Iraq Blames Its Neighbors, Economically, This Time

The Iraqi Prime Minister “ Nouri al-malki” has criticized once again the neighboring countries of Iraq, but his criticism this time was not political covered as usual by the security issue, rather it focuses on the economic performance of the neighboring countries towards Iraq, saying that these countries do not exert the needed efforts to strengthen their relations with Iraq or to ease the countries heavy debts “ .
Of course, “ al-Maliki “ did not forget the usual necessary refrain, as he also criticized the neighboring countries because they do nothing to stop “ the extremists and prevent them from entering Iraq “. He also called for cancelling the debts of Iraq and to stop the dues resulted from the invasion of the previous regime against Kuwait in 1990. Thus, he was applauded by the American Secretary of State “ Condoleezza Rice “, who is taking part in the conference, and who also said that it will urge the neighboring Arab countries to “ fulfill their commitments “ and to increase the financial and diplomatic support to Iraq .
According to the estimates of the American Foreign Department, about $ 66, 5 billion of Iraq’s debts were cancelled, adding that more than half of the remaining debts between $ 56 – 80 billion must be paid to the Gulf countries.

The Activities of the Exhibitions of Furniture and In-House Decoration Start Next Saturday in Damascus

The activities of the International Exhibitions of Furniture and In-house Decoration “ Furniture Show” are due to start on the 26th of this month on the Fairgrounds in Damascus .
Taking part in the exhibition 130 companies representing 267 local, Arab, and foreign companies from 33 countries.
The Exhibition , to last till the 30th of this month, will be held under the patronage of the Syrian Minister of Economy and Trade Dr. “ Amer Husni Lutfi “ .It is worth mentioning that the exhibition is the only exhibition of its kind which covers the technical and engineering side of the in-house decorations.

Merrill Lynch Says:” Gold Remains A Safe Haven”

A report by “ Merrill Lynch “ has said that during the ups and downs witnessed lately by the financial markets , gold had had a strong performance , as it has become clearer , following the crisis of insurance how undeceiving and unstable the financial markets are . These circumstances have pushed towards what is called “safe havens “ which is considered one of them. Gold prices have witnessed a big surge , exceeding for the first time 4 1000 per ounce, and this is not new , because gold has a long history in providing cautious measures against inflation which coincided with the weakness of the dollar and the geo-political tension .

$ 380 Billion, the Volume of the Tourist Projects in the GCC Countries

Chairman of the Board of the Gulf Tourism has said that the GCC countries will allocate about $ 380 Billion for holding tourist projects till 2081 , as it is expected that the contribution of the Gulf countries in the field of tourist is expected to increase within the total GDP of the GCC countries .
He further added that the volume of the economic contribution has reached 30 5 of the total revenues of the services sector worldwide, Moreover, these countries have contributed in 11 5 of the world GDP , offering more than one million job opportunities a month , with a n average reaching about 10 % of the world labor market , according to a report issued by the High Bard for Travel and Tourism for 2007 .

“ Abar” for Energy Sells “ Pearl Energy” for “ Mubadala”

“ Abar “ company for Energy signed yesterday an agreement with “ Mubadala” company for Development for buying the limited “Pearl Energy” for producing and exploring oil and gas, owned completely by “ Abar” company .
According to a press statement , by the end of the completion of the sell , 100 % of the shares of |” Pearl “ company will be transformed to “ Mubadal|” in return for a net cash money estimated at $ 338, 3 Million.

Companies Indexes

- The giant Norwegian “ Norsec Hydro” for Aluminum and Energy Generation has announced that its profits declined during the first quarter of this year by 21,5 , reaching $ 3,5 Billion as a result of the decline of the dollar prices opposite to the Norwegian currency “ Cron”.
- The Kuwaitoi “ Mawane” company has said that it achieved net profits estimated during the fiscal year which ended on the first of April 2008 estimated at 39 Million Dinars , which equals 605 of the total capital of the company .

Small Indexes

- The Syrian Minister of Housing , “ Hussein Al- Hamoud” has said that the Syrian government is working on different tracks with the aim of controlling the big surge of real estates .
- The United European currency has recorded yesterday a new hit record in terms of prices , reaching $ 1,6002 due to fears in the markets on the safety of the American economy .
- Exports of the Iraqi oil declined slightly last March reaching 1, 918 million barrels a day compared to 1,935 million barrel.

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.