Happy New Year

The Festivity of Damascus, the capital of Arab Culture for 2008 is due to be opened today in the famous Omayyad Square in the heart of the Syrian capital, within the context of a carnival that has not been witness before in Damascus on in any Arab capital as express by those who are considered with this festivity. Despite the many criticisms with regard to this festivity, locally speaking, in terms of the late preparations and the mix between the role of the festivity in celebrating culture or the city and what was resulted from that in terms of the interference between the role of Damascus governorate and the General Secretariat of the Festivity, and despite the many questions raised on the dedicated budget for this festivity with no answers given even by giving estimates, and despite the prices of the tickets of Fariouz’s concert which are still under speculations. Moreover, despite that the Syrian year 2008 has started with a rise of prices caused by the surge of petrol prices and despite many questions, yet it is certain that the festivity will start today with hopes of the Syrian’s that this festivity will be up to their expectations as they are eager to celebrate despite the cold weather and the difficult living conditions.

350 billion Syrian Pounds the Volume of the Tourist Investment in Syria for 2007

The Syrian Minister of Tourism Sa’ad Allah Agha al Qalla said that the volume of the tourist investment in Syria has reached 350 billion Syrian pounds in 2007, among them 160 billion Syrian pounds for tourist facilities under construction.

Cooperation between the Banks and the Algerian Insurance Companies

Companies of the Banking Sector and the Insurance Sector in Algeria have asserted during a meeting held yesterday that the distribution of the production of insurance by the banks and the financial institutions would contribute in achieving the financial integration between them. On this occasion representative of the public and private banks expressed their institutions’ readiness to cooperate with the insurance sector aiming at achieving the financial integration and to develop in the services granted for their clients.

The Third Forum of Business Women in the Islamic Countries to Held in Qatar

The Third Forum of Business Women in the Islamic Countries is due to be held between 13-15 of this month under the motto: “The Mini Insurance Financing, Marching Forward for Achieving the Economic Prosperity”. The activities of this forum are organized by the syndicate of the Qatari business men in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank and the unit specialized in cooperation between the South countries, the UNDP, and the forum of the Qatari business women. More than 250 figures from 56 Islamic countries will take part in this forum.

5.4%, the Expected Economic Growth Rate in the Middle East by the End of 2008

The International Bank has issued an economic report expecting the average of the economic growth rate in the Middle East and North Africa to increase by 5.4% by the end of this year compared to 4.9% in 2007, according to al Sharaq al Awsat newspaper.

Small Indexes

- The Saudi Zine Company, affiliated by the Kuwaiti mobile telecommunication company Zine announced that its contributors might sale more than the initial share which is 40% in a first bid call.
- The volume of China’s export of motorcycles has reached 27.7 million units in 2007, with an increase of 22.84% compared to the same period of 2006.
- A senior official at a Turkish Ministry of Energy said that Turkey has stopped the flow of the Azari gas go Greece due to stopping the supplies of the Iranian gas to Turkey.

Companies Indexes

- The Real Estate al-Dar Company announced that it has established a new joint company for the management of construction in cooperation with the Belgian Be-Six for Construction.
- In an important deal in which it starts its new year, the European airbus group has concluded a deal for selling 75% of its planes of A-320 model with the option of selling another 25 planes for the Irish AWAS Company for Renting Lines.
- The Saudi Postal Institution has been granted the international prize of Microsoft for technical innovation in the post sector for 2007 at the site of the institution in al Riyadh.

Bids

- The Islamic Emarati Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the real estate ATISTAR according to which the agreement will authorize the clients of ATISTAR to get benefit of financing facilities that reach 97% for real estate possession in the luxuries Center Court Project within the framework of the project of Joumaira village.

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.