Afghanistan’s Main Trade Partner of Iran, Official Says

The Deputy Head of Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Investment said on Saturday that the Islamic Republic of Iran is Afghanistan’s major trade partner. Khanjan Alkozi pointed to the trade ties between his country and Iran, describing Iran as the main trade partner of Afghanistan. He put the current value of Afghanistan’s trade with Iran at US$2 billion, adding that it can increase by US$10 billion annually. Presently, Afghanistan exports US$20 million worth of products to Iran, Alkozi highlighted. The two countries enjoy high capabilities to boost their bilateral trade to as much as US$10 billion, he said, adding that his country is vehemently interested in investing in the mining and mineral sector as well as the agricultural sector and herbal medicines. - Tasnim



Iran Takes Part in 30th Expomed Eurasia 2023 in Turkey

The 30th edition of the Health, Medical and Medical Equipment Fair (Expomed Eurasia) and 16th Oil & Gas Trade Show that kicked off in the Turkish city of Istanbul on March 16 will conclude today.
According to the Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, the two events were held with the active particiaption of the Iranian Fund to Support the Advanced Industries of the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade. Some 430 companies from 14 countries took part in these prestigious exhibitions in Istanbul. The Islamic Republic of Iran has established two pavilions at the exhibition, Vatandoost, a member of the Board of Directors and Technical Manager of the Industry Ministry’s Fund to Support Advanced Industries said.

The Fund to Support Research and Development of Advanced Industries along with the companies active in the medical and oil industries are present in the exhibitions, showcasing their latest achievements, he stated. Iran enjoys a high capacity to export its products to the Central Asian states, Persian Gulf littoral states and other countries, Vatandoost added. Signing contracts with regional and extra-regional countries as well as introduction of Iran’s capabilities in the field of knowledge-based and advanced industries are among the objectives of the Iranian companies' participation in this exhibition. ExpomedEurasia is the biggest fair in Turkey and Eurasia where medical devices, equipment and technologies are showcased and the latest medical trends and scientific events can be tracked. - Tasnim


Rise in Oman’s Power & Water Output

The total electricity production in the Sultanate of Oman until end-December 2022 increased by 8.1%, reaching 41,747.4 gigawatts per hour (GWh), compared to 38,630.4 gigawatts per hour during the same period in 2021. Dhofar Governorate recorded an increase in total electricity production by 10.2%, to reach 4,236.7 GWh until end-December 2022. The governorates of North and South Al Batinah and Al Dhahirah recorded an increase in total electricity production by 16.7%, to reach 27,311.3 GWh, according to initial statistics issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information.

The net electricity production in Oman until the end-December 2022, which includes purchases by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company and by the Rural Areas Electricity Company by region, reached to 40,411.9 GWh, an increase of 8.3% compared to the same period in 2021. The largest amount of net electricity production came from Dhofar Governorate, with 4,041.5 GWh, an increase of 10.8%, while the governorates of North and South Al Batinah and Al Dhahirah recorded a rise in net electricity production by 17.1%, to reach 26, 397 GWh.

Meanwhile, the amount of water produced in Oman increased by 5%, to reach 512.199 Mcm until the end-December 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. The governorates of Dhofar and Muscat recorded an increase in water production by 9.3% and 6.9%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2021.


Egypt Economy Expected to Grow, Unemployment Rate Falls

Egypt’s economy is expected to grow 4.2 % in the current fiscal year ending in June, the country's cabinet said on Tuesday, much less than previously forecast. The gross domestic product grew by 3.9 % in October to December in 2022, the second quarter of the fiscal year, while the unemployment rate fell to 7.2 %, the statement said. Economic growth slowed from 4.4 % in July to September, while the unemployment rate slipped from 7.4 % in that quarter. Egypt’s fiscal year begins in July and ends in June. Suez Canal revenues totaled US$2.2 billion in the second quarter, up from US$1.7 billion in the same period a year earlier. In November, the Planning Ministry said Egypt expected its economy to grow almost 5 % in 2022/23. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in December that Egypt targets GDP growth of 5.5 % in the 2023/24 fiscal year.

Suez traffic

Navigation traffic in the Suez Canal recorded its highest-ever daily transit rate, with 107 ships crossing from both directions without waiting and a total net tonnage of 6.3. million tons, according to Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority. The canal recorded the crossing of various types of mega-ships, 25 container ships, and 28 bulk carriers. It also recorded the transit of 33 tankers, six car carriers, and 15 ships of different types, varying from multi-purpose ships to general cargo ships, and others. Rabie emphasized that the huge leap in the daily transit rates in the canal would not have been possible without the new Suez Canal project, which succeeded in increasing the capacity of the canal. The canal reported record revenues of 18.2 billion Egyptian pounds (US$594 million) in December 2022, according to data released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. It is the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia. Connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, the canal is involved in about 10 % of global maritime trade, and the majority of oil is transported by sea.


Sharjah's Air Arabia Only Looking at Achieving Organic Growth

Air Arabia, the Sharjah-based UAE national carrier which has seen substantial growth in the last few years with the number of destinations it flies to touching 200, seeks only organic growth, the airline's Group CEO has said. Adel Al Ali, speaking to TradeArabia's Sree Bhat on the sidelines of Arab Aviation Summit in Ras Al Khaimah, said:"So far what we have achieved is an organic growth and the good thing is we keep growing." "We have 120 aircraft on order, we are getting them in early 2025. Apart from this, we are also getting every year about 10 aircraft on lease. So, I think our organic growth will continue.

"We don't look for a number; I never thought we will go to 200 destinations. I was happy with five, it went to 10 and then steadily we grew to 200. I am very satisfied with a small growth rather than a huge one and big announcements," he said. On the airline's sustainability initiatives, he pointed out that all the airlines, including Air Arabia, were making efforts in that direction, participating in various initiatives. "Sustainability has two sides to it; one is bringing in efficiency in the business to make sure that it becomes sustainable. The second part is the big jump to net zero," Al Ali explained. "So, the big part relies much on oil production companies, engine manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers and airports. We are working with all these international organisations. We have a special team in Air Arabia engaged with this. The whole industry and all stakeholders need to collectively work to make it happen," he stated.

Al Ali continued: "I am a confident that by 2050, the industry will achieve net zero. Even if we are unable to achieve zero, 80% success is good. Yes, we must aim for 100%." Asked to comment on the launch of the new Riyadh Air by Saudi Arabia, he said the kingdom is a big promising market. Saudi is also undergoing a huge transformation and huge investments are being made. "For me, more airlines create more opportunities. Though it brings new challenges, it's's good for the consumer. Ultimately, it will encourage more people to fly and that is what we want," he stated. Asked if Air Arabia has any plans for hubs in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia, he said: "As of now, we have not considered this. I am interested in every country, but it all depends on the policies of the particular country."


Burgan Bank 1st in Kuwait to Launch Biodegradable Cards

Burgan Bank has announced the launch of a new biodegradable debit card especially designed to facilitate transactions for its visually impaired customers as it continues to innovate its solutions. The card delivers on Burgan’s core objectives of its comprehensive strategy – namely sustainability, product innovation and inclusivity, ensuring greater accessibility to specially-abled customers, whilst simultaneously promoting environmentally conscious practices. The card utilizes a touch card feature with a rounded notch on the right side of the card to make it easy-to-use for visually impaired customers, helping them identify the proper card insertion direction while inserting the card in the point-of-sale terminal. Moreover, these cards are made of biodegradable materials, which limits their negative impact on the environment by helping reduce carbon footprint.

Sustainable practice

Masoud M J Hayat, Vice Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer at Burgan Bank, said: “We are truly proud to be the first in Kuwait’s banking sector to introduce such a smart, accessible solution. Our main aim continues to be delivering an advanced tailor-made banking experience; one that answers to our customers’ needs and wants whilst promoting a more sustainable practice. This card will provide a greater sense of inclusivity, comfort and independence to our customers with visual impairments.” He further added: “Beyond just the regulatory requirements, we continue to cater to the needs of all our customers and deliver upon them, living up to our ‘driven by you’ commitment. Which is why we are determined to constantly improve, enhance and expand our services to guarantee the most convenient and sustainable banking journey possible.”


Tons of Uranium Have Vanished in Libya

Two and a half tons of uranium have disappeared from a site in Libya, according to the UN's nuclear watchdog. The International Atomic Energy Agency said inspectors discovered 10 drums containing uranium ore, also known as yellow cake, "were not present as previously declared at a location" outside of government-controlled territory during a visit on Tuesday, per CNN and the BBC. It added it is working "to clarify the circumstances of the removal of the nuclear material and its current location."

The missing uranium represents about 10% of the material stored at the "very remote location" in southern Libya, says Scott Roecker of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. He tells the BBC that whoever removed the uranium "must really want it," though it "cannot be made into a nuclear weapon" in its current form. There are also "very little radiation concerns," says Roecker. It's unclear when exactly the uranium disappeared. A site inspection scheduled for last year was postponed for security reasons as militias battled in the region, per the BBC and Reuters.


Private Sector Key Player in Revival of Libya's Economy

The African Development Bank has recognized the private sector as a crucial contributor to Libya’s economic growth and development. While the oil sector has been the mainstay of the economy, diversification is essential for building a sustainable and productive economy. To achieve this goal, Libya must concentrate on enhancing its regulatory and institutional framework to create a supportive environment for business and investment.

Challenges and Opportunities

As an oil economy, Libya faces a unique set of challenges as it seeks to transition to a productive economy. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of regulatory capacity and infrastructure. The country’s state structures and bureaucracies have traditionally had very little power or regulatory capacity. In addition, the large amount of oil-generated revenue often makes efficiency and reform seem less urgent. Despite these challenges, there are many opportunities for growth and development in the country’s private sector. Libya’s oil sector institutions are already well-managed, and the country has a highly educated population. In order to take advantage of these opportunities, Libya must create a supportive environment for business and investment.

Institutional and Sectoral Strategies

Libya must adopt longer-term institutional and sectoral strategies in order to create a sustainable and diversified economy. This includes developing the necessary regulatory muscle to guide economic planning, as well as withdrawing from certain parts of the economy where the private sector can perform better. In addition, Libya must provide greater regulation to continue relaxing the stranglehold state bureaucracies have traditionally had in imposing regulations that slow down the creation of new enterprises. This includes streamlining the process for obtaining licenses and other legal procedures, as well as reducing red tape.

Recalibrating the Roles of Public and Private Sectors

In order to promote greater private sector involvement and reduce the size and contribution of the public sector to the national economy, Libya must make the public sector more efficient and productive. This can be achieved through a range of measures, such as:

Hiring freezes
Adjustments to wages and benefits
Layoffs and downsizing
Reorganization of state bureaucracies
Public-private partnerships

The government should also invest in public infrastructure projects that create jobs and promote economic growth, such as improved transportation networks, access to energy services, modernized ports and airports, and the provision of essential social services. In addition, the government should look for opportunities to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) and create a more competitive business environment, including through the establishment of tax incentives and streamlined regulations.

Encouraging the Non-Oil Sector

To promote economic growth outside the oil sector, Libyan planners should establish a legal framework that facilitates greater access to financing for small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, they should make efforts to reduce red tape and bureaucratic inertia, which have made Libya one of the least attractive destinations worldwide for investment beyond the oil sector.
Furthermore, they should propose a legal framework that encourages both foreign and local investment in the non-oil sector, with incentives provided to enterprises that create employment opportunities.


In conclusion, Libya’s private sector has the potential to be a key driver of economic growth and development in the country. However, in order to achieve this, Libya must focus on improving its regulatory and institutional framework to create a supportive environment for businesses and investments. By adopting longer-term institutional and sectoral strategies, recalibrating the roles of public and private sectors, and encouraging growth in the non-oil sector, Libya can create a sustainable and diversified economy.


Saudi Arabia Calls for Balanced Approach to ESG Investment

Amid global calls to increase environmental, social, and governance investments, asset managers and investors in Saudi Arabia want a more nuanced approach that balances ESG demand with today’s challenging economic reality, according to a Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s survey. As per the findings of the global survey, institutions are expected to increase their ESG-related assets under management to US$33.9 trillion by 2026, from US$18.4 trillion in 2021. Environmental activists and many institutional investors are taking a hard-line stance by insisting on making investments only in ESG. However, as the survey showed due to high demand 30% of the investors say they struggle to find attractive ESG investment opportunities. Saudi investors, the PwC report, said warn against basing decisions “solely on ideological investments” and caution that such an approach “could lead to the misallocation of capital,” which would negatively affect investors many of whom are allocating part of the salaries for retirement. Saudi Arabia is taking effective measures to boost ESG and is an advocate of a diversified energy mix and environmental strategies. Saudi Aramco, for example, has implemented an internal governance model that integrates sustainability principles into business strategy, as the oil giant aims to balance profitability, environmental protection, and the growth and prosperity of the communities in which it operates.

The Saudi Stock Exchange, meanwhile, has already issued ESG disclosure guidelines in 2021. The guidelines will help more than 200 listed companies and prospective firms looking to go public with their ESG reporting and will raise awareness about it in the local market. They will encourage companies to voluntarily disclose their ESG performance. Last year, the Saudi Stock Exchange also launched a partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Cultural Development Fund to provide a channel through which Saudi companies can connect with and invest in cultural and heritage projects. It was part of a comprehensive plan to promote robust compliance with international and local ESG standards. “Despite the difference in approach and emphasis about the future of ESG investments, Saudi Arabia is committed to bringing people together to find solutions to the challenges we must confront,” the report said. The issue of investing in ESG will be one of the hot topics for the world’s financial services community gathering in Riyadh for the second edition of the Financial Services Conference on March 15 and 16.



Egypt’s Exports to China Rise in 2022

Egypt’s export to China increased by 20.8 % to US$1.7 billion in the first 11 months of 2022, compared to US$1.4 billion in the same period in 2021, according to Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, also known as CAPMAS. Egypt’s imports from China totaled US$13.2 billion from January to November 2022, up from US$13.1 billion in the same period in 2021, representing a 0.6 % increase. According to the official data, trade between Egypt and China increase by 2.6 % during the first 11 months of 2022, reaching US$14.9 billion from US$14.5 billion during the same period in 2021.

The top 10 categories of goods sent by Egypt to China during the period were fuel, mineral oils and distillate products, cotton, and fruits, totaling US$1.3 billion, US$104.3 million, and US$76.8 million, respectively. Organic chemical items worth US$868.5 million and equipment and electrical gadgets totaling US$2.6 billion were among the top 10 commodity categories imported by Egypt from China.

China’s total investments in Egypt were US$563.4 million in the fiscal year of 2021-2022, marking a 16.1 % increase from US$485.2 million in the fiscal year 2020-2021. Egypt’s value of exports increased by 80 %, reaching US$4.5 billion in Nov. 2021 However, the trade balance deficit of Egypt decreased by 63.1 % in November 2021 on an annual basis amounting to US$1.9 billion. This is compared to US$3.22 billion during the same period in 2020. Meanwhile, the value of imports declined by 0.5 % over the same period, reaching US$5.6 billion.



Ooredoo Kuwait, Huawei to Develop Fiber-Optic Sensing Smart Solution

Ooredoo Kuwait, a leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, signed an agreement to jointly upgrade FIBER+ high-speed Internet experience, and develop a fiber-optic sensing smart solution. The deal was signed during the recently concluded Mobile World Congress 2023, Barcelona. Ooredoo Kuwait has witnessed an exceptional year when the company introduced the first of its kind FIBER+ solution last year, the new generation of FTTR (Fiber To The Room) to enhance and improve internet coverage through optical fibers at homes and in large areas. FIBER+ extends fiber across the home and aims to build an all-optical base for smart homes and digital enterprises, enabling gigabit Wi-Fi 6 coverage in each room and creating a brand-new digital experience providing parallel connections of wide range of digital applications, such as temperature and humidity sensors, Virtual Reality, PC/laptops, floor sweeping robot, video surveillance/streaming, and smartphones.

Last mile connection

Ooredoo Kuwait trials advanced network access technology to expand the capability of its last mile connection to sustain the ever-increasing demand of internet bandwidth and indoor coverage spots. The service can offer an advanced connectivity experience doubling current internet speed to reach beyond 1 Gbps throughput. Thus, it can provide higher capacity to connect bandwidth-hungry devices, and carry ultra-high definition 4K video applications, efficient access to cloud services, faster online gaming experience, streaming video conferences, and much more. Furthermore, Ooredoo futuristic vision about smart city has driven the company planning to test advanced fiber sensing applications over FAST telco’s fiber infrastructure (the company owned by Ooredoo Telecom). The solution will evolve the fiber network to have the capability to inspect, detect, locate, and measure events, such as temperature and strain, in real time at any point along the fiber installation without the demand of having new IoT sensors and power sources.

Smart fiber optical sensing

Smart fiber optical sensing can be used in different industries in the private and public sectors to support a variety of applications in the Oil & Gas, pipeline, transport, structured health, electric utilities, security, data center and telecom cables. Abdulaziz Al-Babtain, Ooredoo Chief Executive Officer said: "This cooperation comes in line with Ooredoo's vision to empower Kuwait’s society by driving digital transformation and enriching people’s digital lives. As a leader of Kuwait’s broadband infrastructure development, we continuously seek to develop our 5G innovative network, build smart connectivity products, and provide digital services to support the digital transformation journey of our customers.  “Ooredoo is keen to continuously provide unique innovative and advanced technologies that elevate its customer experience, empower full connection of home and office Internet of Thing (IOT) devices, and provide industries with more reliable and efficient solutions to accelerate their digitalization process."

Digital transformation

An Jian, President of Huawei Carrier Business Group in the Middle East & Central Asia, said: “This agreement is a milestone to foster our long-term strategic partnership with Ooredoo. Huawei is committed to using its global knowledge and expertise to support Ooredoo in accomplishing digital transformation and achieving business success. We hope our partnership expansion with Ooredoo will actively contribute to Kuwait’s progress in strengthening the country's digital infrastructure and becoming a global leader in digitalization.” Ooredoo and Huawei are continuously working together to enrich people's digital lives and keep them connected through the latest advanced and innovative solutions to realise smart and secure cities, aligning with Kuwait's 2035 vision “New Kuwait” that aims at strengthening the country's digital infrastructure and accomplishing digital transformation.


90 Arrest Warrants, Summonses Issued for Senior Iraqi Officials in January

The Federal Commission of Integrity (FCoI) has revealed that the judiciary issued a total of 90 arrest warrants and summons orders during the month of January. These orders were directed at senior officials suspected of corruption under investigation by the FCoI's offices and directorates in Baghdad and other provinces.

According to the Investigations Office (IO) in the Commission, the orders included 19 warrants of arrest and 71 summons, targeting a total of 79 high-ranking officials between the first and 31st of January 2023. The list of individuals subject to the orders encompasses current members of parliament and former Prime Ministers, as well as two former ministers, undersecretaries, and a deputy minister.

Moreover, the IO stated that the orders targeted three current mayors and 11 former mayors, as well as three former provisional council members, a current director-general, and a former director. The scale and scope of these orders underscore the FCoI's commitment to combating corruption at the highest levels of government.


Iranian Meat Suppliers Worried by Massive Imports Plan

Iranian suppliers are worried about a plan to import 250,000 mt of meat from Australia and Romania. Iran’s plans to import some quarter of a million metric tons of red meat from Australia and Romania has worried domestic suppliers as they believe imports at such massive levels would irreparably damage husbandry units and famers in the country. “That would translate into an uprooting of the livestock industry in the country,” said Mansour Pourin, who chairs Iran’s union of live animal exports on Wednesday. Pourin said the size of meat imports from Australia and Romania would be equal the size of more than six million light-weight animals.

He said Iran culls just more than five million farmed animals per year to respond to its domestic demand for red meat. “Instead of supporting the domestic production, this plan will cause the country’s funds to flow to the Australian and Romanian markets,” said Pourian. Iran’s agriculture ministry has announced its plans for imports of red meat are meant o control rising domestic prices. Reports say the government will allocate hard currency at a subsidized price of IRR 285,000 per US dollar for imports of red meat from Australia and Romania. - Press TV


Aldar Unveils Freehold Luxury Property in Abu Dhabi

UAE-based Aldar Properties has announced the launch of Reeman Living, a freehold residential development in the Al Shamkha neighborhood of Abu Dhabi, that offers bespoke design elements and color palettes, efficient storage spaces, and an adaptable environment. Open to buyers of all nationalities, 630 of the development's 1,050 units will be available for purchase during the first phase of the launch, said the Abu Dhabi developer in a statement.  Spread across five low-rise buildings, studios, one-bed, two-bed, and three-bed apartments will be available, with public sales commencing on 18th March and prices starting from AED365,000 (~US$136,800).

On the launch, Chief Commercial Officer Rashed Al Omaira said: "It is increasingly clear that there is high demand for modern, urban living spaces throughout the emirate. Offering the high quality that Aldar is known for, we are proud to bring the second project within our new urban collection to the market." "Reeman Living allows Aldar to tap into a new customer segment, offering them a unique product that emphasizes urban living and a strong sense of community. We look forward to expanding this design-led collection in other hotspots across Abu Dhabi over the coming months," he stated. As part of Aldar’s commitment to sustainability, the residential buildings at Reeman Living will feature several sustainable design and building measures including green building technologies and efficient fixtures to conserve water energy, explained Al Omaira. "The buildings have been designed to achieve a two-pearl rating, as per the Estidama sustainability rating system, exceeding the latest standards set in the UAE," he added.


Deyaar Launches Luxury Seafront Residential Tower in Dubai

Leading Dubai developer Deyaar has announced the launch of Mar Casa - a 52-floor luxury seafront residential tower featuring a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and luxury penthouses which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies offering panoramic views of both the sea and city skyline. Unveiling the project, Deeyar said Mar Casa, which is being built at a cost of AED1.1 billion (US$300 million), is slated to become a true landmark in Dubai Maritime City, which will redefine the region’s urban life and reinvent the boundaries of conventional luxury.

A residential destination at Dubai Maritime City where heritage meets modernity, Mar Casa is perfectly connected to the old city as well as the financial center of Dubai and the beautiful Jumeirah area. Dubai Downtown, with its landmarks Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, is only ten minutes’ drive away, it added.

Commenting on the launch, CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Qatami said: "We are immensely excited to launch Mar Casa, an iconic new residential tower project that will transform the concept of urban living and raise the standards of luxury and innovation in the region. Through this project, we are pleased to offer more real estate investment opportunities to a broader base of new owners and investors interested in owning residential units that adopt the concept of sustainability in addition to luxury."

"The quality, innovative design and attention to every detail is a testament to Deyaar’s reputation and commitment to creating unique and exceptional communities that offer an unmatched experience to residents and investors," he noted. According to him, Mar Casa presents iconic architecture that seamlessly blends the beauty of the sea with the cutting-edge design of a modern metropolis, and features exceptional amenities, smart and sustainable infrastructure and world-class quality of construction. The unique sea wave-inspired façade of the project creates a harmonious connection between land and sea, positioning Mar Casa as a pioneer in emotional luxury development and a great place in which to live and invest.

"A smart and sustainable lifestyle is at the heart of Mar Casa, featuring living spaces with daylight integration, energy efficient light fixtures, superior indoor air quality, energy efficient MEP systems to reduce energy demand as well as the use of non-toxic construction material," he explained. "It offers a full floor of world-class recreational amenities such as an indoor and outdoor residents’ lounge, padel court, yoga and breakout spaces, kids play area, and kids club. A roof-top infinity pool with breath-taking views offers the ideal space for relaxation, while a separate children’s pool and beach-inspired pool with splash areas are also available on the main recreational floor," he added.

Every apartment and penthouse at Mar Casa is a smart home equipped with advanced IP intercoms, and smart access and lighting control systems. All units also come packed with premium-brand appliances. Vice President of Sales Nasser Amer said these luxurious units offer prospective buyers a wide range of options, with one-bedroom units ranging from 740-1265 sq. ft. and starting at a price of AED1.28 million (US$350,000). Two-bedroom apartments and duplexes range between 1100-3285 sq. ft., while three-bedroom apartments and duplexes are available from 1850-4170 sq. ft. and the ultra-luxury Executive and Royal duplex penthouses offer between 2780-5830 sq. ft. of built-up area.

"Featuring an elevated lifestyle, unmatched views of the city and the sea, and meticulously curated amenities, Mar Casa redefines contemporary luxury at Dubai’s premium lifestyle destination. Using methods such as the provision of natural lighting and ventilation to reduce energy consumption, we can ensure the continuity of sustainable development in line with the UAE’s vision to achieve a healthy environment," he added.


Iran’s Copper Output in 6 Years

The head of the National Iranian Copper Industries Company (NICIC) has said the country’s copper production is going to reach one million tons in the next six years, IRNA reported. Ali Rostami noted that in case of reaching the above-mentioned output, the country’s copper export is also going to hit US$10 billion. According to Rostami, NICIC managed to export US$1.6 billion worth of copper products in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20, 2022). Iran has seen its copper exports double in the past Iranian calendar year despite a series of bitter sanctions imposed by the United States aimed at hampering the Islamic Republic’s trade of lucrative metals. - Tehran Times



Iran Now Among Exporters of Petchem Technologies: NPC

Iran is now among the exporters of petrochemical technologies, said the managing director of the country’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC).

Emphasizing that Iran has become self-sufficient in many areas of petrochemical industry, Morteza ShahMirzaei added the country is exporting catalysts, rotating equipment, and other products.

He pointed to unique achievements in domestic petrochemical industry since mid-March 2021 and continued that the oil minister had urged the petrochemical sector to indigenize all types of catalysts by the end of the Raisi administration’s term (August 2025).

Up to now, the NPC's CEO said, some 1,000 tons of Iranian-made catalysts have been exported to neighboring states, particularly the northern neighbors.

ShahMirzaei stated that the petrochemical sector had planned to take optimal advantage of domestic companies in the hope of indigenizing all petrochemical products and equipment within a six-year period.

He called for domestic knowledge-based companies and manufacturers to make every effort to complete the cycle and indigenize all equipment needed by the petrochemical industry. - Shana


Iran, Iraq to Launch Three Joint Industrial Towns: Economy Minister

The Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance said three joint industrial towns between Iran and Iraq will be launched in the border areas in the Iraqi provinces of Maysan, Basra and Wasit. Seyed Ehsan Khandouzi made the remarks on the sidelines of the unveiling ceremony of “Factoring System of Private Contracts”, held at the venue of the ministry on Wednesday. Turning to the 5th Iran-Iraq Joint Economic Commission meeting held recently in Baghdad, he said, “Of the salient agreements made with the Iraqi officials and given the high potential of knowledge-based companies, joint production projects between Iran and Iraq with the high added value will be launched in the three provinces of Maysan, Basar and Wasit." He said that during his recent visit to Iraq, “We witnessed the materialization of the serious will between the two countries for the implementation of joint projects which have fallen into oblivion for years including the project of construction operation of the Shalamcheh-Basra Railway.”

In this regard, the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development and the Iraqi government announced they are going to take effective steps in line with completing the construction operation of this giant railway project, the economy minister added. Of other issues discussed between Iranian and Iraqi authorities at the 5th Iran-Iraq Joint Economic Commission meeting, he pointed to the technical and engineering services and said that the two countries vowed to enhance their cooperation in this field. Khandouzi also referred to the 20% growth of trade exchanges between Iran and Iraq in the 11 months of the current Iranian year ( March 21, 2022 to February 21, 2023) and added that bilateral trade volume would be increased in the next Iranian calendar year of 1402 (to start March 21, 2023). - Tasnim


Iran's Exports to EEU Surge by 24% to US$1.3 Billion

Iran’s exports to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) member states reached 3.09 million tons worth US$1.34 billion. The latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show that the country's exports to the EEU member states reached 3.09 million tons worth US$1.34 billion during the current Iranian year’s first 11 months (March 21, 2022-Feb. 19), registering a 24.69% year-on-year increase in value.

Russia with 1.27 million tons worth US$672.83 million (up 22.79%), Armenia with 1.3 million tons worth US$422.09 million (up 51.43%) and Kazakhstan with 443,927 tons worth US$173.72 million (up 3.73%) were the top export destinations, Financial Tribune reported. Imports hit 2.38 million tons worth US$1.48 billion during the same period to register a 62.44% decrease in value. Russia was also the main exporter to Iran with 2.08 million tons worth US$1.3 billion (down 63.42%). It was followed by Armenia with 265,089 tons worth US$119.26 million (down 65.16%) and Belarus with 15,601 tons worth US$38.55 million (up 38.84%). - Mehr


Iran Building Paper-Making Factory in Venezuela

The Iranian culture minister reported of the joint construction of a paper factory in Venezuela, holding cultural weeks and the establishment of a joint educational working group to combat media terrorism with Caracas. Mohammad Mahdi Esmaeili, Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance made the announcement on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting while talking to reporters at the presidential compound on Wednesday. He pointed to the achievements of his recent trip to Venezuela, saying, "On this trip... the main goals were the preparations for signing two cultural and media-related memoranda with Venezuelan counterparts." The joint construction of a paper factory in Venezuela, the establishment of cultural weeks and a joint educational working group to combat media terrorism are among the most important provisions of these memorandums," the Iranian minister said. - Mehr


Fintech Booming in Saudi Arabia as Vision 2030 Initiative Gathers Pace: Minister

Saudi Arabia’s financial and digital sectors are flourishing as the Kingdom pushes ahead with its Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy, according to the Minister of Finance.

Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, Mohammed Al-Jadaan said Saudi Arabia has already achieved remarkable results as it seeks to establish a sustainable future away from its dependency on oil.

He said the Kingdom has already become one of the fastest-growing financial markets in the world, adding: “Assets of the Saudi banking sector increased by 37% since 2019, reaching SR3.6 trillion(US$960 billion) by the end of 2022, while the number of financial technology companies increased during that period from 20 to 147 companies in 2022.

Al-Jadaan indicated that Saudi Arabia continues its path as a reliable partner for investors, highlighting that five international financial institutions joined the local first dealer program.

“The Public Investment Fund completed its first-ever international green bond issuance for US$3 billion in October and another US$5.5 billion, last month, as a source of success for Saudi Arabia,” the minister said, adding: “The National Development Fund last year injected nearly US$4 billion to support local and international investors for projects in industry, energy, mining, and logistics.”

Al-Jadaan also stated that the Kingdom is in the transitional phase to the new financial reality, as the percentage of electronic payments in the retail sector reached 57% of total transactions, and about 40,000 workers have been trained in the financial sector.

The minister expressed his pride in the private sector’s statistics, where female participation in the labor market has reached 37%, the home ownership rate has risen to 62% and the real estate sector has quadrupled since 2018.

“Saudi Arabia’s transformation is well on the way and we’re ready to work together and establish more productive and continuous partnerships,” he continued.

The privatization initiative is now working on more than 200 projects in 17 selected areas, providing investors with numerous opportunities, adding that the stock market is rapidly growing.

Al-Jadaan also gave his thoughts on the collapse of the US-based Silicon Valley Bank, which was shut down by regulators on Friday in what was the biggest failure of a bank in the country since the 2008 financial crisis.

“It is a clear warning to everyone,” the minister stated, adding: “Generally, I think it is multiple failures, possibly a supervisory issue, it is an institution issue, a concentration issue, and we could see this coming with the hikes and interest rate, people should have seen this coming.

Al-Jadaan said: “Our experience and effective implementation of macro potential measures contribute to the resilience of the financial system against shocks. We see this clearly in the Saudi market.”


NIDC Improves Infrastructure in Line with Iran Oil Ministry Projects

The managing director of the National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) announced that the company’s infrastructure improvement in line with the programs of the Oil Ministry as the most important achievement of NIDC in the current Iranian calendar year (ends on March 20), Shana reported.

Speaking at the company’s annual board meeting, Hamidreza Golpayegani said NIDC’s performance in various operational, technical, engineering, support, services, and headquarters departments has been significant and improved in the current year compared to the past two years.

“According to the statistics of our planning department, the productivity index [of the company] reached 62% this year, while this figure was 48% in 1400 [the previous year],” Golpayegani said. Pointing to the company’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, the official stated: “Although this year's performance in all sectors shows growth and an upward trend, we should not be satisfied and try to get the company to an even better position next year.”

Referring to the use of 64 drilling rigs out of the company’s total 73 rigs in the current year, he continued: “According to the cooperation agreements reached between NIDC and National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC), Iranian Central Oil Fields Company (ICOFC), and other companies, it is expected that all of the company’s rigs will be used next year and in this regard, reconstruction and renovation of drilling machines and overhauling the equipment is on the agenda.”

NIDC dug and completed the digging operations of 93 oil and gas wells during the first 11 months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2022-February 19, 2023). According to Masoud Afshar, the deputy head of NIDC for drilling operations, during the mentioned time span NIDC managed to dig 22 wells more than the figure for the previous year’s same period.

As reported, 72 of the drilled wells were in the operational zone of the NISOC, eight wells were drilled in the fields under the supervision of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC), seven were in the fields under the operation of Petroleum Engineering, and Development Company (PEDEC), four in the operational zone of the drilling management department of the National Iranian Oil company (NIOC) and two wells were dug in fields developed by private contractors.

Since the beginning of this year, the drilling area of the wells has reached 63,486 meters, he said, and added that 19 drilling rigs are being relocated in the operational regions. - Tehran Times


Strengthening of Arab-French Economic Ties Urged

Sameer Abdulla Nass, the Chairman of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and Union of Arab Chambers resident, has called for stronger Arab-French economic relations and increased trade exchange rates during the Arab-French Economic Summit 2023. The event was held under the patronage of French President Emmanuel Macron with the theme “A Partnership That Must Be Forged in a World in Crisis”. Nass emphasized the significance of the union’s commitment to developing joint relations and the role of growing Arab-French ties in promoting broader horizons for cooperation in various fields.

He described the summit as a turning point in the process of joint action and a true awareness of what the current period requires. Nass also stressed the need for effective solutions to address global crises, including the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which poses frightening repercussions on the overall economic situation in the European continent and the rest of the world. He noted that the crisis has been negatively affecting energy, food security, supply chains and sectors, climate, and cyber security, in addition to posing geopolitical risks.

The chairman further emphasized the importance of investing in human competencies and natural resources in the Arab region for their significant impact on the progress, development, and stability of countries. He expressed his aspiration to achieve fruitful cooperation between Arab-French economic societies in the commercial, industrial, financial, tourism, and agricultural sectors.


Saudi Arabia, Russia Discuss Global Oil Markets

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak discussed global oil markets and the OPEC+ group's efforts to maintain market balance and stability, Saudi state media said on Thursday.

Both parties, meeting in the Saudi capital, affirmed their commitment to OPEC+'s decision last October to cut production targets by two million barrels per day until the end of 2023.


Hungary Ready to Import Iraqi Dates

The Director General of the General Company for Exhibitions and Trade Services at the Ministry of Trade in Iraq, Adel Al-Masoudi, met with the Hungarian Ambassador to Iraq, Attila Tarr, to discuss strengthening economic and trade relations between the two countries.

They exchanged views on ways to enhance cooperation in political and economic fields and emphasized Iraq's importance as a commercial market for international companies. The Hungarian ambassador expressed readiness to import Iraqi dates and discussed the possibility of supplying Ukrainian wheat stored in Hungary. They agreed to hold a meeting with Iraqi exporters of dates to discuss further cooperation.