What After the Summit?

Few hours Separate the Arabs from the 20th session of their summit, which they have kept talking and disputing about during the past weeks. Between those who support the convening of the summit and those who oppose that, if not canceling it, Damascus Summit will be convened in the due time and without any change of its agenda. Despite the fact that the preparations of the summit have started in a frustrating atmosphere, as some boycotted it, and others with low level of representation, yet the preparatory sessions have shown, undoubtedly, that the absence or the boycotting of some has had no impact on the activities with regard to the final preparations before submitting them to the Arab leaders to adopt them, rather the Summit has witnessed for the first time the adaptation of a new article in relation to the issue of high prices in the Arab countries, and means to avoid their negative consequences. It is worth mentioning that this is the first time an issue related to our daily life is being discussed, which will stimulate the Arab citizens to follow up the activities of the Summit, hoping that the results will be good, especially that there are some good signs.

The Most Urgent Economic Issues of the Arab Summit

The Arab Economic and Social Council has responded positively to an initiative presented by Jordan and a number of the Arab countries for discussing the surge of prices in energy and foodstuff sectors. The Jordanian Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr. Amer Hadidi said that the council has called upon a committee comprising senior Arab officials at the Arab Ministries of Economy and Finance to discuss the impacts of this surge on the daily life of the Arab citizen, and means of combating them, in addition to a report to be presented to the Economic session in its coming session .

220 companies in the First International Syrian Exhibition "SyroOil"- 2008

The Fairgrounds in Damascus is due to host on the 7th of next April the activities of the 6th session of the international Syrian Exhibition for Oil and Gas " Syrio Oil"-2008 , with the participation of 220 local, Arab, and foreign companies specialized in the exploration and production fields , and offering oil services, studies, and consultations.

An Arab Strategy for Tourism

Syrian Minister of Economy, Amr Lutfi, has announced that the Arab Economic and Social Council has adopted in its preparatory session for the Arab summit to be held in Damascus, a united Arab strategy in the tourist sector. Mr, Lutfi, whose country heads the current session, said that the Arab Council for Ministries of Tourism, will set up the plans and the executive programs of the strategy.

London and Paris Expect More Transparency in the Financial Markets

France and Britain have called for more transparency in the financial markets, in a statement issued at the conclusion of the French-British summit held in London, stressing on the necessity for more commitment in their financial markets in a way that would make the banks disclose completely and quickly their loses.

Dubai Group Expects More Investments in American Banks

Emirates Business newspaper has said that Dubai Group, an investment company owned by Dubai Governor, is expecting the sovereign wealth funds to invest more in the American and European financial services companies which need financing. The newspaper quoted Tom Folb, the Executive Chairman of Dubai Group as saying that the money of these sovereign funds will continue to flow in the U.S. and Europe in the coming years because the financial institutions will be in a continuous need of cash money.

Small Indexes

- Qatar is planning to build 800 towers in the coming 5 years. It is worth mentioning that only 120 towers are under construction currently.
- The number of the foreign tourists who visited the historical city of "Thala’" in Yemen during last year has reached about 13000 tourists from different nationalities including the Diplomatic missions.

Companies Indexes

- The Banking "Somitomo Mitswei" company, the third biggest Japanese bank, intends to open a branch next month in the Qatari capital al-Doha, to be the first Japanese bank to operate in Qatar.
- 1000 Saudi companies has announced that they intend to invest in real estate and tourist projects in Yemen with a total cost estimated at $1,5 billion.
- "Dubai for Investment" has announced that it signed a partnership agreement with the French "Joseen S A" company.

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.