medNews

ALGERIA, TRADE DEFICIT UP BY 35.7%

According to the Algerian Customs, Algeria’s trade deficit reached 7.632 billion dollars during the first 4 months of 2016 compared to 5,624 billion dollars for the same period of 2015, an increase of 35.7%. The CNIS – Centre National de l’Informatique et des Statistiques showed that exports fell sharply to 7,545 billion dollars in 4 first months of this year compared to 12,243 billion dollars in the same period of 2015, a decrease of 38, 4%. The same source reported that imports recorded a reduction and it stabilized on 15.177 billion dollars compared to 17.867 billion dollars in 2015, a decrease of 15,06%. Hydrocarbons account for most sales Algerian abroad, with a share of 92.8% in the overall volume of and exports amounting to  7,002 billion dollars during the first 4 months of 2016 compared to 11.537 billion dollars in the same period of 2015 (a decrease of 39.31%).

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

PAM TO FACILITATE MEDITERRANEAN ENERGY CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION

Joseph Sammut (Malta) addressed, on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), the 21st General Assembly Meeting of the Association of Mediterranean Energy Regulators (MEDREG), hosted by the Maltese Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS) on 18 May 2016.

PAM and MEDREG have long established an intense institutional cooperation in order to support from a legislative perspective the holistic development of the energy sector in the Mediterranean. MEDREG was the first organisation to be granted the Observer Status to PAM, and cooperation proved to be, in these years, mutually beneficial and, most importantly, effective in increasing synergies in the energy sector in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

“We are legislators, and we are fully aware of the importance of regulation, particularly in a crucial and delicate sector such as energy. National regulators play a fundamental role at the national level, but unfortunately, not all PAM member countries have, at present, such an institution. For this reason, PAM constantly invites them to work towards their establishment, as a priority”. Hon. Sammut said. PAM is also working on the possibility of organising a meeting of the national parliamentary committees on energy of the PAM countries: this would allow PAM to involve directly the MPs responsible for energy-related issues and promote a more coherent approach.

Furthermore, PAM is also ready to work with MEDREG with reference to the consumers.

“They are fundamental, because the work of our institutions has, as a main goal, that of satisfying the citizens. For this reason, we are committed to facilitate the creation of a Mediterranean Association of Consumers which will serve as an interlocutor at the regional level to reach a system in which citizens have constant access to an environmentally sustainable energy, at an affordable price”, Sammut added.

In the last years, energy became more and more relevant also in connection with climate change, and PAM will seek the precious contribution of MEDREG in the preparation of its participation at the MEDCOP22, which will be held in Tangiers in July, and at the COP22, to be held in Marrakech next November.

Cooperation will be also much needed with regards to PAM’s efforts in the framework of the UN initiative “Sustainable Energy for All”, as well as in the implementation of the New Sustainable

Development Goals, many of which are directly connected with energy. The Sustainable Development

Goals were adopted with the motto “leave no one behind” and with the clear intention of including all the players concerned, at all levels.

“PAM wants to follow this slogan and I am confident that this approach will bring good results, in all areas, and not only on energy. We have to try to embrace the other, because walls and barbed wire are not the answer to the challenges of our region”, Sammut concluded.

(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

TURKEY WILL HOST THE NEW ISLAMIC BANK

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, last May 11 announced that Turkey will host the new bank Islamic, later this year.

“We are in contact with the Islamic Bank for Development to establish a bank in Turkey. Indonesia also has a similar project”, Simsek said, adding that Indonesia, Turkey and the Islamic Bank for Development, during a visit to Washington last April decided to form a special commission to evaluate the issue.

He further stated: “Turkey will be the venue for the bank that will serve the entire region, and will have a specialized and territorial cut”.

According to the project, the bank will be established in Istanbul. The turkish government has long aimed to make the city a financial center and Simsek stressed that Islamic finance is paramount to achieve this intention. It operates in complete absence of taxes, following what is preached Islam. “The Islamic finance has tremendous potential for growth, but we need to stimulate it”, the Deputy Prime Minister said, calling on Islamic banks to offer more services to their clients.

The Treasury and the Islamic Bank for Development will partner bank. Currently there are six Islamic banks operating in Turkey: Albaraka Türk, Bank Asya, Kuveyt Türk, Türkiye Finans, Ziraat and Vakif. These last two have launched only recently also the Islamic branches, two other Short-term bank should become operational in the Islamic financial sector.

The turkish territory, are at least 16,000 employees in the sector and 1,100 branches. Islamic banks account for 5% of total turkish banking system, the government will work to ensure they reach 15% by 2023.

Cevdet Yilmaz, Minister of Development, said the Islamic finance should expand at a very rapid growth rate. At a meeting on sustainable development Yilmaz said that the size capital of Islamic finance in Turkey has reached 40 billions of dollars. Globally it totaled 3,000 billion dollars and is expected to reach 4 trillion by 2020.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

LEBANON, 750 MLN DOLLARS ALLOCATED FOR OPTICAL FIBER

In 2015 the mobile phone has attracted almost 500,000 new subscribers, an increase of 11% on an annual basis. According to a survey conducted by the American company Pew Research Center, conducted in 2013, 88% of Lebanese has a cell phone. 74% of Lebanese are between 18 and 34 own a smartphone and 90% of these uses these Internet daily. In addition, the number of data users has increased by over 13% compared to 2014.

In 2015, to advance the modernization of the sector, it was announced by the Ministry of Telecommunications a five-year plan of action with a budget of 750 million dollars, nicknamed Lebanon in 2020: the vision of telecommunications in the digital age. This plan will be implemented in two phases: a first phase with the creation and the implementation of fiber optic network services, and a second phase with the amplification of the coverage of 4G networks on the whole territory. The first phase, whose investment is estimated at 600 million dollars, has as objective the improvement of the fixed telecommunications network capacity and an increase in broadband which aims to bring the fiber optic connection in all homes by 2022.

The second phase, whose investment is estimated at 150 million dollars, has the aim to gradually spread the fourth generation networks (4G) over all Lebanese territory from 2017, arriving in 2020 to 5G.

The two local mobile operators, Alfa and Touch, managed by the Egyptian group Orascom and Kuwaiti group Zain, holding, respectively, 48 and 52% of the mobile market in Lebanon. Both managers have signed agreements with international telecom companies for the gradual spread of 4G + networks from September 2016.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

LEBANON, SUBSIDY PLAN FOR EXPORTS BY SEA EXTENDED

The IDAL, the Authority for Development and Investment in Lebanon, said that the Government has decided to extend the program of subsidies to exports until 31 March 2017 (Resolution No. 134/2016).

The Government has not yet allocated additional funds to the program from its initial allocation of 14 million dollars. Since its beginning 18 September 2015, the program has used about 4.6 million dollars. The grant scheme will then continue, but only until exhaustion of the funds already allocated.

This aid scheme is intended to offset the additional costs caused by the redirection of exports to Arab countries by sea, following the closure in April 2015 the Syrian-Jordanian border. The incentive system applies to all exports of agricultural and industrial products provides for the payment of subsidies to ship owners – after approval of IDAL – trucks carrying goods to Aqaba in Jordan to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and in Dubai in the UAE.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

ISRAEL, NEW OIL FIELDS NEAR THE DEAD SEA

The exploration license for oil and gas Hatrurim in the Dead Sea region contains an oil field in the value of 1.2 billion NIS (about 290 million) as reported by the company ‘that holds the license and taken from the newspaper economic Globes.

The company advisory Dunmore Consulting estimates a size of the reservoir in about 7 million barrels, reaching the most optimistic prediction of 11 million barrels. Estimates have a certainty from the point of view of the geological composition of 100%, since there it has already been extracting oil from the reservoir through the perforations Halamish.

The Hatrurim license has a width of 94 square kilometers. In 1995, Delek Group and Avner Oil and Gas LP had dug up to two kilometers below the surface by finding oil but by deciding to suspend the activities’ drilling for the benefit of the interventions on the natural gas fields in the sea.

Last October, the Commissioner for Petroleum Affairs in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources has approved the license application Hatrurim received from Israel Opportunity Energy Resources (which includes Zerah Oil and Gas Explorations LP, Gulliver Energy Ltd., Cyprus Opportunity, Ashtrom Properties Ltd and fellow property Eliyahu Rosenberg, founder of Avner Partnership) retaining a 25% stake.

It is the first time that a Cypriot company participates in an activity exploration for oil and gas in Israel.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

MOROCCO, NEGATIVE OUTLOOK OF CEREAL COLLECTION

The drought that occurred in Morocco last fall is causing the cereal harvest markedly lower than in the previous year. While in 2015, thanks to a favorable trend in precipitation, was reached a harvest of 110 million tonnes record, this year there will be a drastic decrease (- 70%), amounting to 33.5 million tons. In detail, the wheat represents more than half of the harvest (18.6 million tons), followed by wheat (8.7 million) and barley (6.2). The delay in rainfall has also resulted in the reduction of cultivated areas, increased from around 5.1 million hectares to 3.6 million hectares this year. The grain harvest expected in 2016 is the worst in years, followed by the one recorded in 2012 (50 million tons). The Moroccan Government has adopted the anti – drought measures (aimed primarily at livestock protection) which was followed by more heavy rains in early 2016. This ‘determines, according to the branched data from the Ministry of Agriculture, the positive trend of’ 87% of plant and animal, of course except for cereals. In particular, the production of fruit registered a growth estimated at + 15%, + 5% horticulture, livestock + 4%. The expected growth in the breeding performance is attributable to the conversion to feed a part of agricultural land previously allocated to cereals.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

ALBANIA, INCREASING THE REVENUE OF 7.4%

The revenue in the Albanian state coffers for the first 4 months of 2016 recorded an increase of 7.4% over the same period last year: it reveals the data released by the Ministry of Finance of Tirana. In April last year were collected 130.7 billion lek (about 934 million euro), equivalent to 9 billion lek more. The increase is related to the revenue of the tax authorities, with a positive trend of all taxes starting from VAT, tax on income and excise duties. On the other side, however, the government adopted a restrictive policy of expenditure, which at the end of the first four months, from the current year are reported to be 10.5 billion lek ( 75.7 million euro) less than in 2015 . The largest decrease was recorded in the investment item, about 26 percent less. This situation has led for the first time to a surplus in the balance of 16.5 billion lek (119 million euro).

(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

MALTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND SITA SIGN PARTNERSHIP

Malta International Airport has entered into a strategic partnership with global air transport IT specialist SITA which is geared towards boosting the airport’s operational excellence and putting it at the forefront of technology in the aviation industry.

The partnership – which came into effect from May 10, 2016 – will allow Malta International Airport to focus on strategic investment and innovation as SITA takes over the airport’s day-to-day ICT operations. The partnership will help improve ICT service levels, optimize airport operations and enhance the overall passenger experience.

SITA’s experience in managing large-scale ICT transformation programs around the world will be extended to Malta International Airport, and support it in integrating ICT at the heart of its growth strategy over the long term.

Malta International Airport welcomed 4.62 million passengers in 2015 and is expected to grow by more than 2% this year. The company has also unveiled an ambitious investment program which includes a €28m terminal expansion. Work on Phase 1 of the project is scheduled to commence later on this year.

Alan Borg, CEO of Malta International Airport said: “We recognize that developing our ICT infrastructure is fundamental to our future growth. In light of this, we are delighted to be partnering with SITA, the market leader in this industry, and look forward to working together on a digital blueprint to meet our future demands.”

Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe said: “As a global supplier of end-to-end solutions to the broader air transport industry, we are in the unique position of being able to support the full gamut of airport, airline, and government systems found in airports today. This allows us to take our service to the industry a step further, by managing the end-to-end ICT infrastructure for airports while guiding their future investment to ensure cost savings and improved service delivery”.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

TOURISM ALBANIA, 35 MLN EURO FOR ALPS AND COASTAL AREAS

The Albanian Development Fund has started the project “Development of the Alps and Coastal Areas” which will be supported, financially and otherwise, by a 28.7 million euro loan provided by the European Bank for Development, and 6 million the euro provided by the Albanian leadership. 35 million Euros will be used for new jobs in these uninhabited areas and to intensify the existence of economic activities in the area. This was reported in an article “Albanian Daily News.” This project will allow the increase of tourism offerings through a longer stay and an increase in expenses for the visitors. The procedures of this proposed urban renewal for the city hall Dhermi, Vuno and Himara were opened recently; Also the process of regeneration of urban areas for the municipality of Vlora, Himara are part of it. The project aims at developing tourism and economic progress through the restoration, preservation and rehabilitation of traditional houses and the cultural heritage areas.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

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