Middle East remains a key market for Scottish firms

Updated 18 March 2015
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Middle East remains a key market for Scottish firms

Scottish exports grew to 1.5 billion pounds in the Middle East, according to the most recent Global Connections Survey from Scottish Development International (SDI), the Scottish government’s investment and business development agency. The UAE remains the largest market in the region accounting for 605 million pounds of Scottish export, up 22 percent from the prior year in 2012.
The GCC’s economic growth and modest inflation combined with its broad-based commitment to helping companies do business in the region have contributed and resulted in increased figures of exports from Scotland to the Middle East. This was driven primarily by the food and drink, energy, business and financial services and the metals, metal goods and mechanical engineering sectors.
Commenting on the global connections survey results, Tom Marchbanks, regional manager Middle East, SDI, said: “Trade figures clearly show that the Middle East has remained a key market for Scottish companies, with food and drink being a particular success story, to a growing demand on energy, education and financial services in this region, particularly the UAE doubling its import numbers compared to larger markets in the region.”
He added: “Scotland has always provided an immense pool of talent that has spawned world leading products and services across the globe. The Middle East and especially Dubai has a vast demand for quality products and services. We have witnessed Scottish food and drink companies launching new products at Gulfood exhibition in Dubai last month; this clearly demonstrates an increasing appetite in the Middle East market. Also, with significant money being invested in the education sector in the region this presents fantastic opportunities for Scottish education suppliers.”
He said: “We are aware of the competition for inward investment, and we continue to increase our resources in new and emerging markets so we can respond to global opportunities.”
The Middle East is considered as a priority market for Scotland. Over the past few years, Scotland has had multiple visits from Scottish ministerial and senior SDI’s team coming over to the GCC to be part of major exhibitions and conferences like ADIPEC, Gulfood, and Annual Investment Meeting. This has resulted in new deals and partnership between Scottish companies and Middle East companies.


Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

Updated 26 June 2019
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Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

  • The MF has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy
  • ‘If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained’

MANAMA: IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that major economic growth was possible in the Palestinian territories if all sides showed urgency, as she took part in a US-led conference boycotted by the Palestinian leadership.
The International Monetary Fund has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy, with tax revenue blocked in a dispute with Israel which has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade.
“If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained,” said Lagarde.
The IMF chief is attending a conference in Bahrain to discuss the economic aspects of a United States plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which has already been rejected by the Palestinians as it fails to address key political issues.
Lagarde said for the US plan to work “it will require all the goodwill in the world on the part of all parties — private sector, public sector, international organizations and the parties on the ground and their neighbors.”
Citing examples of post-conflict countries, Lagarde said that private investors needed progress in several sectors including strengthening the central bank, better managing public finance and mobilizing domestic revenue.
“If anti-corruption is really one of the imperatives of the authorities — as it was in Rwanda, for instance — then things can really take off,” she said.
The plan presented by White House adviser Jared Kushner calls for $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian territories and its neighbors within a decade.
The proposals for infrastructure, tourism, education and more aim to create one million Palestinian jobs.
Gross domestic product in the Gaza Strip declined by eight percent last year, while there was only minor growth in the West Bank.
Kushner, opening the conference on Tuesday, called the plan the “Opportunity of the Century” — and said the Palestinians needed to accept it before a deal can be reached on political solutions.
The Palestinian Authority has rejected the conference, saying that the US and Israel are trying to dangle money to impose their ideas on a political settlement.
Washington says it will unveil the political aspects of its peace deal at a later date, most likely after Israel’s September election.