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MIDDLE EASTERN (B)

MIDDLE EASTERN (B)

Deregulation of Oil Prices Is Putting the Moroccan Government in Hot Waters

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The deregulation of fuel costs backfired on the Moroccan government amid falling oil prices in the international market. Moroccans have been venting their anger as the cost of filling up a car tank has risen despite the price of a barrel of oil dropping approximately around 30% since October.

Transportation workers went on strike to protest soaring fuel prices, which disrupted fruit and vegetable supplies, forcing an increase in food prices.

The Moroccan government liberalised fuel prices in December 2015, leaving them to be determined by market forces.

The timing of the government’s decision coincided with financial problems at the country’s sole oil refinery, La Samir, forcing it to cease operations in August 2015. (Shutterstock)

© 2015-2018 The Arab Weekly. All rights reserved.

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MIDDLE EASTERN (B)

Qatar to Drag Out from OPEC Early 2019

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Qatar will withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from January 2019, Saad al-Kaabi, the country’s energy minister announced on Monday.

The minister said in a news conference that the decision came after Qatar, an OPEC member since 1961, reviewed ways to improve its role internationally and focus on its natural gas industry for its long-term strategy, according to international media.

The decision comes at a critical time when OPEC is expected to cut its production at its much-awaited meeting on Thursday in order to increase the falling prices. (AFP)

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MIDDLE EASTERN (B)

Qatar, UK to Build on Their $3 Billion Trade Ties Ahead of World Cup 2022

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Qatar and Britain have agreed to increase bilateral trade and investments in the areas of small and medium enterprises, education, healthcare, banking, logistics and projects related to the Qatar-hosted 2022 FIFA World Cup.

This came during Qatar-UK Joint Ministerial Commission on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation talks attended by Qatari Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari and visiting UK State Minister for Trade Policy George Hollingbery.

A total 35 British companies already operate independently at the Qatar Financial Centre as the UK ranks as the eighth largest trade partner with Qatar, with goods traded worth a total USD 3 billion last year. (Shutterstock)

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MIDDLE EASTERN (B)

Kuwait Ahead of Qatar as Japan’s ‘Third Biggest’ Oil Provider

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Kuwait’s crude oil exports to Japan in October jumped 28.3 percent from a year earlier to 7.11 million barrels, or 229,000 barrels per day (bpd), overtaking Qatar to become Japan’s third-biggest oil provider, Japanese government data showed Friday.

The volume of Kuwaiti oil bound for Japan rose for the first time in two months, providing 7.4 percent of the Asian nation’s total crude imports, compared with 6.1 percent in the same month of last year, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report.

The volume of Kuwaiti oil bound for Japan rose for the first time in two months, providing 7.4 percent of the Asian nation's total crude imports, compared with 6.1 percent in the same month of last year, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report. (Shutterstock)

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MIDDLE EASTERN (B)

Microsoft's Windows Icons to Undergo Complete Visual Facelift

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Last week, Microsoft revealed its new-look Office 365 icons to the world, and now it appears the Redmond company is planning to continue its icon refresh across the entire Windows 10 platform.

Jon Friedman, Head of Microsoft Office design, took to Medium to offer a few more tasty morsels of information about the redesign process and just what we can expect from Windows 10 going forward.

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"stay tuned, this is the beginning of a cross-company effort to update all icons in the same style". (TechRadar)

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MIDDLE EASTERN (B)

After a Two-Year Hiatus, Will Egypt Release Its Export Subsidies?

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Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait announced last week that export subsidies allocated in the budget for the current fiscal year would soon be presented to the Ministry of Trade and Industry before their disbursal to Egyptian companies.

In a meeting with the heads of the country’s export councils, Maait said the first payments could be made within a week.

The funds are paid when the exporting process is finished, and they range from eight to 12 per cent of the total value of the products concerned. (Shutterstock)

© Copyright Al-Ahram Publishing House

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MIDDLE EASTERN (B)

Why Is Qatar Airways Extending More Destinations to Iran Despite US Sanctions?

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Despite US sanctions on Iran, Qatar Airways announced it is boosting its connections to Iranian cities as it will initiate new flights to Isfahan in February and expanding flights to Shiraz and Tehran in January.

“These latest launches are further evidence of Qatar Airways’ commitment to Iran,” boasted Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker.

Heeding US warnings to cease doing business in Iran, many major airlines, including Air France, KLM and British Airways, suspended flights to the country. Not Qatar’s national carrier.

Whatever the commercial imperatives, Qatar would be helping Iran break out of its US-imposed isolation by intensifying airline connections. (Shutterstock)

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Canada Announces Sanctions on 17 Saudis Linked to Khashoggi Murder

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Canada announced targeted sanctions Thursday against 17 Saudi nationals it said were linked to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month.

The sanctions, which freezes their assets and bars their travel to Canada, “target individuals who are, in the opinion of the government of Canada, responsible for or complicit in the extrajudicial killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is abhorrent and represents an unconscionable attack on the freedom of expression of all individuals. (AFP)

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MIDDLE EASTERN (B)

Iran Bank Slams US Claims of Illegal Money Transfer to Iraq as Baseless

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The Bank Melli Iran (BMI) has dismissed a claim by US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) that it has been funneling “billions of dollars” to its Iraqi branch in order to fund militias. 

In a statement, Bank Melli said the OFAC ‘s claim about transferring money for Iraqi militias, which was cited by anti-Iran media outlets a few days ago, is “far from reality and unaccounted for.”

Bank Melli said the OFAC 's claim about transferring money for Iraqi militias. (Shutterstock)

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MIDDLE EASTERN (B)

Opinion: How to Prepare MENA Region for 300 Million Jobs by 2050?

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If current demographic trends persist, by the year 2050, the Middle East and Northern Africa region will need to create north of 300 million jobs.

This is the not so far away future. Even more challenging, there is an imperative to create immediately more than 10 million jobs a year to keep up with the region’s demographic bulge. This means an economic dynamic capable of turning this youthful energy into markets-creating growth.

People in the MENA region don’t have to look far to see examples of this phenomenon. (Shutterstock)

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