Gulf In Focus

Oman invests in ports with eye to becoming Gulf gateway

“We want to significantly improve the contribution of logistics into our economy. … We are actually building the sector for the next generation. That is our responsibility,” Abdulrahman Al-Hatmi, CEO of Oman’s national logistics group, ASYAD Group, told Al-Monitor.

As Oman crude oil reserves dwindle — they could be depleted in the next 25 to 30 years at 2019 production levels — the country targets five sectors, including logistics, to re-energize its economy and diversify government income — 40 percent of which currently comes from oil revenues.

Logistics could employ 300,000 people in Oman by 2040 as it leverages its location at the center of global shipping routes to emerge as the Gulf’s gateway. For centuries, Oman reigned over a vast maritime trading empire encompassing most of the Western Indian Ocean.

Pakistan, Bahrain reiterate desire to expand bilateral cooperation

Pakistan and Bahrain on Thursday reiterated their desire to further promote and expand bilateral cooperation in various areas of mutual interest.

In a meeting between President Dr Arif Alvi and the visiting parliamentary delegation of Bahrain, the two sides emphasized the need to further improve trade, economic and political relations. The delegation was led by the Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Bahrain, Fawzia Bint Abdulla Zainal.

Welcoming the delegation, the president said that Pakistan and Bahrain enjoyed excellent relations in various fields which were based on common bonds of religion and culture. He highlighted that Pakistan had great potential for exports in agriculture, food items, livestock, fisheries and surgical instruments to Bahrain and the volume of trade between the two sides needed to be enhanced.

He added that Pakistan was an attractive destination for foreign investors as it offered enormous trade and investment opportunities and the business community of Bahrain required to benefit from these opportunities.

Turkish firms eager to receive more share in Iraq’s rebuilding

Turkish contractors and consultancy firms can be a part of projects involving infrastructure, hospitals, schools and public buildings in Iraq. This cooperation can be further facilitated by a reversal in discrimination regarding the conditions of fair competition as well as the easing of processes required to do business, a Turkish trade official said Friday.

Nail Olpak, head of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) was at the Turkey-Iraq Business, Investment and Contracting Forum, hosted by Turkey’s Ministry of Commerce and organized by DEIK, in cooperation with the Turkish Contractors Association (TMB) and the Iraqi Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICC).

Speaking at the opening of the forum that saw the participation of Turkey’s Trade Minister Mehmet Muş, Olpak said that the main purpose of the organization is to “add a new angle to investment and commercial cooperation” between the countries.

The two countries’ trade volume is currently around $17 billion, Olpak stated and said that Turkey’s share in Iraq’s imports increased from 20 percent to 27 percent.

Noting that the gold jewelry, plastic and furniture sectors have come to the fore in exports to Iraq recently, Olpak said, “We need to focus on other sectors, especially the manufacturing industry.”

Kuwait plans to develop 2gw renewables project to help diversify energy mix

Leading Middle East oil producer Kuwait is drawing up plans to develop a 2-gigawatt solar and wind project in the country, aimed at diversifying its economy that is heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

Kuwait’s Oil Minister Mohammed al Fares said at the ADIPEC conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday that the country is planning to develop the renewables project through a “joint venture between the government and the private sector”, as it prepares for the energy transition.

However, al Fares did not reveal further details involving the planned solar and wind power project that is likely to be tendered by the — Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects.

The Kuwaiti Cabinet last year cancelled plans to construct the Al-Dabdaba solar plant that aimed at providing up to 15 percent of electrical energy required for the nation’s oil sector.

Qatar’s rising exports

QATAR’S trade surplus, which represents the dif-ference between total exports and imports, has once again showed a rising trend which is a good sign for ongoing economic recovery.

The trade surplus has been rising consistently over the past few months which demonstrate the strength of country’s economy.

According to the figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority, Qatar recorded a merchandise trade surplus of QR57.8bn in the third quarter (Q3) of this year compared to QR19.6bn in Q3 of previous year.The rising trend in the trade surplus has also been witnessed in the past months.

The positive growth indicates that the Qatari economy has witnessed a remarkable recovery from the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. The healthy growth in trade surplus also demon-strates that the pace of economic recovery in Qatar’s economy has gained strong momentum and the recovery will continue in coming months.

Emirates to retrofit 105 planes with premium economy class

Emirates airline on Tuesday announced that it plans to introduce a new Business Class product, and will also retrofit its 105 wide-body aircraft with Premium Economy class to enhance the passenger experience.

Spanning 18 months, the programme will begin at the end of 2022 and will be conducted at Emirates’ Engineering Centre in Dubai.

Emirates’ Premium Economy is equipped with each seat designed to provide optimal comfort and support with 6-way adjustable headrests, calf rests and footrests. Offering a pitch of up to 40-inches, each seat is 19.5 inches wide and reclines 8 inches into a comfortable cradle position to stretch out. It also includes in-seat charging points, a wide dining table, a side cocktail table and a 13.3-inch personal seat-back screen.

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