The Drought Years

As FAO expects prices of food stuff to continue rising for at least the coming ten years, the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called for increasing the production of food stuff by half for solving the problem of food crisis worldwide, calling for taking "urgent and courageous steps".
But the Secretary General did not forget to talk about the costs, in the sense that he pointed out that that this increase will cost the international donors more than $ 15- 20 billion annually, during the coming years. _ Prices of food stuff have reached their highest levels ever in 30 years which led to violence and chaos in many countries. _ It is worth mentioning that the current crisis has left an additional 100 million persons with no food, as the poor countries are facing an increase in terms of the costs of its imports of food stuff with an average estimated at 40%.
Among the proposed solutions are suspending or cancelling all prices and other trade restrictions imposed by the governments with regard to the food stuff but there is no guarantee that any of these solutions will be useful.

Abu Dhabi for Investment Launches the 1st Projects of "Porta Moda" in Morocco

Abu Dhabi House for Investment launched yesterday the project of "Porta Moda" in Marrakesh with a total cost estimated at 26 billion Dirham.
The project is an independent neighborhood for high fashion, comprising well-known international trademarks in the industry of fashion, jewelry ,and in-house decorations.

The Syrian Telecommunications Establishment Gains Revenues of one Billion Syrian Pounds in 2007

The share of the Syrian Telecommunication Establishment of the revenues at Syriatel Company for Mobile Telecommunications has reached 15 billion Syrian Pounds out of 40 billion gained in 2007, according to the establishment’s average of share in the company estimated at 40%.
The administration of Syriatel has asserted that the revenues have increased by more than 31,7 billion Syrian Pounds gained in 2006, whereas the revenues of the price of one share has risen by about 295 , reaching about 100 Syrian Pounds per one share.

Launching the Real Estates "Divine" with a Capital of 500 Million Dirhams

The real estate "Divine" company was launched yesterday in Dubai with a capital estimated at 500 million Dirham for developing a number of real estate projects in the country.
The company is planning for launching 8 multi-purpose projects during the coming 6 months at the maritime "Dubai Front", in addition to a project being carried out currently. Moreover, the company will pump 6 billion Dirham in real estate projects within the coming four years, expecting its revenues to reach 10 billion Dirham.

Laying a Pipeline Connecting The Caspian Sea with the Arabian Gulf

Iranian Assistant Minister of Oil has said that his country will lay an oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Arabian Gulf, adding that this pipeline will connect Neka seaport, north of the country with Jask seaport in the south.

"Dar Al-Istithmar" Sells a Share at "Al-Sham" Bank

The Kuwaiti Al-Qabas newspaper has said that the Kuwaiti Islamic "Dr Al-Istithmar" company has agreed with he Kuwaiti Trade bank on selling its share estimated at 12,5% at the Syrian "Al-Sham" bank in return for $ 7 million. The newspaper further added in a report without mentioning its source that the deal has been concluded but it was waiting for the approval of the two Syrian and Kuwaiti Central Banks.

Small Indexes

- Russia and Saudi Arabia have signed the protocol on concluding the bilateral negotiations with regard Russia joining the World Trade Organization.
- Lebanon Central Bank has announced that the value of its assets of foreign currencies till mid of last May have risen by $ 14,47 billion with an increase estimated at $ 252,7 million.

Companies Indexes

- The real estate "Al-Dar" company has asked the administration of Abu Dhabi stock market to register the increasing shares on the capital resulted from transforming bonds into shares with a total value estimated at 15,167 million shares in the market.
- A Palestinian pharmaceutical company has started to export its first shipment of medicine to Germany after it has been granted the European Quality Certificate "GMB".

Exhibitions & Conferences

- Dubai is due to host between 25- 27 of next August the Educational Conference for Research and Marketing organized by the International Society for Conferences and Meetings known by the name "Ika". The conference is dedicated for the Middle East region and it is held for the first time in Dubai aiming the tourist sector.


Emirates Group for Internet has signed a cooperation agreement with the International "Talal Abu Ghazala" Group for establishing a free electronic encyclopedia on the web site
The encyclopedia will cover many applied, human, economic and technological sciences.

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.