzone" for electronics and "Apple" for computer systems, "Fairzone" company intends to start producing a mobile phone that enjoys the same qualities of "A-Phone" mobile phone produced by "Apple" company which operates through connecting with the internet.

Bids & Contracts

- The European Commission said that it started an investigation in the buying deal by the Canadian Thomson Company for Information of Reuters.
- The Chairman of the Administrative Board of Dubai International Seaports Company said that the company owned by Dubai government has signed an agreement for developing and operating the car seaport for 25 years, adding that it will invest not less than 455 million Euros.
- The Danish Engineering Group "FL" Smith concluded yesterday a contract estimated at 37 million Euros ($25.20 m) for operating and maintaining a cement factory in Egypt.

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