ASEAN Suspends Exporting Rice

Ministers of Trade at ASEAN, the Commonwealth of the south eastern countries in Asia, have agreed lately on cooperating for combating the international food crisis and to take measures for preserving the stability of rice prices, as well as increasing the production of this basic food stuff.
Indonesian Minister of Trade Mari Elka Pangestu said that these countries have agreed upon helping each other in order to preserve the stability of the international prices of good stuff and not to take measures that would destabilize prices of rice.
According to the World Bank, prices of food stuff have risen by three times, causing chaos and riots last month in Egypt and Haiti, let alone protests in other countries which pushed those countries like Brazil, Vietnam, and India to impose restrictions against exporting food stuff goods .
But the most urgent question is: what have the Arab countries done in preparing themselves for facing this crisis, especially with the assurances that the Arab region will be most affected by this crisis due to the very difficult and bitter climate, let alone that there are no integrated policies in the agricultural sector among the countries of the Arab League which has been adopting the motto of " the Arab food Security " since more than 50 years.

The Gulf Financing House Intends to Establish Cement Company by $ 2 Billion

The Gulf Financing House, an Islamic investment bank, intends to establish a cement factory with a total cost estimated at $ 2 billion aiming at addressing the increasing demand on cement.
The second biggest Bahraini bank in terms of market value, has said in a statement published at Dubai Financial Market web site that it intends to start production in 2010 hoping to guarantee a 10 % share in a market north of Africa and the Middle East. The bank further added that it will enter in a partnership with other establishments among them Emirates Islamic bank, "Hall Tech" company, and The Chinese National Group for Construction Materials.

The Tallest Hotel in the World Near "Al-Harem" by " Bin Laden Group"

The holding " Al-Mamlaka " (the Kingdom) company headed by Prince " Al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abd Al-Aziz", has announced that Vermont company for Resorts and Hotels, in which Al-Waleed owns 55 % , will run a new five stars hotel in Mecca , adding that it will be opened in Autumn 2008.
The company further said in a press statement that the hotel comprises 76 floors with a height of 577 meter , becoming one of the tallest towers in the world, but it did not mention the volume of investment in carrying out the project of the new hotel which will comprise more than 1000 rooms and suits.
It is worth mentioning that the hotel will be developed under the supervision of the Saudi Bin Laden Group

A partnership Between " Sabez" and The Kuwaiti "KASB" Company

" Sabez - Middle East " Company, specialized in producing solutions for institutions , has announced that it signed a strategic partnership with the Kuwaiti Company " KASB" , specialized in providing solutions in the field of information technology like solutions for managing business information, and administrative consultations for its clients .
Through this partnership, KASP company will promote " Sabez" solutions in the field of preserving archive statements and records in Kuwait.

Sudanese President Al-Bashir Opens the Sudanese - Jordanian " Al-Jazeera" Bank

Sudanese President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, has opened " Al-Jazeera" bank with a joint Sudanese- Jordanian capital estimated at $ 100 million.
Chairman of the Administrative Board of the bank " Micheal Saigh" said in the opening ceremony that the bank is a new addition for the Jordanian investments in Sudan, adding that it is hoped this project will achieve success which constitutes a real edition for the developing Sudanese economy.

" Manafe" Company Launches its First Real Estate Projects in Al-Riyadh

"Manafe" company for Real Estate and Tourist Investment and Development said yesterday that that it signed an exclusive agreement with the real estate "Century 21 - Arise " , according to which the latter will promote the first phase of the villas project by " Al-Rajihi" company at " Al-Rafea" neighborhood in " Al-Riyadh" , which comprises 180 villas and 140 flats out of 1300 housing units.
" Al-Rafea" villas are located on space areas between 288 - 713 square meters, and the prices start from 650000 Riyals per one housing unit with the possibility of paying by easy installments.

Small Indexes

 The Emirati Minister of Economy has said that the average of expenditure on information of technology in the UAE has risen by 33% , reaching 1,86 billion Dirham last year.
 American and International well informed sources have said that a plane with $ 5 billion has been set aiming at turning the Green Zone in Baghdad , in which most American and Iraqis facilities are located, into a trade and investment centre which will be the corner stone of the Iraqi economy in the future.
 Tehran was chosen on Sunday, during the opening ceremonies of the 8th Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Countries overlooking the Indian Ocean, as a centre for technology exchange among these countries within the Union.

Companies Indexes

 Abu Dhabi company for Seaports signed yesterday with " Mubadara" company for Chemicals a memorandum of understanding for establishing a city for chemical industries at the industrial zone " Khalifa" in " Al-Taweela" neighborhood.
 Khalij Times newspaper has celebrated the 30th anniversary of its establishment. The newspaper is considered the first to be published in English in the UAE.
 The first International Forum on Knowledge is due to be held in " Al-Medina" between 22 - 24 of June with the participation of 100 scientists and under a special auspices of the Saudi King " Abdulah Bin Abd Al-Aziz. The forum is organized by the General Establishment of Investment in Saudi Arabia

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.