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GCC is 13th largest world economy
Gulf hydrocarbon producers emerged as the 13th most powerful economy in the world in 2011 while strong oil prices allowed them to become the fifth largest exporter with the highest trade surplus, according to a Bahraini minister. Hassan Fakhru, minister of trade and industry, estimated the combined GDP of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at around $1.4 trillion in 2011, the 13th largest in the world. He put the global GDP at around $70 trillion in 2011.
Major Saudi firms in Forbes Top 500 list
With the support of Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al Nahyan, the UAE’s minister for culture, youth and community development, Forbes Middle East hosted a prestigious event at Ritz Carlton, Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, in recognition of The Top 500 Companies in the Arab World and The Top 100 Making an Impact.
The event, which included an exclusive award ceremony and gala dinner, was attended by senior government officials, top executives from various business sectors, and an array of other high profile guests. The event was also graced by the presence of Nasser bin Aqeel Al-Tayyar, president of Arab Publisher House, who welcomed Sheikh Nahayan along with other dignitaries.
Students and schools wishing to participate in the Model Arab League program in coming school years should contact the National Council’s Director of Student Programs Megan Geissler or Deputy Director of Student Programs Josh Hilbrand to learn how to get involved.
Cabinet ministers resign amid standoff with MPs
The new developments came amid reports that the Assembly might be dissolved just a month before a June 16 crucial ruling by the constitutional court on the controversial amendment of the electoral law. But a number of MPs ruled out the possibility, saying they expected the Amir to issue a decree to suspend the Assembly for one month, based on a clause in the constitution. The measure will give just enough time for the ruling to be issued while the Assembly is not in session. Among many possibilities, the court could declare the electoral law amendment as unconstitutional, which will mean forcing the Assembly’s dissolution and calling for fresh elections.
The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, in coordination with the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi, escorted a delegation of students from the National Intelligence University on a study visit to the UAE in April 2013, coinciding with the Emirates Center’s 18th Annual Conference on “The Future of Warfare in the 21st Century.” The visit provided the students with an opportunity to explore the dynamics of some of the major economic, political, and social determinants of UAE culture as well as the country’s modernization and development.
US-led action in Syria would empower Iran, not weaken it
The Iranian leadership has a successful track record of emerging as the winner whenever a sovereign state in the Middle East experiences instability, civil war or foreign intervention. For instance, the protracted civil war in Lebanon created a ripe environment for Iranian leaders to give birth to one of the strongest non-state actors in the region, Hizbollah. Also, after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Iranian leaders were immediately able to help create a powerful Shiite proxy in Iraq – the Mahdi Army – as well as coordinate with Shiite leaders to infiltrate Iraqi governmental affairs. The Iranian leadership and Revolutionary Guard’s strategies are characterised not by public or foreign interventions, but by clandestine investments in local, community-based, organised groups that empower a proxy capable of fighting not only regional governments but world powers.
Saudi Arabia launches first F15-SA jet plane at Missouri ceremony
The Saudi Air Force recently launched its F15-SA jet plane at an inauguration ceremony held at a Boeing site based in St. Louis, Missouri. Boeing today rolled out the Boeing F-15SA, ushering in a new era in fighter aircraft capability and affordability for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The launch comes amid plans for the air force to modernize its fleet of fighters. The recent addition means that the Kingdom has entered a new age in its fighter planes, allowing it to be at the forefront of air forces worldwide.