Category Archives: Business
Situated on some of the world’s most lucrative trade routes connecting Asia, Africa and Europe, Turkey is now rapidly expanding its transportation and logistics infrastructure to cater to its future role as both an energy and industrial global hub, as well as an increasing magnet for both regional and international tourism.
“The government doesn’t have any excuses any more.” Even before the election there had been some signs of progress. The Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah had made a number of televised speeches, which gave observers hope that the economic inertia that has gripped the country might be coming to an end.
‘Stick or twist’ sums up the changes of political power in America and China last month. President Obama won another four-year-term in Washington, while Xi Jinping assumed stewardship of China. This intricate ‘Chimerican’ relationship is fundamental to the global outlook anywhere you care to look, and nowhere more so than the Middle East.
Again, as in its relations with most other governments, the IMF has asked Cairo to reduce or phase out this financial support, partly in order to improve its finances and partly in an attempt to reduce consumption. Egyptian oil and gas consultant Magdi Nasrallah says:
Insurers in the GCC have for some time called for greater harmonisation of regulations across the GCC region. Not only will this benefit the consumer by increasing competition, insurers’ costs would be reduced. Such harmonisation, though, is a complicated matter and there are currently no signs it will become a reality.
Some 60% of Qatar’s $1.25bn grant will be used to fund local community development projects, another programme that will help to reduce unemployment, especially in the rural areas, according to Finance Minister Suleiman Hafez. Another 15% will be spent on projects in the energy sector, such as shale oil exploration, 15% on education and health and 10% on transport.
But, as Mazen Darwazeh, a senior executive at Jordanian-based Hikma Pharmaceuticals points out, there is “an awakening in this part of the world. “Governments,” he told the London daily
Asian markets. Any significant Qatari shift towards Asia will see Russia’s spot market pressures eased in Europe; no other gas producer would be able to fill Qatari LNG gaps.
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GCC governments in particular are embarking on pharaonic projects and are the force driving the region’s bond market. Saudi Arabia has pledged to spend more than $500bn by 2020 to modernise the kingdom, with investments in energy, transport, ports, logistics, education and the creation of six new cities from scratch. In Qatar, the world’s richest country in terms of GDP per capita, $100bn will be spend on infrastructure ahead of the Football World Cup the country will host in 2022, with plans for the implementation of real estate and leisure projects on a huge scale.