On the Crisis of Food and Energy

According to his vision of the exacerbating crisis of food in many of world countries, and especially the poor ones, Head of World Trade Organization," Pascal Lami" thinks that the solution lies more in developing agriculture in the developed world instead of offering foodstuff aids for these countries. "Lami" also thinks that after 7 years of talks within the framework of "Doha" round aiming at making trade dealings more liberate and more just for the poorest countries in the world.
On the other hand, the Iranian president " Mahmoud Ahmei Nijad" said, in a speech he made on Friday at the conclusion of his visit to the International Exhibition of Oil, Gas, and Petrochemicals held in Tehran , that despite the surge of oil prices, the true value of the inflation is less than what it was during the 8o’s of the last century. Moreover, |Nijad" accused the industrial countries of being "selfish" in seeking to have oil by cheap prices, saying that :" since they control oil, they presume that it is a priceless commodity, that they are the only ones who own it, and that it was found wrongly in others’ land. He concluded by saying that this is the true spirit of selfishness and arrogance".

Syria and Activating the Strategy of the Arab Tourism

The Arab Summit held lately in Damascus has adopted the main strategic principles with regard to Arab tourism. Observers described this strategy as one of the most important decisions of Damascus’s summit on the Arab and economic levels due to the importance of the tourist sector in general, and also to the importance of the inter-Arab tourism in realizing the sought development of the Arab tourist sector, in specific.
It is worth mentioning that Syria has made a number of agreements with Arab countries in the touristic field. It signed with Kuwait the executive program of the Agreement on Tourist Cooperation for 2007, 2008, and 2009 in Damascus on 27- 7- 2007 during the meeting of the ministerial committees . Moreover, the Syrian Ministry of Tourism has also launched promotional convoys to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UEA and also to "Doha" in 2007 during which many promotional touristic activities were held in addition to meetings with officials.
Furthermore, more agreements were signed with other Arab countries among them: Bahrain and Egypt and more agreements to be signed with Morocco, Yemen, Sudan, and Tunisia.

Iraq Concludes Contracts by $ 6 Billion For Buying 65 Planes

The Iraqi government announced that it concluded a number of contracts for buying 65 planes with a total cost estimated at $ 6 billion. Spokesman of the government "Ali al-Dabagh" said in a statement that the government has concluded a contract with Boeing company for buying 40 planes of 737 and 787 models with the right to buy additional planes with a total value estimated at $ 5,5 Billion, pointing out that Baghdad also concluded a contract with the Canadian "Bombardier" company for buying 10 planes with a total value estimated at $ 400 million.

21 Million Riyals, the Losses of the Saudi Insurance Company

"Malaz" Company for Insurance and Reinsurances has announced the initial fiscal results during the first quarter of 2008, achieving net losses estimated at 4,1 Million Riyal . The total value of the net results of the operational insurance activities has reached 4, 5 Million Riyal during the same period.

79 Million Dirham, the Profits of the Islamic" Sharja" Bank

The Islamic "Sharja" Bank has achieved net profits estimated at 79, 4 Million Dirham by the end of the first quarter of this year compared to 51,1ave Million Dirham compared to the same period of last year , with an increase estimated at 55 % . Moreover, the total assets of the bank have risen , reaching 13,8 Billion Dirham, with an increase estimated at 26 % since last December, and the net profits due to the clients’ funding have increased by 1,0 Billion Dirham , reaching 7,5 Billion Dirham.

326 Million Riyals, the Profits of" Mobili" in three Months

" Itihad Itisalat" company (Mobili) has achieved net profits estimated at 326 Million Riyal during the first quarter of this year compared to 251 Million Riyal for the same period of last year with a growth rate estimated at about 30 %. Moreover, the total revenues of the company have risen by 23%, reaching 2,308 Billion Riyal.

Small Indexes

- General Director of the Jordanian Electricity Company has said that Jordan’s selling of gas rose last year by 22,57% compared to 2006.
- An economic report has expected the average of the Asian countries’ consuming of the Arab oil to rise by 95% out of the total oil exported to Asia by 2010.
- The volume of the Iranian goods exported from " Imam Khumaeini" seaport have witnessed an increase estimated at 24% during the last Iranian year which ended on the 20th of last month .

Companies Indexes

- The Saudi Company for basic industries ( Sabec) has announced that it achieved net profits during the first quarter of this year estimated at 6,92 Billion in return for 6,28 Riyals during the same period of 2007.
- The Investment Kuwait Energy for Energy seeks to acquire the assets of five sectors of the Australians Limited Company "Oil Search " -The Middle East and Africa in "Shibwa" and "Hadramout", and other oil sectors in Egypt within a deal estimated at $ 200 Dollars.

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.