UAE ideal trade hub for Italian firms

Updated 21 November 2012
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UAE ideal trade hub for Italian firms

Italian companies need to further explore the opportunities offered by the dynamic economy in the UAE which is a natural hub for serving the Middle East, Africa and Asia, said Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.
He was speaking at the UAE-Italy Business Forum at the Dubai Chamber’s headquarters.
“The development of a more structured presence in Dubai would allow companies and their Emirati partners to establish a more effective base to serve the vast markets of those macro-regions,” added Mario Monti.
Mario Monti stressed in his speech that the UAE and Italian companies should build a strategic partnership by exploring investment opportunities offered by each other’s countries.
He asked Italian businesses to establish a strong base here for expansion into the region while urging UAE traders to enhance their cooperation ties with his country’s SMEs who are their natural partners.
Also present were Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, chairman, and Hamad Buamim, director-general, Dubai Chamber, and representatives of private sector companies in Dubai.
“We have to exploit the complementarity of our two economic systems. Synergy and co-investments between Italy and UAE should become a by-word for the development of initiatives in the GCC market but also in third countries, especially in North Africa. The UAE is our most important trading partner among all the Arab countries. Italian exports to the UAE increased 28 percent in 2011 to a total of 4.7 billion euro and we are likely to do even better in 2012 given the results from the first six months (3.2 billion euro),” added Mario Monti.
Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, said the forum is the latest step in efforts by the UAE and Italy to enhance bilateral relations.
“It is a journey we are all enthusiastic to be making and it comes from a foundation of strong trade and business ties,” he said.
Over the past decade, Al-Mansouri said non-oil trade between the UAE and Italy had increased by 295 percent.
It has risen from AED 5.5 billion in 2001 to just under AED 21.9 billion in 2011, he added.
Al-Mansouri stressed on opportunities for further UAE-Italian partnerships in agriculture, construction, the green economy, fashion, mechanics, and logistics and emphasized on stronger cooperation for economic development of both the countries.
“As a pillar of Dubai’s economy, trade is a good indicator of economic ties and Dubai’s trade with Italy has increased significantly over the past nine years. In 2002, it valued at AED 4.7 billion, but increased to AED 17.8 billion in 2011 which is an increase of 278 percent while presently there are 234 Italian partnership companies operating as members of Dubai Chamber,” said Abdul Rahman Saif Al-Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, in his speech.


OPEC oil ministers gather to discuss production increase

Updated 19 June 2018
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OPEC oil ministers gather to discuss production increase

  • Analysts expect the group to discuss an increase in production of about 1 million barrels a day
  • The officials were arriving in Vienna ahead of the official meeting Friday

VIENNA: The oil ministers of the OPEC cartel were gathering Tuesday to discuss this week whether to increase production of crude and help limit a rise in global energy prices.
The officials were arriving in Vienna ahead of the official meeting Friday, when they will also confer with Russia, a non-OPEC country that since late 2016 has cooperated with the cartel to limit production.
Analysts expect the group to discuss an increase in production of about 1 million barrels a day, ending the output cut agreed on in 2016.
The cut has since then pushed up the price of crude oil by about 50 percent. The US benchmark in May hit its highest level in three and half years, at $72.35 a barrel.
Upon arriving, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, Suhail Al Mazrouei, said: “It’s going to be hopefully a good meeting. We look forward to having this gathering with OPEC and non-OPEC.”
The 14 countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries make more money with higher prices, but are mindful of the fact that more expensive crude can encourage a shift to renewable resources and hurt demand.
“Consumers as well as businesses will be hoping that this week’s OPEC meeting succeeds in keeping a lid on prices, and in so doing calling a halt to a period which has seen a steady rise in fuel costs,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK
The rise in the cost of oil has been a key factor in driving up consumer price inflation in major economies like the US and Europe in recent months.
Already US President Donald Trump has called on OPEC to cut production, tweeting in April and again this month that “OPEC is at it again” by allowing oil prices to rise.
Within OPEC, an increase in output will not affect all countries equally. While Saudi Arabia, the cartel’s biggest producer, is seen to be open to a rise in production, other countries cannot afford to do so. Those include Iran and Venezuela, whose industries are stymied either by international sanctions or domestic turmoil. Iran is a fierce regional rival to Saudi Arabia, meaning the OPEC deal could also influence the geopolitics in the Middle East.