News – 2012.01.03

Published: January 3, 2012

SUSRIS Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/


SAMA’s Reserve Assets Reach SR1.97 Trillion: ARAB NEWS


Saudi Arabia has posted a large budget surplus of SR306 billion despite sharp jump in expenditure in 2011. Revenue reached to SR1.11 trillion and expenditure touched SR804 billion in the year. Government proposed an increase in both revenue and expenditure in 2012 compared to what was estimated for the current year. It estimates real GDP growth at 6.8 percent and nominal GDP growth at 28 percent for the year 2011. Trade surplus is estimated to have reached record level of SR915 billion whereas current account surplus touched SR598 billion in 2011. Public debt has been estimated to come down to just SR135.5 billion, 6.3 percent of GDP in 2011. REPORT SAYS GROWTH MAY FALL IN 2012: Saudi Arabia’s economic growth is expected to fall to 3.1 percent in 2012, from 6.8 percent in 2011 as the kingdom’s oil production is forecast to drop after a large rise in 2011, a report said, Trade Arabia reports.

Eighth National Dialogue on Reform, Development: ARAB NEWS

Dr. Mona S. Almunajjed | 1/3/11

There is no satisfactory alternative to open dialogue in any society, and its success depends on how far it achieves its goals and objectives and on its impact on people. The Eighth National Dialogue on Reform and Development, the latest in a series of national dialogues established through the King Abdul Aziz National Dialogue Center, took place in Riyadh on Nov. 29-30, 2011 and provided a civil and sophisticated forum for exchanging views and decision-making.

India Lifts Duty On Saudi Exports Amid Worries Over Iran’s Oil: BLOOMBERG


India lifted an anti-dumping duty on Saudi Arabian polypropylene amid escalating concerns that international sanctions on Iran may disrupt oil shipments from the Persian Gulf nation.

Business, NGO Leaders to Focus on Entrepreneurship at Global Meet: PRESS RELEASE


Hundreds of business and NGO leaders, intellectuals and media persons will converge in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from January 21 to 24 to participate in the Sixth Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF). The event is expected to offer insight on the continuing economic and financial problems affecting the world as well as positive ideas to address the most pressing global challenges.

Four New Business Activities Added To Nitaqat: SAUDI GAZETTE


The Ministry of Labor has added new four business activities to the Nitaqat Program — kindergartens, bakeries, ready-mix concrete, and information technology.

Saudi Healthcare Grads Snub Private Sector Jobs: ARABIAN BUSINESS


Thousands of healthcare graduates in Saudi Arabia gathered outside government offices this week in protest at state plans to employ some 14,000 doctors and nurses in private hospitals.

Saudi Polymers to Start Propylene & PP Plants in Q1: FIBRE2FASHION


Saudi Polymers based in Saudi Arabia plans to begin commercial production of its newly built propylene and polypropylene (PP) plants in the first quarter of 2012.

Russia Passes Saudi Arabia: BARENTS OBSERVER


With reference to the Ministry of Energy, Bloomberg reports that Russia’s average daily output reached 10,27 million barrels per day in average last year. The year-to-year growth was 1,25 percent. The production in November and December 2011 was even higher, reaching 10,35 and 10.32 million barrels per day for the two last months of the year.

Saudi Hackers Publish Israeli Credit Card Numbers on the Internet: LA TIMES


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently increased the sum Israelis could spend on Internet goods purchased abroad and imported without paying customs. The reason for expanding Israelis’ eBay and other web-shopping options was to encourage competitive prices in Israel and make a dent in the cost of living. But Israelis won’t be in a hurry to cyber shop this week, as thousands woke up horrified Tuesday to find their credit card numbers along with their personal details published online. Overnight, Saudi hackers named Group-XP claimed they broke into a leading Israeli sports site, redirecting surfers to a page where they could download a file containing the sensitive information.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation: Crown Prince honors SABIC for supporting scientific research in the Kingdom: 4-TRADERS


Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, honored SABIC for supporting the Scientific Research Chairs Program of the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University and extending financial assistance to establish the SABIC Chair for Islamic Finance Market Studies at the university. Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, received a trophy in recognition of this support at the opening ceremony of a seminar on “Salafism: A Shariah Approach and National Demand” held at the university in Riyadh on December 27.

More News and Commentary from SUSTG


“Iran advises, recommends and warns them [the US] not to move its carrier back to the previous area in the Gulf because Iran is not used to repeating its warnings and warns just once,” the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Maj Gen Salehi as saying, the FT reports. DAUGHTER OF FORMER IRANIAN PRESIDENT SENTENCED TO JAIL: The daughter of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been sentenced to six months in jail after being found guilty of “spreading propaganda” against the country’s regime, the Guardian reports. FRENCH FM URGES TOUGH SANCTIONS: French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Tuesday asked the European community to impose further tough sanctions against Iran after its recent threat to block the strategic oil passage of Strait of Hormuz, Xinhua reports.


The commander of Syria’s armed rebels threatened on Tuesday to step up attacks on President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, saying he was frustrated with Arab League monitors’ lack of progress in ending a government crackdown on protests, Dominic Evans and Erika Solomon (Reuters) report. FRANCE SAYS REGIME COMMITTING MASSACRES: French President Nicolas Sarkozy accused Syrian leader Bashar Assad of “barbarous repression” Tuesday and demanded that he step down, saying the regime is massacring its own people, AP reports.


Afghanistan’s Taliban guerrilla movement said it has reached an initial agreement with Qatar to open a liaison office in the Gulf state to facilitate peace talks with the international community, Bloomberg reports. $30 BILLION GEAR DILEMMA: As the drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan steps up in 2012, NATO military planners are trying to figure out the logistics of how to ship out the massive quantities of alliance vehicles, weapons and other equipment from the mountainous landlocked country, AP reports.


Al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani militants have held a series of meetings aimed at containing what could soon be open warfare between the two most powerful Pakistani Taliban leaders, militant sources have said. Hakimullah Mehsud, the head of the Pakistani Taliban, also known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and his deputy, Wali-ur-Rehman, were at each other’s throats, the sources said, Reuters reports.


Judge Mohamed Attia, minister of parliamentary affairs, stated on Sunday to the Arabic Ahram daily newspaper that presidential nominations will begin in April. He added that the presidential elections will not take place before the new constitution is drafted and approved via a national referendum, Ahram Online reports.


Tunisian authorities are trying former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in absentia Tuesday for his alleged role in the death of protesters in January 2011, CNN reports.


Slicing through the air above the dank and dripping Victorian tunnels by London Bridge is a new symbol of extraordinary confidence. But how does all this, rising beside some of the poorest wards in the country, add up in Britain’s listing economy? It is notable that so far no office tenants have signed up, although the developers say they are in talks with several and are being selective. The answer may lie in its ownership – the Shard owes its existence to a power play by a gas-rich kingdom more than 4,000 miles away. From spring 2009, when construction began, Qatari wealth poured into the project. As the global economic crisis forced builders to down tools on sites across the UK, around £1.5bn – mostly from the Gulf – bankrolled the Shard, the Independent reports.



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