Gulf in the News – November 19, 2013

EU-GCC automotive conference focuses on technology transfer

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

The EU-GCC Invest Project held its first automotive conference attended by some 100 local industry leaders and decision-makers at the capital’s Al-Khozama Hotel on Sunday.  “We hope that the local automotive industry benefits from this conference. European Union (EU) companies have a worldwide reputation as technology providers,” Andreas Hergenroether, AHK Saudi Arabia delegate, said as he welcomed the participants. AHK Saudi Arabia organized the conference … Hergenroether added that despite the decrease in foreign direct investments (FDI) to the GCC, Saudi Arabia is still the biggest recipient of FDIs in the MENA region in 2012 according to the 2013 World Investment Report by UNCTAD.  “This underlines Saudi Arabia as a global investment destination and testifies to the foreign companies’ trust in the economic growth and stability of the Kingdom,” he said.  He noted that the main EU investors in the Kingdom were France with an FDI volume of $3.821 billion, followed by Germany $2,138 billion and the UK $1,575 billion.

Airbus, Boeing sign Gulf deals at Air Show

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

Airbus and Boeing signed deals to buy some $5bn of parts and materials from Abu Dhabi yesterday, in a sign Gulf states are seeking a reciprocal boost to their economies from the huge orders they have placed with the planemakers.  Gulf airlines, led by Dubai’s Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, struck plane deals worth almost $150bn — or more, including options — on the first day of the Dubai Airshow on Sunday.   The buying spree underscored a shift in power in the aviation industry, as oil-rich, fast-growing economies of the Gulf take advantage of their strategic position between East and West to draw more travellers from hubs in Europe and Asia … Airbus agreed a new deal yesterday with Abu Dhabi’s state investment fund Mubadala to expand their partnership “for further composite and metallic aerostructure production in the UAE, in addition to procurement of composite raw materials, worth $2.5bn,” Mubadala said.

Africa-Arab Summit begins – Amir stresses commitment to boosting partnership

Source: The Kuwait Times (Read full story)

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, welcoming Arab and African leaders, said Sunday Kuwait’s hosting of the 3rd Africa-Arab Summit stemmed from his country’s commitment to boosting bridges of cooperation aimed at a strategic partnership on the ground. The Amir, marking the Nov 19-20 Summit, expressed profound delight at Kuwait’s hosting of the event, which is being held under the theme “Partners in Development and Investment.”  “It (the summit) reflects the keenness of both regions on joint commitment and boosts cooperation on all spectrums, particularly political, economic, commercial and cultural,” he added.

‘Schools not exempted from raids’

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

More than 3,200 private establishments were inspected during the first week since the crackdown on illegal workers began on Nov. 4, an official said.  “Officials from the Ministry of Labor inspected 3,220 establishments. They discovered 261 cases of labor violations in the first seven days of the inspection. Violations that were intercepted included 107 cases of expatriates working with employers other than their legal sponsors and 154 cases of Saudization regulation violations,” said Abdullah Abuthnain, undersecretary at the ministry, during an interview with Arab News.  Qassim achieved the highest percentage of inspection among the provinces, having covered 26 percent of its private establishments, while the lowest rate of 0.5 percent was recorded in the Tabuk province, Abuthnain said.  Abuthnain said that 836 establishments were inspected in Qassim province, 729 in the Eastern Province, 706 in Riyadh, 220 in Jazan, 201 in Makkah, 108 each in Madinah and Najran, 73 in Hail, 60 in the Northern Border Province, 59 in Al-Jouf, 54 in Baha, 51 in Asir and 15 in Tabuk.

[UAE] Focus on knowledge economy

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

The knowledge economy will contribute five per cent to the UAE’s economic growth by 2021, Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri said.  The UAE has taken steps to prevent corruption and ranks first in the region in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012, helped by strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions, he told over 1,000 global thought leaders that included 130 public figures gathered for the World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda on Yas Island. … The minister said the most recent Global Competitiveness Report issued by the WEF for 2013-14 ranked the UAE as the 19th most-competitive country in the world, and in terms of ease of doing business, it was ranked No. 1 slot in the Middle East and North Africa. Having created an attractive environment for business and investment, Al Mansouri said the UAE hosts regional headquarters of over 25 per cent of the top 500 companies in the world.

Prince Turki: Riyadh forum should find solutions for economic issues

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Prince Turki bin Salman, chairman of Saudi Research & Marketing Group, on Monday highlighted the significance of the Riyadh Economic Forum, which opens on Dec. 9, and said it would play a major role in strengthening the Kingdom’s economy.  He expressed his optimism that the forum to be attended by prominent personalities and business leaders from within the Kingdom and abroad would discuss solutions for economic issues in order to achieve the desired growth.  SRMG has agreed to become the diamond partner of the three-day forum organized by Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This important annual event is held under the patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, chairman of the Supreme Economic Council.