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December, 5, 2016

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Business > Middle East
Iran budget proposed
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, left, hands out documents to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani after presenting his budget for 2017-2018 on Sunday, Dec. 4, in Tehran.
 
Jordan said Monday it had chosen five international consortiums to build the first phase of a multi-million-dollar canal linking the Red Sea to the shrinking Dead Sea.
 
Iraq has to up its crude output because dwindling oil prices and the fight against Islamic State have left "a huge hole" in the economy, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Tuesday, as the OPEC cartel scrambles to agree a production cut deal.
 
Harvest in Gaza
Palestinian farmers collect potatoes during the harvest in Beit Lahia, near the border with Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip, on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
 
Syria gov't rejects UN Aleppo truce terms
The Syrian government refused the U.N. envoy's latest proposal for a truce in Aleppo on Sunday, calling on insurgents to withdraw and saying it would not grant autonomy to the rebel-held east in exchange for calm.
 
Demand for natural gas will grow in 2017 but at a slower rate than in recent years, Qatar's energy minister said on Thursday ahead of a meeting of exporting countries.
 
Dubai business magnate Mohamed Alabbar announced Sunday the launch of a US$1 billion regional e-commerce site in a joint venture with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund and other Gulf investors.
 
Egypt throws out rules that it has long lived by
From as early as the 1950s, Egypt's rulers have had an unspoken social contract with Egyptians: Forfeit genuine democracy and freedoms and, in return, you get to live on the cheap with heavy state subsidies keeping down prices of basic items and services -- bread, sugar, rice, fuel, water and electricity.
 
Iranians hope relaxed rules will attract tourists
Iranian investors are pouring money into Kish island in the Gulf, hoping its white sand beaches, coral reefs and more relaxed Islamic rules, could make it a major tourism destination.
 
Pakistan's top civilian and military leaders traveled to the country's southwest on Sunday to open a new international trade route by seeing off a Chinese ship that's exporting goods to the Middle East and Africa from the newly built Gwadar port.
 
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