“The Atmospheres are Positive and Constructive”

The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has described the atmosphere of the 20th Arab summit, as he announced the conclusion of its activities held in Damascus, as positive and constructive. President Assad said that all the Arab participating delegations “ have taken an active part in the discussions, adding that these discussions were frank and open, despite the conflicting points of views expressed most of the time”
He further asserted that Syria “will remain the heart of the Arab world, and the corner stone of the joint Arab action through and without its presidency of the summit”.
It is worth mentioning that the two-day Arab Summit held in Damascus concluded its activities yesterday by “Damascus Declaration” which called for “ working towards overcoming the Arab-Arab disputes through serious and deep dialogue, and giving the higher interests of the Arab nation the priority over any disputes or conflicts that might arise between the Arab countries, and to stand together in the face of the political and economic pressures that some countries impose against any Arab country”.
The Declaration further expressed support for the Yemeni initiative with regard to the dialogue among the Palestinians , achieving the national reconciliation in Iraq, and working together to put an end to the foreign presence there, and also” adhering to the Arab initiative for helping Lebanon to find a way out for its political crisis”
Furthermore, the Declaration expressed “the solidarity of the Arab countries with Syria against what is called” Syria’s Accountability Law” as it violates the International law.

The Arab Summit Addresses The Living Conditions of the Arab Citizen

The Economic and Social Council of the Arab League has discussed the impacts of adopting and implementing the Great Arab Free Zone, and means of activating it.
It also discussed the project of the Customs Union as a first step which the Council seeks to achieve in 2010, and the issue of the joint Arab market as a second step.
It is worth mentioning that what characterized the meetings of the council, which held its preparatory session for the Arab summit, was the fact that it addressed the surge of prices in the Arab countries, and means of improving and developing the Arab economies, as well as activating them in all domains.

The Saudi “ Al-Ahli” Bank Among the Top 1000 International Banks

A report issued on the “ top 1000 international banks” has said that the Saudi Al –Ahli Trade bank was ranked 110 internationally , and the first in the Arab World.
The report further mentioned that the financial Samba Group was ranked 153, internationally, and the second in the Arab World, whereas Al-Rajihi bank came third in the Arab world and 168 world wide.
Moreover, the United Al-Ahli bank, based in Bahrain, was ranked the fourth in the Arab countries and 179 internationally.

The Profits of the Jordanian “al-Arabi” Company will Not Exceed 20% This Year

Chairman of the Administrative Board of “Al-Arabi” bank, Abd AL-Hameed Shoman, has said that 2008 will be difficult for all banks in Jordan due to the circumstances witnessed by the world economy. He further expected the profits of Al-Ahli’ bank this year to be between 15%-20% as a result of the precautionary policy adopted with regard to granting loans.

Shanghai Economic Organization Will Be More Powerful By Iran’s Joining

Head of the Contemporary Iranian Studies Center in Russia, “Rajab Safraf” has said , in reference to the announcement made by the Iranian Foreign Minister who said that his country was ready to join Shanghai Organization for Economic Cooperation, that this step will make the organization more powerful than the European Union.
Moreover, “Safraf” said that he believed that with joining the organization, Iran will give a strong blow to the American interests in Central Asia, expecting the reaction of the Western countries towards this step to be repulsive, according to “Novosti” news Agency.

Tourist Resorts on the Syrian Coast of “Qatina”

A Gulf company is carrying out an overall study for building tourist resorts on Qatina” lake in the Syrian Homs governorate.
The Syrian run-state newspaper Tishreen has quoted sources at the Directorate of Tourism in the Central Region as saying that Homs seeks to attract investments to build tourist resorts on the lake’s coast and connecting it with Homs city by land and railway transportations.

Small Indexes

- World Statistics issued by “JFK” Institution for Researches and the Commission for Electronic Consumers’ “C A E” have expected the total profits of this international market in this sector 105,7 billion Dirham in 2008.
- The new manager of “ Qaser al-Emarate” hotel in Abu Dhabi, Hans Olbritz has said that the new projects in Abu Dhabi will provide more than 4500 new rooms in the coming three years to address the increasing demands on hotels.

Companies Indexes

- The revenues of the international “Kingston” company for Technology , specialized in the industry of the solutions of the integrated memory have risen by $ 800 million last year, reaching about $5,4 billion compared to its revenues in 2006.
- “Villa Mar” project at Bahrain Financial Seaport, the first project of the holding Gulf company in Bahrain , with a total cost estimated at $ 650 million, has been awarded the prize of “Arabian Business- Kuwait” as the best real estate project in the region.

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.