Jordan needs to cut public spending to deal with downturn — Capital Economics

Jordan needs to cut public spending to deal with downturn — Capital Economics
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Updated 15 September 2021

Jordan needs to cut public spending to deal with downturn — Capital Economics

Jordan needs to cut public spending to deal with downturn — Capital Economics

Jordan needs to pursue fiscal consolidation to cope with a deterioration in public finances, even in the teeth of the public’s opposition to austerity, analysts Capital Economics has warned.

The London-based research consultancy claims the Middle Eastern country is set to walk an economic and political tightrope due to its economy contracting by 1.6 percent last year.

Analysis by Capital Economics claims the central government budget deficit, which had been widening even before the pandemic struck, reached 7 percent  of GDP at the end of last year – the largest shortfall since mid-2013. 

James Swanston, a Middle East and North Africa economist for the firm, said: “The deficit would have widened even further had it not been for several measures introduced by the government including the suspension of civil servants’ bonuses and a hiring freeze as well as postponing non-priority capital investment and a public sector wage hike.”

He added: "We estimate that, in order to stabilise the public debt-to-GDP ratio at its current level, a fiscal squeeze equal to 4 percent of GDP would be needed in the coming years.”

Jordan is unlikely to default as allies in the Gulf and Western countries would step in to provide financial support, Swanston concluded.


Lebanon’s negotiations with IMF likely to start in November: minister

Lebanon’s negotiations with IMF likely to start in November: minister
Updated 6 sec ago

Lebanon’s negotiations with IMF likely to start in November: minister

Lebanon’s negotiations with IMF likely to start in November: minister
  • Economy Minister Amin Salam said he was not expecting funds to be dispersed before elections in March

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister said on Sunday negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were likely to start in November, Lebanon’s Al Jadeed TV reported.
Economy Minister Amin Salam had said on Friday, in an interview with Reuters, that the new government aimed to make progress toward starting full negotiations for an IMF deal by the end of this year or early next, but was not expecting funds to be dispersed before elections in March.
Foreign Minister Bou Habib also spoke about the maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel, telling Al Jadeed that he was “optimistic about reaching an agreement.”
Lebanon and Israel are in dispute over the delineation of their territorial waters and negotiations between the old foes could lead to Lebanon being able to unlock valuable gas reserves amid its worst-ever financial crisis.
The two countries have been holding on-off US mediated talks since October to try to resolve the issue. 


Jubail Commercial Port handles more than 53,000 containers in September 


Jubail Commercial Port handles more than 53,000 containers in September 

Updated 31 min 27 sec ago

Jubail Commercial Port handles more than 53,000 containers in September 


Jubail Commercial Port handles more than 53,000 containers in September 


RIYADH: Jubail Commercial Port’s containers handling increased to 27 percent by more than 53,000 containers during September 2021 as compared to the same period in 2020.

The port also achieved a record in handling container ships by clearing procedures within five minutes.
The speedy and efficient handling is part of the Saudi Ports Authority strategy to attract international shipping lines and expand the Kingdom’s ports capacity and operations to transform the country into a logistics hub.


Saudi EXIM Bank signs MoU with Omani banks to boost cooperation

Saudi EXIM Bank signs MoU with Omani banks to boost cooperation
Updated 39 min 46 sec ago

Saudi EXIM Bank signs MoU with Omani banks to boost cooperation

Saudi EXIM Bank signs MoU with Omani banks to boost cooperation

RIYADH: Saudi EXIM Bank on Sunday signed memorandums of understanding with three major Omani banks to boost financing ties and exchange expertise.

The MoUs were signed with the National Bank of Oman, Muscat Bank and Sohar International Bank.The banks also discussed cooperation in extending credit financing and securing financing guarantees for Saudi exporters’ Omani clients.

The banks agreed to develop training programs in financial trade, risk analysis, loan management, Saad Al-Khallab, CEO of the Saudi bank said. 


MODON signs deal for 1st factory to manufacture prosthetic limbs in Kingdom

MODON signs deal for 1st factory to manufacture prosthetic limbs in Kingdom
Reuters/File
Updated 50 min 17 sec ago

MODON signs deal for 1st factory to manufacture prosthetic limbs in Kingdom

MODON signs deal for 1st factory to manufacture prosthetic limbs in Kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi Authority for Industrial and Technology Zones, known as MODON, signed on Sunday a contract with a company to manufacture prosthetics in the Kingdom.

The first factory to manufacture prosthetics in Saudi Arabia will be established in Asir Industrial City, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Qusai Al-Abdulkarim, a spokesman for MODON, said the establishment of the facility is a valuable addition to Saudi Arabia and it is in line with Vision 2030.

The factory, to be established with an investment of SR40 million, aims to localize manufacture of prosthetics in the Kingdom. It seeks to meet 20 percent of the local demand in the first phase of its operations. It aims to expand its operation to export Saudi products to other countries.


MGI: Charting a regional road map for sustainable living

MGI: Charting a regional road map for sustainable living
Updated 24 October 2021

MGI: Charting a regional road map for sustainable living

MGI: Charting a regional road map for sustainable living
  • Saudi initiatives demonstrate Kingdom’s willingness to address environmental challenges

RIYADH: The final event of the Saudi Green Initiative, the Middle East Green Initiative, is taking place today to create a sustainable road map for the region and highlight green transition, green policy solutions, the finance sector’s contribution to the goals of the SGI as well as insight from an international perspective. 

It will be attended by several heads of state, with key speakers including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, UN Deputy Secretary Amina Mohammed,  BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, HSBC Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn, and André Esteves, senior partner, BTG Pactual, Brazil.

Earlier this year, the crown prince highlighted that the Saudi and the Middle East green initiatives are a continuation of the environmental efforts in the Kingdom over the past few years in line with Saudi Vision 2030. 

The two initiatives demonstrate the Kingdom’s strong willingness to address the environmental challenges it has faced, from increase in temperatures and dust waves to low levels of rain and desertification.

The SGI and MGI are also aiming to collectively plant 50 billion trees as well as propel the Middle East region toward achieving more than 10 percent of global carbon emissions reduction targets.

The SGI aims to reach net zero emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly produced by burning fossil fuels, by 2060.

Saudi Arabia said the transition to net zero carbon emissions “will be delivered in a manner that preserves the Kingdom’s leading role in enhancing the security and stability of global energy markets.”

Announcing a plan to reach net zero in carbon by 2060, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday said the move was in line with the Kingdom’s development plans, “while preserving and reinforcing its leading role in the security and stability of global energy markets.”

The Kingdom has pledged to double the amount of carbon it will cut in its domestic economy, removing 278 million tons of the pollutant pr year by 2030.

“As a region, we have always had to live with harsh climate conditions and we will have to continue to innovate in both mitigation and adaptation,” said Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Jaber, at a forum on COP26 in Riyadh. 

“The UAE highly commends the leadership and the people of Saudi Arabia, particularly the youth, for such a landmark, bold and long-term strategic initiative. It represents a paradigm shift in ambition for this region,” the minister said.

The SGI aims to raise vegetation cover, reduce carbon emissions, combat pollution and land degradation, and preserve marine ecosystems.