Gulf in the News – March 22, 2013

Oil, the US and the GCC

Source: Gulf Research Center (Read full story)

Much will depend on how important security concerns continue to be in the region, relative to other dimensions of international relations. There is little doubt that interdependence between the GCC and other major Asian countries (notably China, India, and South Korea) will grow more intense, not just with respect to trade in hydrocarbons and other merchandise, but also in cross investment, movement of people, and technological and scientific cooperation. Such multidimensional interdependence will have an impact on the functioning of the crude oil markets, and may lead to a degree of regional segmentation, whereby the oil market will be less global and resemble more closely today’s gas market, rather than the other way around.

US-Saudi relations: Eighty years as partners

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

As might be expected, oil remains an important part of our bilateral economic relationship. With Saudi Arabia exporting between a million and a million and a half barrels per day to the United States, it is by far Saudi’s largest export to our country; just as our largest non-defense export to Saudi Arabia remains motor vehicles. However, our relationship has developed far beyond oil and automobiles. Saudi Arabia is an important market for US aircraft, chemicals, machinery, agriculture, and computer products. In addition to oil, some of our largest imports from Saudi Arabia include chemicals, metals and textiles.

Nation watches as first round of speeches delivered at NDC

Source: Yemen Times (Read full story)

Yesterday, the Organizing Committee of the 2011 revolution gathered in Sana’a’s Change Square, protesting what they believe is their underrepresentation at the NDC. They called on President Hadi to reconsider the lists of NDC members. Not only were the youth not given their fair share of seats in the conference, but in general they object to the dialogue’s manner and mechanisms, Al-Sabri said.  The participation of members of the former regime—particularly those who participated in the violent suppression of protests—has also caused outrage among the revolutionary youth.

Court acquits Tweeter for insulting the Amir

Islamist MPs and activists strongly reacted against a proposal put forward by five lawmakers to “scrap” a law that bans segregation at higher educational institutions, with one Islamist MP vowing he will oppose the proposal even if it was to lead to dissolution of the National Assembly. MPs Abdulhameed Dashti, Maasouma Al- Mubarak, Adnan Al-Mutawa, Nabeel Al-Fadhl and Saleh Atiqi submitted the proposal yesterday, saying the legislation had harmful effect on education at universities and similar higher education institutes.

Arab Fund for food security proposed

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

A proposal to set up an Arab Fund to finance agricultural development and execution of food security plans is likely to be discussed by Arab leaders at their summit here next week. The main issues on the summit’s agenda will, though, be the ongoing crisis in Syria, Palestine and the proposed restructuring of the Arab League, aside from economic issues of regional importance. The Economic and Social Council of the Arab League held a meeting yesterday and discussed several draft resolutions that would be tabled at the ministerial level preparatory meeting to be held today. Yesterday’s meeting, according to Qatar News Agency (QNA), included senior officials from the economy and trade ministries of the member-countries and was chaired by Sultan bin Rashid Al Khater, undersecretary at the Ministry of Business and Trade.

Exhibition industry facing ‘digital challenge’

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

The GCC meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) industry might be showing a sustained growth over the years, but the challenges facing the industry is also constantly on the rise, says a senior industry official.
Saif Mohammed Al-Midfa, director-general of Expo Center Sharjah, was speaking ahead of the UFI Open Seminar in the Middle East, where he will be a panelist on an international discussion on changes in client expectations. “While the MICE industry is growing by leaps and bounds in the region and the support for face-to-face marketing remains strong, our clients’ expectations are changing,” Al-Midfa was quoted as saying in a statement received here.