The World Bank has approved a new plan for Tunisia in aid and loans worth more than 5 billion dollars, which will be paid in five years. This was announced by a press release of the World Bank, specifying that these measures will contribute to the resumption of economic growth in the country, to support the marginalized regions and to facilitate the creation of jobs, especially for young people, women.


Source: medNews


Alcoa Fastening Systems & Rings, an American company producing components and metal fittings for the automotive and aviation industry, has recently opened a factory in the free zone of Nouaceur, in the Casablanca region. The new industrial facility covers a floor area of 6,300 square meters and will employ about 200 employees up to speed. The total investment is estimated at 10 million dollars, of which 4.5 in capital goods. The grounds of the Alcoa plant was acquired in July 2015, through specific agreements with MidParc SA (which manages the industrial platform inside the free zone) and the aviation industry Moroccan Association (, Groupement marocaines Aéronautiques des industries et spatiales). According to allegations made by the top management of Alcoa Fixations Casablanca, the new factory will produce sub-contracted parts and components for major clients such as Airbus and Safran. The American company, specializes in metal fabrication, stamping and forming of special steels and already has some thirty industrial sites distributed in various parts of the world. With the new factory in Casablanca, Alcoa joins the group of large companies in the aviation sector (in addition to the above Safran and Airbus, is reminiscent of the Canadian Bombardier and the American Boeing and Hexcel) that have opened factories in Morocco. The government of the North African country has provided important incentives to Alcoa, through the Acceleration Plan, which aims to triple by 2020 the number of employees in the industry and double the export turnover.


Source: medNews


According to LCEC, Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation, the new plan NEEREA – National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, could lead to energy savings of more than 1,500 GWh if it will materialize. The first plan NEEREA was launched by the Lebanese Government in 2001 and was recently renewed for the 2016-2020 five-year period.

The estimated energy savings would be equivalent to over 225 million dollars on an annual basis, starting in 2020. The electricity sector, as well as other sectors such as construction, industry, agriculture and infrastructure, provides the most great potential for energy savings, amounting to more than 686 GWh.

For the realization of the plan are necessary financing of between 600-950 million dollars for the five years, that would be a tremendous boost for the internal market.


Source: medNews


The Intesa Sanpaolo Group, through its network of banks in Croatia, Albania, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, estimated to provide credit facilities for a total of a billion euro in favor of Western Balkan SMEs involved initiative. It was said by Ignacio Jaquotot, head of foreign banks division of Intesa Sanpaolo Group, during the international conference ‘Supporting local enterprises and sms’s along china’s belt and road initiative in South eastern Europe’ organized Central European Initiative (CEI) and the Bank European Agency for reconstruction and development (EBRD).

“The financing, mainly in the medium to long term and leasing, intended for business customers of the network of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group in the Western Balkans, will be an amount up to 15 million and the maximum as a rule last no longer than 10 years – Jaquotot added – and will aim to finance the purchase of plant, machinery, equipment or vehicles, in addition to the purchase, construction, expansion and renovation of industrial plants and investments in intangible assets related to infrastructure projects in the belt and road initiative, including the expenses for research, development and innovation”.


Source: medNews


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%).


Source: medNews


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.


Source: medNews


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.


Source: medNews


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.


Source: medNews


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.


Source: medNews


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.


Source: medNews

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