The World Economy, Where To?

Since the international insurance crisis, which started following the crisis of the real estate mortgage in the U.N., economists continue to decrease their expectations and estimations with regard to the economic growth rate. In its latest report, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development Has decreased its expectations in relation with the American economic growth rate, pointing out that it will achieve in the first and second quarter 0,1% only.
The organization has expected also that the Euro zone to achieve a growth rate estimated at 0,5% in the first quarter of this year, without achieving any improvement in the second quarter. As for Japan, the organization has expected the Japanese growth rate to rise by 0.3 % in the first quarter, whereas it expected a growth rate of 0.2% in the second quarter.
Despite the Euro Zone and Japan have gotten benefit of the decline of the exchange rate of the American Dollar opposite to the Euro and the Yen, yet the rise of fuel prices and basic materials are additional pressing factors on the incomes of individuals in those countries.

Syria Studies the Establishment of A Commission for Combating Monopoly and Stimulating Competition

Press reports have said that Syrian government is considering the establishment of a new commission for protecting competition and combating economic monopoly in the Syrian market within its plan to transform into the "social market Economy". The state-run Al-Thawra newspaper quoted Anwar Ali, head of the department of protecting the consumer in the Syrian Ministry of Economy as saying that the new commission will work on investigating the information with the aim of disclosing the practices which violate the rules of competition, and it will receive the complains with regard to the economic monopoly.

The Saudi "al-Rajihi" Enters the Kuwaiti Banking Market

The Kuwaiti News Agency, Kuna, has said the Kuwaiti Central Bank has given its initial approval on granting the Saudi ’Al-Rajihi" bank a license for opening a branch in Kuwait. It is worth mentioning that al-Rajihi bank is the biggest Islamic bank in the world and the most recent regional bank that enters the Kuwaiti market.

Syria’s Tourist Face will Change in 2010

The Syrian- Emarati real estate Development Company ’Palmyra" has launched a tourist project by the name "Tilal al- Yasmeen" ( Hills of Jasmine) in Yafour area near Damascus with a total cost estimated at 30 million .
Al-Hayat news paper said that the project is a four-start tourist project, comprising 180 villas and a number of hotels with 450 beds. The newspaper quoted the Syrian Prime Minister as saying that the project is "a fruit of the process of the tourist development in Syria", adding after he laid the founding stone of the project that" Syria’s tourist face will change in 2020 as a result of the great tourist investment the country is witnessing, and which some of them have started to give their fruits through entering the investment market.

1000 Telephone Lines for the Arab Summit

Director of Damascus Telecommunications Company has said that the establishment has secured more than 1000 phone numbers to be used during the activities of the Arab Summit to be held in Damascus on the 29-30th of this month at "the Palace of Meetings". The Director of the Establishment was quoted as saying that a new operational center has been set up especially for the Palace with a capacity estimated at 1050 numbers

Small Indexes

- The revenues of Dubai Company for Cement have risen in 2007 by 73,6% compared to 2006.
- The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has called the Iraqi authorities to support the Russian investors in oil sector and especially in "al-Qarna" oil field, south of the country, as quoted by the Kremlin.
- Emirates National Bank has achieved net profits in 2007 estimated at 2,771 billion Dirhams

Companies Indexes

- The Emarati "Etisalat" company has said that announced that it will provide the services of mobil phones in airplanes equipped with such service.
- An economic survey published yesterday showed that the trust of the investors in the Singapore economy has declined to its lowest levels ever since the end of 2007


- Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have signed an agreement in Doha for establishing a joint investment fund, according to the Qatari News Agency, but it did not mention the capital of the newly-established fund.
- The Jordanian government has announced that it cancelled the contract for laying a light railway connecting the capital Amman with the industrial city "al-Zarqa" with a number of Chinese and Japanese companies for legal reasons.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The Commission of Trade and Tourist Development in al-Sharja emirate will take part in the activities of the 14th session of Ukraine International Exhibition for travel and tourism to be held at Kiev International Exhibition Center between 25-28 of this month with the participation of 850 international commission and institutions representing 58 countries.

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.