The Opposite Opinion of “The Only Window”

What drew the attention in a workshop that was held in Damascus on the obstacles of foreign investment was the many opinions of experts on what is known as the only window. The window which many investors and economists called for establishing and which was praised highly by many officials till it became almost the magic solution for the complications and difficulties of administrative investment.
The opposite opinion was presented strongly at that workshop, especially when its proponents brought the example of the experiences of the advanced countries in the field of investment.
In their opinion, the only window will not sole the problem rather it may complicate it when facing the first detail that the investor needs after leaving the only window which will make him obliged to resort to the concerned ministry that has to do with his investment field, be it the Ministry of Economy, Industry, or Tourism. Therefore those who advocate for the other opinion called for canceling the only window and replace it by one window, but this time in the concerned ministry directly that makes the investors resorts to for once to make the necessary procedures. The officials’ opinion was presented by Mr. al Dardari who called for not to come up with administrative procedures that go in line “with us” rather looking for implementing the well established procedures internationally because these procedures are well known by the investors.

Oxford Business Group Issues the Report of Ra’as al Khaimya 2008

The Crown Prince and Deputy Governor of Ra’as al Khaimya Emirate Sheikh Saudi Bin Saker al Qasemi has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Oxford business group, the publishing, research, and international consultations services company with the aim of issuing the second annual study on the Emirate under the title: The report: Ra’as al Khaiyma 2008.

The Saudi Astra Company holds the Project of Wahet Ayela in Al Aqaba

The Saudi Astra Company has signed with the authority of the private economic zone of al Aqaba an agreement for carrying out the project of 1 Ayela with costs estimated at 135 million dinars. The total space area of the project is 4300 donums including building 5 a four star hotels with a total capacity of 1500 rooms in addition to 3000 tourists housing units and trade centers and markets on a total space area of 100.000 square meter.

Tunisia Seeks to Increase the Revenues of Tourism by 8% in 2008

The Tunisian Minister of Tourism said that the Tourism Industry in his country has hit a record in terms of revenues in 2007 estimated at 3.05 billion dinars, expressing his country’s wish to increase these revenues by 8% during this year.

The Establishment of a Fifth Islamic Bank in the UAE

A new Islamic Bank was established in Dubai by the name The Islamic Nor Bank with a total capital estimated at more than 3.16 billion Emarati dirhams, “$860m” aiming at getting benefit of the increasing demand world wide on the Islamic banking services which is expected to increase by 15% annually according to al Hayat newspaper.

Small Indexes

- The Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadi Najad said yesterday that the volume of the budget of his country for the coming Iranian year which starts on the 21st of next March is estimated at about $289 billion.
- A report has revealed that trust with regard to economy in Europe has declined to its lowest levels ever within two years because of the increasing worries.
- The average of unemployment in the Euro zone remained stable by 7.2% last November, which is the level of the last month according to data on the light of the seasonal changes published by the European statistics bureau.

Companies’ Indexes

- The General Commission for Investment in Yemen has announced the Establishment of the domestic al Saedia airlines company with a total capital estimated at $80 m, according to which the Yemeni airlines will own 25% of its share, whereas the Islamic Bank will own 75% .
- The Saudi Telecommunications Company was granted a loan estimated at $450 of the Saudi al Rajihi Bank for helping it in financing to buy a share in a Malaysia mobile phones company.


- The Saudi Zain Company and Nokia Seimens Nuetrix have signed an agreement estimated at $1 bn along the coming three years for offering the services of mobile phones networks.


- The activities of the exhibition and conference of security and peace “Intersec-the Middle East” is due to start on the 13th of this month at Dubai Center for Conferences and Exhibitions with the participation of 800 exhibitors from 53 countries. The exhibition is specialized in trade security, combating fires, health and security fields.

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, 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.