Steps in the Right Direction

The meetings of the 8th session of the Higher Syrian-Yemeni Committee were concluded yesterday at the Yemeni capital Sana’a. The final communiqué included important points aiming at strengthening relations of economic cooperation between the two countries, and also working on improving and preparing the conditions for increasing the volume of trade exchange between Syria and Yemen
The fist point had to do with signing 14 cooperation documents that include executive programs, memorandum of understandings, protocols of cooperation in electricity, telecommunications, maritime wealth, media, culture, youth, social insurance, industrial ownership, goods exchange, seaports, refineries, water, and irrigations fields.
The second point was embodied in agreeing on setting up a schedule for the activities of the technical follow-up committees between the two countries, and also on convening the meetings of the Higher Syrian-Yemeni Higher Council every three months instead of six months in Damascus and Sana’a.
The third point had to do with Yemen’s joining the already established Syrian-Jordanian mercantile shipping company and providing more support for enhancing the pivotal role of the privates sector in both countries with the aim of contributing in increasing the volume of trade, economic, and trade exchange between Syria and Yemen.

Tourist Investments in Kuwait are Bigger than that of the Industrial Investments and Dubai is Still on the Top

Chairman of the Administrative Board of the first company for hotels, "Abdulilah Marifi" , that the total volume of investments in the tourist sector in Kuwait , including the hotels , resorts, shopping centers, and promotional villages is more than one billion Kuwaiti Dinar.
According to " Marifi", the volume of investments in the tourist sector has become bigger than that of the industrial sector, regardless of the industrial companies which the government has shares in them. He further said that despite the surge of oil prices, yet the hotels sector in Kuwait is still cheaper compared to the prices of lodging in hotels and resorts in neighboring countries.
Moreover, the Gulf tourist sector hit records in 2007 that reached $ 273 billion, with the UAE came first with a percentage estimated at 85% out of the total volume of investments in the Gulf, followed by Oman by $ 17 billion, whereas Bahrain came third with investments estimated at $ 6 billion, Saudi Arabia fourth with $ 4, 5 billion, and Kuwait came fifth with regard to the volume of tourist investments by $ 3,5 billion.

The Kuwaiti " Al-Mustathmeron Al-Qabida" (The Holding Investment Company) Establishes with Libya a Company With a Capital of $ 2 Billion

The Kuwait " Al-Mustathmeron Al-Qabida" ( The Holding Investment Company) has said that it is planning for establishing an investment company by a total value estimated at $ 2 billion with the Libyan government, adding that it will offer half of the company for foreign investors.
The company further added, in a statement on the web site of Kuwaiti stock market, that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Libya for establishing the company in which each party owns 25% of it and the rest to be offered for public subscription. It is worth mentioning that the new company will carry out many big investments in energy sector in Libya, and other countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Saudi Plans for Improving the Tourist Sector

Prince " Sultan Bin Abdul-Aziz", Secretary General of the General Directorate for Tourism and Antiquities in Saudi Arabia, has said that the Kingdom will carry out strategic and ambitious plans in the coming few years for developing the tourist sector, adding that the General Directorate of Tourism and Saudi Antiquities is working currently on restructuring the tourist sector, and that it will be responsible directly in front of the King which underlines the great importance on the behalf of the government to the tourist sector.

A Seminar for Discussing the Experience Of the Iraqi Private Banks

The association of the Iraqi private banks has organized a seminar for discussing the experience of the private banks in Iraq with the aim of achieving a better performance that copes with its expected ro; in the process of reconstruction of Iraq and realizing the sought economic development. The Executive Chairman of the association, " Abd Al-Farid Hasoun " has made a beief presentation on the most important activities the association carried out during the first quarter of 2008, pointing out the importance of enhancing the participation of the private banks in such seminars and meetings aiming at activating the role of the banks in a way that pushes these banks to improve their performance.

An Iranian-Made Carpet by $ One Million To be Exhibited in Dubai

Within the activities of " Dom Tex" exhibition – The Middle East ", to be held in Dubai between 25-27 0f May, specialized in carpet industry and material for covering ground floors, a rare Iranian hand -made carpet will be exhibited with a value more than $ 1 million , according to CNN .
The carpet, with the name, "Zahra" (Rose), was made in the Iranian city of Tabriz throughout 10 years before it was completed in 1970, with 5 meters long and 8 meters wide, containing 40 million knits.

Small Indexes

- The total volume of world trade exchange via seaports in 2007 has reached more than one million Tons of goods with an increase estimated at 8, 6% compared to 2006.
- The total volume of Arab investments in Algeria has reached 524 Billion Algerian Dinar (about $ 7 Billion ) between 2001 – 2007.
- Head of the Green Party in Germany has called for imposing a special tax on the profits of fuel companies in Germany amid the increase of fuel prices on a seasonal basis during the period of celebrating the anniversary of "Whitsuntide".

Companies Indexes

- China has inaugurated a company for planes manufacturing and production backed by the government for producing a big number of commercial planes that will be able to compete in the future with the two world companies : Boeing and Airbus.
- "Limitless" company, the real estate arm of the International Dubai Company", has chosen "Murphy –Jan Architects Company as a primary designer of the two housing towers of "Limitless" with a total value estimated at $ 300 million. The two towers are expected to be the highest buildings in Jordan.


- Bahrain’s International Exhibition for Travel and Tourism is due to be held between 14-17 of May 2008 at Bahrain International Centre for Exhibitions.
- Chairman of the Russian Federation of Industrialists and Businessmen Alexander Shukhin said in an interview with media men that the economic forum to be held between 6-8 0f June for the 12th times in Petersburg has become an international important forum for discussing issues related to the Russian economy , thus it will be able to compete Davous Economic Forum.

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.