24 - 30, 2002
GCC TO IMPOSE TOUGH ANTI-DUMPING LAW
Once the GCC uniform customs tariff comes into effect and the
Gulf becomes one free market place only the fittest would survive — although
Gulf investors would be given protection through a strong anti-dumping law,
according to a top Omani government official.
"We are determined to protect our industries with an
anti-dumping law," said Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi, undersecretary at Oman's
Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He spoke to Gulf News on the sidelines of a
meeting of the Industries undersecretaries from GCC states at the Al Ghubra
Guesthouse in Muscat.
"Some measures will be in place by the anti-dumping law
whereby GCC companies are protected if there's an issue of dumping," he
"I think dumping is getting a serious problem in the
region," he added. Al Sunaidi said they have been getting a lot of
complaints in the consumer sector. However, "we are yet to prove that
there's a problem of dumping."
He further clarified that some of the complaints were not
exactly dumping issues. But, he added: "there are also problems of
specifications and inferior products are floating around in the (GCC)
Al Sunaidi cautioned not to mix the issues of 'dumping' and
flooding the market with inferior products.
But he assured that the anti-dumping law would look at a
product manufactured and sold at a lower value than its production cost. Al
Sunaidi insisted that products coming from outside the GCC would have to stick
to the specifications laid out in the region. "Our markets are governed by
good specification laws whereby any goods sold within the GCC countries here
goes by the minimum standard we specify to our own industries to adhere
to," he pointed out.
ARAB BANKS MAY LOSE RACE TO FUND OIL PROJECTS
Arab banks is likely to be overrun by giant international
institutions launching a blitz to capture the main share of contracts to finance
regional oil expansion projects given their limited resources and administrative
restrictions, an official Arab institution said.
Arab states, mainly Gulf oil producers, will have to pump at
least $84 billion into projects in five years to raise their oil, gas, refining
and petrochemical production capacity and around $35 billion, or 42 per cent,
will have to be raised through banks, said the Saudi Arabia-based Arab
Petro-leum Investment Corp (Apicorp).
Arab banks are expected to contribute between $10-15 billion
to those loans provided they demonstrate their ability to ensure liquidity, it
"The question is whether Arab banking institutions are
capable of providing those funds and playing an acceptable role in such an
activity in their current situation," said.
"Arab governments used to finance most of those projects
from their own coffers, but the situation has changed and their coffers are
drying up, giving way to regional financial institutions to play their part in
financing. In the current circumstances, we are not very optimistic that Arab
commercial and Islamic banks will play that role in the near future."
In a study on oil projects in the Arab world and funding
potentials, Apicorp estimated regional states need to spend around $21 billion
on crude oil output capacity expansions between 2002 and 2006 while nearly $36
billion would have to be invested in new gas projects and expansions, $20
billion in petrochemicals and $7 billion in refining.
Most of the projects would be carried out in Gulf states as
well as in Egypt, Libya and Algeria, which make up Oapec along with Syria and
Qatar and Oman have resorted to borrowing to finance their
LNG projects but the bulk of the funds were provided by foreign banks.
ARAB NATIONS LAUNCH MEDIA CAMPAIGN
Arab nations have agreed to spend $22.5m on a media campaign
aimed at correcting what they say are Western perceptions of Arabs as terrorists
and redressing a perceived pro-Israeli bias in news coverage.
After two days of deliberations at the Arab League
headquarters in Cairo, Arab information ministers agreed to set up a "media
observatory", either in Europe or the US, to put forward the Palestinian
view of the Middle East conflict.
In their final statement ministers denounced Israel's
"racist" policy toward the Palestinians and said they rejected
attempts in the West to equate Palestinian resistance to the 35-year-old Israeli
occupation with "terrorism".
UAE, CHINA DISCUSS WAYS TO BOLSTER TIES
Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Economy
and Commerce, discussed with Chairman of the Chinese International Trade
Development Council, Yuo Chau Sung, economic, trade and investment relations
between the UAE and China and means of bolstering them.
A memorandum of understanding between the Federation of
Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) and the Chinese council was also signed
by the two officials.
Sheikh Fahim is on an official visit to China at the head of
a delegation to explore avenues to broaden the scope of economic and trade ties
with China and make use of Chinese know-how and technology in development
projects in the UAE.
The two sides examined the possibility of setting up joint
ventures in water technology, industry, telecommunications and other fields.
AJMAN REPORTS TRADE SURPLUS
The tiny emirate of Ajman has bucked the national trend in
its non-oil foreign trade as its exports last year formed the largest component
at more than 50 per cent of the total.
Other emirates in the UAE — and especially the trading hub
of Dubai — generally have imports accounting for about 74 to 75 per cent of
total non-oil foreign trade worth Dh1.92 billion.
In Ajman, exports and re-exports accounted for 54.53 per cent
of trade in 2001, while imports accounted for 46.47 per cent — leaving the
emirate with a surplus balance of payments of Dh135.7 million.
Of the total trade of Dh1.92 billion, exports stood at Dh963
million, imports at Dh893.3 million and re-exports at Dh66 million.
UAE GETS EC NOD TO EXPORT FISH PRODUCTS
The UAE received the European Commission's green light to
export marine products to Eurozone countries.
The decision is to be published in the EC's official journal,
and exports from the UAE can begin three days later, officials in Brussels
A spokesperson for the health and consumer protection
directorate general explained the UAE has been placed in Part II of the list of
countries that are allowed to export marine products to Euroland.
"Since Part II is a temporary list which lasts until the
end of next year, by January 1, 2004 at the latest, the UAE will have to move to
Part I in order for imports to continue," the spokesperson said.
Listing in Part II allows bilateral trade with individual
member states, rather than automatic trade with the full single market, the
spokesperson added, while indicating this is a prior requirement to verify
compliance with all rules before the country gets upgraded to Part I of the
CALL TO PROTEST AGAINST ISRAELI GENOCIDE
The Orthodox Church of Jerusalem has urged churches around
the world to protest against Israeli atrocities committed against innocent women
and children in the Holy Land.
Dr Fr Attallah Hanna, official spokesman of the Orthodox
Church of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, called upon the churches to break their
silence over the Israeli genocide.
Delivering a lecture at the Zayed Centre for Coordination and
Follow-Up, Dr Fr Hanna said: "We call upon world churches, especially the
Vatican, to raise their voices against barbaric acts of Israel and play their
role to help bring permanent peace in the region.
ARAFAT SAYS HALT BOMBINGS, ISRAEL LAUNCHES RAIDS
Yasser Arafat demanded an end to Palestinian attacks on
Israeli civilians and Israel called up some reserve soldiers to reinforce its
incursions into Palestinian areas after two suicide bombings.
Palestinian militants immediately rebuffed the Palestinian
The suicide bombings, which killed 25 Israelis, prompted U.S.
President George W. Bush to put off a speech charting a course towards
Palestinian statehood, apparently concerned it could offend Israelis and seem to
reward the bombers.
POPULAR BOYCOTT HITS U.S. EXPORTS
A boycott of U.S. goods by Saudis angered by Washington's
Middle East policies has led to a sharp fall in U.S. exports to Saudi Arabia,
diplomats and economists said.
Official U.S. figures show exports plunged 33 per cent to
$2.8 billion between September, the month that suicide-bombers attacked U.S.
cities, and March.
In the first quarter of 2002, exports fell 43 per cent to
$986 million from $1.74 billion a year earlier. Many Saudi consumers have
shifted to European and Japanese products, encouraged by campaigners wearing
Palestinian chequered headscarves, residents said.
TOURIST ARRIVALS SET TO RISE AS DSS KICKS OFF
The Dh65 million Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) 2002 was opened
by Sheikh Saeed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at a glittering ceremony
which included a colourful parade of chefs at BurJuman Centre.
The event also marked the opening of Food Surprises week, the
first among the ten theme-based weekly promotions.
EMNEX LOSES 8.96 POINTS
The Emnex suffered a moderate loss when the market
performance indicator fell 8.96 points before closing at 1990.60.
'FOUR KILLED' IN IRAQ AIR STRIKES
Iraq says four people have been killed and 10 wounded in an
air strike launched by US and British warplanes.
A US statement said the planes had launched an attack against
an Iraqi military command and control centre in a no-fly zone south-east of
OIL PRICES UP
The price of oil edged higher in late trade on Wednesday as
the release of supportive data on US inventories helped the markets claw back
A barrel of Brent North Sea crude for August delivery rose 29
cents to $25.08 by late afternoon.
In New York, light sweet crude July-dated futures gained 34
cents to $25.77.
Emirates airline, which has announced an 11 per cent increase
in its profits from $115 million to $127 million for the year ending March 31,
against all odds, is set to emerge as one of the top five airlines globally in
terms of profitability.
CONSORTIUM TO MARKET OMAN PROPERTY
An international consortium said it had been awarded a
mandate by Oman to market seven kilometres of beach front property that could
attract $1 billion of investment to the country.
The consortium, comprised if Lebanese real estate consultants
Ramco, U.S. firm CB Richard Ellis and its British subsidiary Hillier Parker said
the project was part of Oman's strategy of opening up to foreign investment.
Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Europe's leading information
technology company and one of the top four IT vendors in the UAE, will open its
Middle East and Africa head office in Dubai Inter-net City by the end of the
EU CLEARS DSM
The European Commission has approved the takeover of DSM's
petrochemical activities by an affiliate of Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp
(Sabic). The transfer is expected to take place by the end of June.
IRAN SPEAKS UP FOR WATER RIGHTS
Iran is raising its voice in a long-running dispute with
Afghanistan over water rights.
Four years of drought has left Lake Hamoun in eastern Iran
UN officials said that the effects of the drought were
exacerbated when the Taleban dammed the Helmand River in central Afghanistan,
which waters the lake.
An Iranian official has now declared that greater
precipitation in Afghanistan means that water can again be allowed to flow
across the border.
The top environmental official in Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan
Province, where the lake is situated, called on the Iranian Government to press
Afghanistan to co-operate.