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UAE exports to Spain up 32% in Q1 2022

UAE bilateral trade with Spain is bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels with Spanish exports to the UAE projected to grow eight percent this year, a top Spanish diplomat told WAM, the UAE state news agency. Imports from the UAE to Spain are also growing and the first quarter of 2022 already witnessed a 32 percent […]

Talks under way to forge UK-GCC trade deal

Discussions to broker a trade agreement between the UK and GCC have begun, with the trade commissioner for the Middle East, Simon Penney, describing the Gulf as an “important region” for the UK.   “Today marks the launch of the first round of negotiations towards a UK GCC Free Trade Agreement,” Penney said.  “The GCC is […]

Cyprus cash-for-passports scheme rife with tax failings

A cash-for-passports scheme discontinued by Cyprus in 2020 after a political furore cost the state hundreds of millions of euros in lost revenues from misdirected tax breaks, an independent watchdog said on Monday. Cyprus’s Auditor-General, which is an independent division of the state, said authorities may also have been duped into issuing passports on investments […]

Israel makes strongest rate hike in 20 years to cool inflation

The Bank of Israel raised its benchmark interest rate on Monday by three-quarters of a percentage point, its biggest hike in two decades, and appeared on track for further increases as it tries to rein in inflation that has topped five percent. The central bank lifted its key rate to two percent from 1.25 percent, […]

UAE’s international trade hits milestone amid oil price boom

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, on Monday revealed that the UAE’s non-oil trade exceeded AED1 trillion ($270 billion) for a six-month period for the first time. In a tweet, Sheikh Mohammed said the country recorded a growth rate of 17 percent during the first half […]

India’s headline inflation may ease below 6% by March

India’s headline retail inflation may ease below six percent by the fourth quarter of this financial year, bringing an end to the current cycle of rate hikes, analysts said over the weekend. Following the release of minutes from the central bank’s monetary policy committee on Friday, analysts said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may […]

UAE says envoy to return to Iran in coming days

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on Sunday that its ambassador to Iran, Saif Mohammed Al Zaabi, would return to Tehran “in coming days”, more than six years after the Gulf Arab state downgraded ties with the Islamic Republic. The move is in line with UAE efforts to strengthen relations with Iran “to achieve the […]

New Zealand aims to attract 12,000 overseas workers

New Zealand will make temporary changes to immigration rules, a minister said on Sunday, aiming to lure 12,000 workers over the next year with a working holiday scheme designed to fill labour gaps as businesses scramble to find staff. The jostling for workers is part of a global trend that has helped push up wages […]

Oman appoints UK investment attaché as part of new initiative

Oman’s government plans to appoint commercial and investment attachés to a number of its embassies around the world, according to a local media report. The move is designed to enhance the country’s investment infrastructure, Oman Daily Observer reported, citing Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion. At the forum in […]

Chair, Furniture, Computer Keyboard

Public sector paralysed amid Lebanon’s economic implosion

It’s a weekday, but 50-year-old Lebanese finance ministry employee Walid Chaar is not at work and hasn’t been since June. He rushes to water the garden at his home in the hills south of Beirut, using the single hour of rationed state power to run the sprinkler. He then phones his mother, who is struggling […]

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Turkey shocks markets by cutting interest rate, as inflation soars

Turkey’s central bank shocked markets on Thursday by cutting its main interest rate by 100 basis points to 13 percent, saying it needed to keep driving economic growth despite inflation hitting nearly 80 percent and a monetary tightening trend among its peers worldwide. The lira dropped as much as 1.2 percent to 18.15 per dollar […]

Arab countries to record 5.4% economic growth in 2022

Arab countries are expected to see a 5.4 percent in economic growth in 2022, up from about 3.5 percent in 2021, due to rising oil prices, an increase in crude production and the continuation of growth reforms, the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) said in its latest report. However, economic growth in Arab countries is expected […]

From chicken to weddings, Saudi prices continue to soar

Food and drink driving kingdom’s consumer inflation Reliance on imports a key factor but local produce also up Businesses are passing costs on From meat and vegetables to the cost of events such as weddings, consumer prices in Saudi Arabia continue to rise, as inflation reached 2.7 percent year-on-year in July. The biggest increase was […]

Turkey to re-appoint ambassador to Israel

Turkey and Israel will mutually re-appoint ambassadors, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday, marking a milestone in the two countries’ efforts to normalise ties. “Appointment of ambassadors was one of the steps for the normalisation of ties. Such a positive step came from Israel as a result of these efforts, and as Turkey, […]

Tunisia to submit reform plan to IMF in September

Tunisia will submit a national reform programme to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in September, the economy minister said on Wednesday, part of efforts to secure a bailout to rescue strained public finances. Economy Minister Samir Saied was quoted by state news agency TAP as saying the programme would be submitted to the IMF board. […]

Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan sign investment deals worth $12bn

Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan have signed around 10 investment agreements worth over SAR45 billion ($12 billion), local media reported. “Over 10 agreements were signed between the Kingdom and Uzbekistan in several sectors, with a value exceeding SAR45 billion,” Arab News reported, citing Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih. The signed agreements aim to explore investment […]

UK trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan launched free trade negotiations with the GCC in June

UK-GCC trade in numbers: relationship set for new era

Total trade between all six GCC countries and the United Kingdom increased in the year to the end of the first quarter of 2022, as talks begin on a free trade agreement aimed at further boosting the relationship. The UK posted a trade surplus with all the nations apart from Qatar, with the data showing […]

IMF urges Saudi to explore new taxes to boost non-oil revenues

Saudi Arabia should investigate new taxes, including on income and property, as it aims to boost its non-oil revenues. While significant change has already been undertaken by the kingdom, with a tripling of VAT to 15 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, more can be done, said Amine Mati, assistant director and mission chief for Saudi […]

Strong Israel GDP and inflation may lead to 75 bps rate hike

A sharp rebound in Israel’s economic activity and a jump in annual inflation have made a 0.75-point interest rate increase more likely next week, analysts said on Tuesday. The central bank had looked headed for a second straight half-point move at its upcoming August 22 policy meeting, but data showed stronger than expected economic growth […]

Israel inflation rate jumps to new 14-year high of 5.2% in July

Israel’s annual consumer price index (CPI) rose to a higher than expected rate of 5.2 percent in July, the most since October 2008 and following a 4.4 percent rate in June, as more aggressive interest rate hikes loom and keep the soaring cost of living centre stage ahead of an election in November. A Reuters […]

Bahrain posts budget surplus of $88m in H1 2022

Bahrain has posted a budget surplus of 33 million dinars ($88 million) in the first half of 2022 from a deficit of 520 million dinars a year earlier, the country’s Ministry of Finance said on Monday. The data also showed total public revenues at 1.698 billion dinars, up 52 percent year-on-year, while total expenditure stood […]