Month: January 2012
The United Arab Emirates is currently making great efforts to establish relations with China in: energy (clean and renewable); science; technology and trade. Should it succeed in this endeavor, the next step could very easily be the connecting force between Europe, North Africa and Central Asia.
It was actually the UAE VP and PM, Dubai Ruler, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who began this train of thought. He pointed out how crucial it is to develop and pursue relations between China and the United Arab Emirates as much as possible. In addition, speaking on behalf of the UAE, he said that from its point of view, this would effectively “widen the scope of its cooperation with the Asian giant.” And of course ultimately, that just makes good business sense.
The UAE leader thereafter added that from a personal standpoint, he had visited China quite a few times and enjoyed what he saw there, culturally and vis-à-vis its economic success. In other words, he could take it as a lesson for his own country. He said, “Dubai is like the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an, a global cosmopolitan city, where people from 200 countries live and work together. As we today follow the distinguished Chinese experience of development with great interest, we strive to strengthen cooperation between the two countries not only in trade, but also in the fields of science, technology, and clean and renewable energy.”
For a while now, Egypt had been unable to send natural gas due to damage. But, according to MENA news agency, the problem was fixed last week and the country was able to resume its pumping. Israel for example, is now receiving gas again which is great, but the levels have been way below contractual obligations, which is problematic. In other words, while gas supply has been restored, it is nowhere near at full capacity.
Unfortunately, the North Sinai pipeline has undergone some quite substantial problems following the deposition of Hosni Mubarak. Indeed, it has been blown up 10 times, with the most recent attack occurring last month. Such attacks have resulted in approximately $4bn worth of damage to Israel’s economy.
But, there is a small piece of good news. Now that gas pumping has been resumed (albeit on a lower level), there was a 3.6 percent escalation on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange of Ampal-American Israel Corp. (proprietor of a stake in a company that exports gas from Egypt to Israel).
January 5 marked the Royal Oman Police’s Annual Day. This year marked a new stage of its security and service achievements under the tutelage of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the Supreme Commander of ROP. Due to his input, Oman has really made significant inroads both regionally and internationally.
The ROP’s task is to establish and maintain security throughout Oman. It is constantly working to maintain, improve and expand on all the services and functions it offers to the people. For example, new services are always being added, more modern methods are being added, etc. Currently, its police force is well trained and new police establishments have been developed throughout Oman. New cadres are being trained and a whole slew of job seekers joined ROP units too.
Oman’s Oil Making an Impact
Oman’s oil is being very positive for the Sultanate. Due to a huge increase in oil revenues, the Sultanate’s fiscal surplus has reached 8.2 percent of 2011’s GDP. According to the International Monetary Fund, Oman’s projected GDP growth was 5.5 percent and 6.4 percent in non-hydrocarbon GDP.
There has also been an acceleration of economic activities in Oman which is significantly helping the economy. This trend looks set to continue in the New Year. In addition, Oman’s economy hasn’t been so impacted by problems in the international financial markets as well as the European crisis. It seems that banks in Oman have not felt the regional unrest that is causing issues in general for other economies in Europe. Close to 80 percent of Oman’s oil exports go to Asia limiting the impact of Europe’s crisis. Let’s hope things continue in this way for Oman and the Sultanate.