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Pakistan-Jordan Trade Collaboration

Pakistan making ways into the middle eastern markets. Jordan no doubt stands as gateway to the countries undergoing rapid reconstruction and growth. In order to fully explore the potential of Jordan, Iraq and the neighboring markets, including rebuilding of Lebanon, the EPB Pakistan has decided to Organize a Single Country Exhibition in Jordan from 29th November to 1st December 2006 (3 days)

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Real Estate Incentives for Young Entrepreneurs

Dubai Industrial City will allocate 1m sq-ft of land for young nationals to set up businesses under the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders, according to Gulf News. Plots will be allocated with five-year leases at reduced rates, in a move to encourage more young entrepreneurs. (ameinfo.com)
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Muscat Festival 2007 - Part 2


Back by popular demand, I hereby include a link to all the information needed for your entertainment and business requirements about Muscat Festival 2007.

- Muscat Festival 2007

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232 Bahrainis granted loans to start own businesses

The number of young entrepreneurs who were granted bank loans to start their own businesses in Bahrain increased by 84 per cent this year, it has been revealed.

Economic Development Board chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa said 232 Bahrainis were granted loans by the Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) during the first 10 months of this year.

"This number represents 84 per cent more than the number of young entrepreneurs who received loans during the whole of last year," he said during a ceremony held at the Gulf Hotel's Gulf International Convention and Exhibition Centre, reports our sister publication Gulf Daily News.

Shaikh Mohammed praised the initiative taken by BDB in financially supporting young Bahrainis to start their own small and medium enterprises. He said the BDB support has enabled the Bahrain government to further diversify its economy.
The ceremony was jointly organised by the EDB and BDB to honour 15 entrepreneurs who launched successful business projects.

BDB chairman and Finance Ministry Under-Secretary Shaikh Ibrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa also spoke on the occasion.

It was attended by Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Unido Investment Technology and Promotion Office head Dr Hashim Hussein and BDB general manager Nedhal Al Aujan.

Projects sponsored by the BDB increased from 62 in 2002 to 135 during this year's first half, according to Shaikh Ibrahim. It is expected to rise to 280 by the year-end.
TradeArabia News Service

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Muscat Festival 2007


Muscat municipality has finally announced that the upcoming Muscat Festival 2007 will commence with the beginning of the new year on 1st January, 2007 for just over a month's time until the 2nd of February, 2007.

As usual, Muscat municipality promises glories with many various attractions, cheery movies and music festivals and fun for everyone. At a price, that is.

The dilemma seems to be that Muscat municipality doesn't seem to be getting any better at organizing this festive period in Muscat year over year, not on the road or even through the books. Because there seems to be more than one widespread story of how the festival is going all wrong because of the disorganization it commits itself to.

However, it is yet to be seen, if any progress has been set to the right path for the upcoming new festival.

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Links:

- Muscat Festival 2006

- Muscat Festival 2007

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SME Support Fund Launed in Pakistan

The SME Business Support Fund (BSF) office has been set up in the provincial capital with a view to enable business development services for small and medium enterprises.

Chairman BSF, Altaf Saleem presided over the inaugural ceremony at the new office here at Siddique Trade Centre, Gulberg on Thursday. The Government of Pakistan has set up a head office for the Rs450 million SME Business Support Fund (BSF), jointly developed by federal government and the Asian Development Bank.

The BSF is a new independent organisation established by the government and funded by Asian Development Bank under SME Sector Development Programme. It is a financial support scheme, established for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to enhance their competitiveness & profitability, through the increased use of business development services (BDS).

With the above business agenda, the BSF provides a 50 per cent grant to SMEs for activities such as short-term consultancies for management, marketing, production, productivity, product development and adaptation, packaging, quality, standards, and technology transfer or up-gradation.

Although the BSF is currently operational, the government will hold its official launch ceremony at Islamabad in a couple of months.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), BSF, David Monkman said that schemes like BSF had proved successful in other parts of the world in enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of the SMEs.

Such initiatives in the Far-East, Latin America and Africa have proved successful,” he said.

He was of the opinion that the BSF, a pilot project, would continue providing assistance to the SMEs till June 2009 and could be renewed after that period. He said that the formal launch of the BSF would be held in Islamabad within two years.
sources(The News)

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Oman: Health Care Opportunities

With the government's support, private heath care is experiencing strong growth in the sultanate.

Speaking to OBG last week, Dr. Ali Moosa, the minister of health, said that he acknowledged the fact that the public sector in isolation cannot meet the population's health care needs. This has led the ministry of health (MOH) to embark upon strengthening and supporting the private health sector with a number of strategic plans implemented in the recent past, he added.

The bulk of private sector involvement is in the provision of primary health care in the form of private clinics, which increased from 516 in 2000 to 713 in 2005.

Secondary and tertiary health care has been more modest from the private sector. Private hospitals went from three in 2000 to five in 2005. However, more hospitals are emerging with the expansion of services and incorporation of tertiary health care facilities, said Moosa.

The main improvement for the overall sector will be to help reduce the patient load and further improving the quality of health services in a more competitive environment, said Moosa.

Private health care centres in the sultanate are required to participate in all national health programmes. For example, they contribute to programmes such as mandatory medical checks for labourers in hazardous environments.

The MOH is also the regulator of private health institutions. They supervise the licensing of both medical staff and for the institutions. These are distributed under the supervision of the department of private health establishment, a separate department within the directorate general for health affairs.

In a recent move to support the private sector, the MOH has decided to allow senior MOH doctors to practice in private centres, to provide support and offer the benefit of choice to clients for consulting their favoured physicians when desired, said Moosa.

The overall network of health centres is very widely spread in the sultanate. The MOH claims that there is a health care facility within 20km of each and every household. The total outpatient department (OPD) recorded visits for public medical care in 2005 was 10,616,910. This figure represents an average of 4.2 visits per year per person, according to figures from the MOH.

Some observers expect the biggest challenge for private health care providers is that the public services are free of charge for nationals. Nonetheless Omanis have shown interest in private sector treatment. Dr. Mohammed Ali Jafer, Chairman of Muscat Private Hospital (MPH) opened in 2000, told OBG that he had been surprised that almost 60% of the customers were Omanis despite having free healthcare.

The expanding expatriate population plays a role in demand for private health centres. While accepting emergencies, public health facilities do not administer elective treatments for expatriates. The expatriate population has already grown by 10% this year and now totals over 600,000 or roughly 30% of the population. In addition, private health centres participate in the mandatory health screening of the imported work force.

A major boost in private health care would be making mandatory health insurance for expatriates, as has been done in some neighbouring Gulf countries, such as Kuwait. Oman currently has some mandatory accident insurance for the workplace but none for healthcare.

Emerging hubs such as Sohar, which launched a mega port this year and will be receiving a number of industry projects, will also need health care facilities. In August the MOH announced the construction of five new health centres in the North Batinah region at a total cost of OR2.5m ($6.5m). Jafer also told OBG that the board was currently evaluating the feasibility of opening of branches in different locations, including Sohar and Salalah.

© Oxford Business Group 2006

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Researching Start Ups

By ANDREA CHIPMAN Special to The Wall Street Journal
Entrepreneurship has always been a challenging topic to research. French business school Insead hopes to glean better knowledge by going to the source and observing entrepreneurs in their own backyards.

In May, the Versailles-based business school set up the first of three planned entrepreneurship-research centers in Israel. A second center is expected to open in India by January, and a third is planned for China in the middle of next year. The three centers aim to serve both academics and the global business community alike, says Phil Anderson, director of Insead's Singapore-based Rudolf and Valeria Maag International Centre for Entrepreneurship, which will oversee the three centers.

"Usually, entrepreneurs are around three to four years before they hit your radar screen," Mr. Anderson says. "So you are only studying success cases. The best way to study how people build successful companies is to observe entrepreneurs in real time from as close to the point that they start a company as possible."

Although all three centers will emphasize lessons that can be applied across borders, many findings are expected to be specific to the economy being studied, he adds. The choice of locations reflects the difficulties monitoring businesses in their earliest stages.

"It's expensive to do," Mr. Anderson says. "You need two things: a country with a pool of lots and lots of start-ups and a place with relatively low-cost labor."

The Israel center, located in Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast, clearly fits the first set of criteria. Despite an explosive political backdrop that remains a seemingly immutable part of the business climate, the country -- which has more than 2,000 start-up companies, many of which are listed on Nasdaq and other global exchanges -- provides a compact environment in which to study entrepreneurs, Mr. Anderson says.

Launched with $2 million of seed money from the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation, the center aims to build on Insead's network of contacts to provide local entrepreneurs with global information about management techniques, says Avraham Bigger, deputy chairman of the Rothschild Foundation. The center's researchers also will compile case histories documenting the experience of Israeli start-ups.

The center will have a wealth of recent examples to choose from. In July, SanDisk Corp. of the U.S. acquired Israeli flash-memory manufacturer msystems Ltd. for $1.6 billion, while Berkshire Hathaway Inc. paid $4 billion in May for an 80% stake in Iscar Metalworking Cos., a producer of industrial metal blades. Communications software for security applications and medical devices have been two major growth areas.

After a lull in 2002 and 2003 that followed the dot-com implosion, high-technology-capital raising is growing rapidly in Israel and is expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2006, according to the Israel Venture Capital Research Center.

One key to the success of the country's high-tech sector that is likely to get close scrutiny is Israel's incubator system, which provides grants from government or private sources for small companies working on prototypes, says Doron Nahmias, managing director of the Insead Caesarea center. Set up in the 1990s largely to absorb immigration from the former Soviet Union, there are now 23 such entities across the country.

But several other elements have helped make the country a powerhouse for start-ups, according to Miri Lerner, associate professor of the School of Management and Economics at the Academic College of Tel-Aviv Jaffa.

One specifically local factor is Israel's mandatory military service, which helps foster strong social networks. Meanwhile, established Israeli hi-tech firms, such as Elron Electronic Industries Ltd., a company with businesses ranging from medical imaging to defense electronics, and data-and-telecommunications company RAD Data Communications Ltd., have become "greenhouses" for developing new entrepreneurs who have spun off their own businesses, Ms. Lerner says.

"What's interesting is that you can find many global companies that establish themselves in many places, but here they decided to establish centers of research and development," Ms. Lerner says. "The competitive advantage here is not low-cost. That you can find in the East, in Asia. Here, they are looking at the high-tech sector."

While Israel's small size gives it one kind of appeal as a research center, India and China offer the advantage of large entrepreneur populations that can be studied at lower cost, Mr. Anderson says.

"With India and China, the trade-off is they are huge and they are cheap," he says. "There are so many companies that could grow big."

The Mumbai-based India center is slated to open by the first quarter of 2007. Mr. Anderson says it was founded with "less than $2 million" of seed money from Victor Menezes, a retired senior vice chairman of Citigroup Inc.

The China center, which Insead hopes to launch by summer 2007, is still looking for a home, as local experts tend to advise research organizations to partner with local universities. The third center is currently funded with about €50,000, or about $64,000, from the Maag center.

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GCC Stars Shine in Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007

Amongst the competitive nations of the world, as ranked by World Economic Forum, the Arab nations demonstrated their impressive financial strength and future potential once again, with four nations appearing on the world renowned report’s top 50 listing:
  • United Arab Emirates - 32nd
  • Qatar - 38th
  • Kuwait - 44th
  • Bahrain - 49th

An extract from the prefaced(by Professor Schwab) shows the underlining thoughts of the report:

It is against a backdrop of burgeoning global imbalances, the collapse of the Doha round of trade negotiations and the revival of protectionist tendencies which are combining to create an atmosphere that highlights the precariousness of global economic growth prospects, that the World Economic Forum is bringing the latest edition of The Global Competitiveness Report. With the growing complexity of the global economy, the Report is a contribution to enhancing our understanding of the key factors which determine economic growth, and explain why some countries are much more successful than others in raising income levels and opportunities for their respective populations. By providing detailed assessments of the economic conditions of nations worldwide, the Report offers policymakers and business leaders an important tool in the formulation of improved economic policies and institutional reforms.

A noteworthy analysis from the report read " Within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the Gulf States continue to perform quite well in the overall GCI rankings. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranked 32nd while Qatar moved up eight places to rank 38th. Terms-of-trade gains linked to oil prices have boosted growth rates and reinforced already high levels of confidence in the business community, resulting from ongoing institutional modernization and improvements in macroeconomic management. However, in many of the resource-rich countries, the availability of public finance appears – at least for now – not to have translated into improvements in human capital, which would play an important role in helping these economies that are highly dependent on oil and vulnerable to external shocks to diversify their economic base."
Thus although there is improvement in the region but still the link between rapid growth and sustainability seems to be missing.

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Loreal E-Strat Challenge

Loreal e-strat challenge is the world's biggest online business simulation. Six challenges have been done up till now since it started and it has brought together 132,000 students representing 125 countries. So how does it actually work?

A group of three will play as a team in this simulation challenge. The team will manage a portfolio of beauty brands and will compete with another 4 virtual teams. There are in total six rounds that will be played.

Two teams, one undergraduate and one graduate will be selected to attend the international finals in Paris. The teams will be selected from 8 geographical zones i.e. a total of 48 finalists will make it to the finals. All the expenses will be paid by the organizers and the sponsors.

That is not it. Have a look of what the websites says about the other prizes.

1st Prize:
10 000 Pounds !The 2 worldwide winning teams (one undergraduate and one MBA) will win a trip worth 10 000 to the destination of their choice.
2nd and 3rd Prize:
Expect something technical and up-to-the-minute!The 12 students who will reach the 2nd and the 3rd prize will receive a prize up to their expectations.
SPI Prize:
New prize!This year an extra prize will be awarded to the two teams (one undergraduate and one MBA) with the highest SPIs amongst the 16 International Finalists.
Now this really looks like something interesting and challenging. We have heard enough of business competitions in which a typical business plan is required. Now it's the turn to test how good is a person in an actually simulation. This is a more practical approach towards real business.

Well everyoTime.time is running out as the deadline for registration is 28th Nov and for playing the first round is 5th of December. Teams are actually playing the first round while you are busy reading this. Get ready, make a team of three, register and start playing for one of the biggest business competitions.

There is a lot more that you could know about this competition on their website.
by Afiq AUS Bizzwhizz correspondent

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QSTP - GE Centre another Milestone

Doha • Staffing is under way at the GE Technology and Learning Centre which will be housed at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) spanning an area of 13,000 to 14,000 sqm.

Centre General Manager Hasan Dandashly said yesterday the facility is presently in its design phase and should be ready by the end of 2008. "Staffing for oil and gas is currently going on, he said. The centre is starting operations before its actual opening, at least in fields where facilities like laboratories are not required.

Dandashly was speaking at the conclusion of a GE Investors' Meeting held at the Ritz-Carlton yesterday. During the interaction he introduced the gathering to the training centre and said the "response was good".

GE, he said, is helping Qatar build a knowledge-based economy by capitalising on the human resources in the region through use of increasing high-tech advantages and localisation.

An aviation training school will be a part of the centre with engineers from Qatar Airways and other regional airlines expected to make use of the facilities. It should be noted that those receiving training will not be rookies but full-fledged engineers looking to keep up with the latest in developments and updating their skills

The Peninsula reported

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ResourCes for the Resourcesful mInD

Check out the e-libraray on Dubai Chamber of Commerse and Industry's (DCCI) website. Some of the books are pretty impressive and all that plus more for free, so feed your craving for business writtings. Check it out. This is another evidence of Dubai's vision which reflects in the different departments.

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Oman to finally have Meter Cabs


Plans are in the final stage for implementation to bring into effect a new stage of having to put order into the taxi cab business in the Sultanate of Oman.

Oman will finally have its own taxi cabs equipped with GPS, fully functional air-conditioned, and communication-enabled. After complaining for several years against bad drivers, unconditioned inappropriate vehicles and of miscommunication with the drivers, the customers have been releaved.

There are now exactly over 60,000 taxi cabs in the Muscat Governate and over thousands more all over the Sultanate of which only 10% that this project will cover in it's first phase which is likely to be in the beginning of 2007 or by the end of the first quarter of 2007.

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Pakistan - GCC Free Trade Agreement

Pakistan is set to sign a FTA with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) by the end of the year. The FTA is expected to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers that are hindering bilateral trade

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri said that Pakistan has an important role to play in regional development and due to its geographic location it is a bridge between the Middle East, Central Asia and the Far East. Pakistan will play a key role in the supply of gas to India and China from Iran, Qatar, and Turkmenistan, he added.

GulfNews Reported
Pakistan expects to conclude a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the GCC this year and believes it will help tilt the trade balance in favour of Pakistan, a minister said on Thursday.
A ministerial meeting between Pakistan and the UAE will take place in Islamabad on December 6. The UAE delegation will be led by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

If implimented with all fairness it will be a decision that will bring shifts to the economic paradigms.

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Rising to be the Most Expensive City - Dubai is on a run !!!

The Mercer HR consulting report has released Dubai new ranking in the Most Expensive Cities to Live and yes it has done well. Very well for itself and killing for the expat workforce. Dubai rose from 73rd rank last year to 25th this year.


So being positive this is a good thing. The city has undergone huge infrastructure improvement and the with the light rail around the corner the traffic problems will also dissolve. But is it really a big enough market as it portrays to be? The expensive living costs are driving out middle class expat families and ofcourse expensive taxis, food and hotels are curbing the expanding tourism industry.

Well its not all so bleek but the authorities do need to setup regulatory bodies to watch human interests. I am sure the think tanks are constantly finding ways to win people and loyalties but my humble suggestion is that Dubai needs to figure out a way of owning the people who pour their sweat and blood into its foundations. Years and years of service and people get a six month ban stamp, just a point to ponder

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Millenium launches $5bn fund

Millenium Finance, whose partners include Dubai Islamic bank and Dubai World, says it plans to create $5bn worth of private-equity funds to invest in high growth emerging markets, Bloomberg reported. The funds will buy companies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia in industries including energy, financial services, property, health, media and telecommunications.
www.ameinfo.com End Post

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Al Habtoor Interiors and Index 2006 together for Local Young Talent

Index has teamed up with Al Habtoor Interiors (AHI), a pioneer in interiors design solutions, to present the 4th annual Student Pavilion, which is designed to give students of UAE Universities the opportunity to participate in the largest interiors show in the Middle East and one of the world's most highly respected events of its kind.

'A unique showcase of young local talent, this is the second year that the show has incorporated a competition for local students,' said Bernard Walsh, Managing Director of dmg world media Dubai, organisers of Index. 'Al Habtoor Interiors offer invaluable support through their donation of the prizes and turning the winning design into reality and constructing it on the student pavilion for which we donate the floor space.' To inspire and motivate budding talent, AHI has once again been the driving force behind the 'AHI Young Designer's Award', the winners receiving a prize of Dhs. 10,000 and the unique privilege of having their model built and exhibited at Index.

This year, the participating universities included the American University in Dubai, Zayed University and Ajman University of Science and Technology, and the challenge was to design a lounge bar - a total of nine groups participated. The submitted designs were judged by panel of eminent judges from different walks of the industry, which comprised Mr. Guy Roukaerts, Editor of Gulf Interiors Magazine; Ms. Elena Carabelli, GM, I Design Details; Dr. Mamoun Abu Khait, GM, Al Habtoor Interiors and Mr. Nishanth Narayan, Partner & Creative Director, Client Advertising. The judging criteria included research, creativity, design development, presentation techniques, implementation feasibility and working within a defined budget.

'This competition sees Al Habtoor Interiors forging ahead with its impeccable track record of delivering value to customers and society at large,' said Lina Sadek, Corporate Affairs Manager of Al Habtoor Interiors. 'We take our corporate social responsibility very seriously, and enjoy helping young students showcase their talent.'
Students were given complete freedom to interpret the theme in their own individual manner, allowing them to demonstrate their creativity and imagination to the maximum, and the quality, ideas and perceptions of the entries surprised the judges. Every group came up with exceptional concepts, making the final decision very difficult.

The competing students enjoyed every moment, as the exercise gave them a feel of the real world, as well as giving them the opportunity to discover their own inherent skills and aptitude. Their enthusiasm saw them working overnight on minute details and finishing touches. A number of presentation tools, including perspectives, mood boards, 3D animation, powerpoint slides, sketches, and 3D models were used. The competition also served to create awareness of the vast talent pool that exists within aspiring designers.

The winners were the team from Zayed University, whose design was inspired by the sweeping curves of the Guggenheim Museum in Spain. It has been fabricated by AHI and is on display showcased at Index 2006, which runs through until Saturday 11th November at Dubai Exhibition Centre.

'Exhibitors at the event have also been given the opportunity to recruit from the talent on show,' said Kim Willis, Exhibition Development Director of dmg world media Dubai. 'Index is the ideal place for the world's industry professionals to view future talent here in the UAE and for local universities to make invaluable industry contacts.'
ameinfo.com

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Doha Agenda hailed as best of Initiatives

The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) launched in 2001 is the most comprehensive and ambitious round of trade negotiations ever attempted, Valentine Rugwabiza, Deputy Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), told reporters here yesterday.

"Firstly, it invigorates and extends the negotiations for liberalising access to markets in agriculture and in industrial goods and services. In each of these areas there remains serious impediments to trade, competition and economic efficiency," she said at the end of the two-day OECD Policy Dialogue on aid.

"Equally important, we are looking to improve and strengthen the rules of the system — the architecture of international commerce to rebalance them and make them more development friendly."
The Doha mandate, she said, also led into new practical areas such as facilitating the flow of trade, by reducing and simplifying formalities and procedures for the business community.

Rugwabiza noted that for the first time ever, development objectives were placed at the heart of the round, pointing out that the overriding objective of the negotiations was to ensure that trade functions as a tool for development.
She said that what was on the table today in areas such as agriculture, industrial goods and services, represented already two to three times what was agreed during the Uruguay Round.
Members agreed to eliminate agriculture export subsidies by 2013 with a bigger part of it by 2010, she said, adding that the methodology that was agreed on to reduce industrial tariffs would tear down tariff escalation and tariff peaks, eliminating all tariffs and quotas for at least 97 per cent of all least developed countries' exports.

"What is all the more important is that the proposals on the table present a unique opportunity for poor countries to trade their way out of poverty. These promises which were on the table in July are now put on hold."
She said that the WTO General Council decided to suspend negotiations to allow a period of time out for ministers to consider how they could contribute to breaking the remaining obstacles in the negotiations in agricultural subsidies and agricultural market access.

In the current deadlock, she said, the main actors were the US on domestic subsidies, the EU on agricultural tariffs and emerging economies like India on market access also.

However, she noted that there have been numerous calls for a resumption of the negotiations and that there is clearly a high level of political support for the round. "We need more than ever the revival of the Doha spirit — common approach spirit between all members — to return and put the negotiations back on track," she added.
The Peninsula - 08/11/2006

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World Trade Point Federation (WTPF)

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) gave birth to WTPF. Using a network of more than 120 trade information and facilitation centres in more than 90 countries WTPF assists small and medium sized enterprizes (SMEs).These facilitation centres are called Trade Points which basically facilitates international trade using the wide spread network across borders through the use of electronic commerce technologies.

Its has regional sections on its website where Middle East exists as 'Arab Countries' with UAE as the only GCC country to be in the list. Dubai has taken a lead and brings the service to local businesses. Its difficult to get to the Dubai Trade Point page from DCCI's website but I have the link here. The registeration fees as stated on this page is 1000Dhs/year which I think is very reasonable for any size of business. Remind you WTPF has the moto of helping small and medium enterprizes thus will surely be a good tool for young entrepreneurs.
Post End

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Oman Mail: privatization just for the sake of it?

A newly formed company has been established just today, by the name of Oman Mail.

The new company is just the privatized version of the Sultanate of Oman's mailing system, refurbished. Yet, there is a question that surfaces upon talking about this subject; Is the government of Oman just trying to liquidate it's assets so that the financial burden of holding these entities would lessen on their own balanced shoulders? Or is there really a need to privatize an organization that has had less competition in the last 30 years than any other communicative facility?

The officials behind the launch claim that there is a competition in the field of ordinary mail. Even so, would that push for the need to privatize such a huge organization?

This writer doubts very much so..

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Entrepreneurs Education an Essential to Growth

It is always essential to be dynamic, to grow to learn and to educate oneself constantly. Here is a good link of videos for entrepreneurs education and personal training. Videos are from Stanford University and are completely free.

Do leave feedback on videos that you like.

End Post

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AIESEC- Leadership Development Seminar

The Leadership Development Seminar for AIESEC Dubai was held on the 28th of October. The Dubai chapter of AIESEC has recruited around 20 new members in the club and their first formal welcome to the club with many relationship building exercises between the old and new members, some fun stuff included dance and a journey in understanding the details of the organization especially the Dubai chapter of the AIESEC.

After the introduction the conference jumped to the activity sessions. The first activity was a fun exercise. The participants were divided into three groups. Two were made to practice the two popular AIESEC dance sequence while the third one had to come up with a role call- something innovative to be done in front of the audience, like a dance, mimicking or any thing else creative. All the groups did all three activities and performed in front of the judges.

The second activity which followed it was a journey towards AIESEC Dubai’s history, how it started and after what hardships was it able to achieve the status that it is in today. Next came the task where one group of two to three people had to present an AIESEC's values either in the form of a play or a dance or with a drawing.

One very interesting activity was about bridging cultural gaps between the diverse team of AIESEC-Dubai. Groups of three were made and each had to find a way using chart sheet, markers and pencils to bridge the gap between them and their team mates.

The most important part of the conference was the simulating AIESEC'sfunctionalitiess. AIESEC has two departments, Incoming Exchange and Outgoing Exchange. Incoming Exchange deals with companies and intern who come into the country from other AISEC clubs all around the world while the Outgoing Exchange department handles meetings with student recruitment, university. The new members were in place of the incoming and outgoing exchange representatives and the old members and the interns were in place of students or company managers to test the skills of the new members. The simulation was just a way to help the new members realize how the AIESEC work is done and what problems could be faced. Obviously there will be training sessions before the new members are asked to go into the real world to do the AIESEC work.

Towards the end was the session of positive psychology, three members at the national level of AIESEC UAE presented. It was about recognizing our strengths and how to remain positive even in the worst situations. They spoke about the positive psychology test that each member whether new or old had to take in order to recognize their top strengths and the members were asked to go and speak to other members and discuss the strengths of both in order to get a better understanding between the members.

The long conference of 12 hours was finally ended with an appreciation line by each attendees as to how they find the conference and what change do they feel within themselves and about AIESEC after this one day conference. Even though it was a long conference by the end I felt a big change in me. Never did I build such a good relationship with so many people in like 12 hours and from the first conference itself I have started to feel that AIESEC will bring a big change in me.
by Afiq-Bizzwhizz AUS correspondent

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Accounting Basics Seminar

A two-day accounting seminar, sponsored by a Dubai-based Filipino organisation, will be held on 27 November and 3 November at the Crowne Plaza, Khaleej Times reported. The seminar is open to Filipinos who want to learn accounting basics. The event would be very fruitful, especially for present, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs.

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Legal Business Structures in Dubai

Individual Establishment: It is an establishment owned by a sole proprietor to operate an economic activity (commercial, professional, industrial, agricultural or real estate). An establishment’s financial liability is linked to the proprietor who shall be responsible for all its financial obligations.
Commercial Company: A company is a contract by which two or more persons enter into an economic profit-generating enterprise. They shall each subscribe a share either in the form of money or work effort, and share an enterprise’s profit or loss. An economic enterprise includes any commercial, financial, industrial, agricultural, real estate or any other type of economic activity.
Civil Companies:
  • Civil companies are formed to practice activities that involve the use of the individual's intellectual powers and effort and/or using tools/instruments (e.g.) lawyers, engineers, consultants, carpenters etc.
  • Under Dubai Local Order No. 63 of 1991 on licensing professionals and tradesmen in the Emirate of Dubai, in order to establish a business, which practices a service or professional activity distinct from a commercial one, the business takes the form of a “Business Partnership”.
  • Professional companies may be 100% foreign owned. However, it is necessary to appoint a local service agent.
  • The obligations of the local service agent towards his principal and third parties shall be restricted to render the usual services in order to enable him to practice the professional or craftsmanship work in the Emirate without holding any responsibility or financial commitment with respect to his principle’s business or activity inside the Emirate or abroad. The relations between the two parties shall be regulated by an agency agreement.

Professional Work: A professional is a person who independently practices a profession based on investing his intellectual powers and acquired information, which generates an income. In such work, he either depends on his own physical effort or uses the help of some tools and equipments, whether solely or with a maximum number of five workers.

Legal Forms of Commercial Companies

Legal forms of commercial companies, pursuant to Federal Law No. 8 of 1984 as amended, is summarized below. For more information, you may refer to the said Law which is available at the Department’s library, offices of legal consultants and advocates, as well as in commercial libraries in the United Arab Emirates.
Partnership Company:

  • A general partnership is an arrangement between two or more partners whereby each of the partners are jointly and severally liable to the extent of all their assets for the company’s liabilities.
  • The Commercial Companies Law provides that only UAE nationals are allowed to be partners in a general partnership company.
  • There is no prescribed minimum capital requirement for the establishment of partnership company.

Limited Partnership Company:

  • A limited partnership company is a company formed by one or more partners, with liabilities to the extent of their assets. In case of one or more limited partners, their liabilities would be limited to the extent of their respective shares in the capital of the company. Joint Venture Company:
  • A joint venture is a company concluded between two or more parties to share the profits or losses of one or more commercial businesses being performed by one of the partners in his personal name. The company shall be confined to the relationship between the partners and will not be effected by third parties.
  • A joint participation venture is restricted to the arrangement between the partners therein and must not be made to third parties. Between the partners themselves, the arrangement is essentially a partnership. Each partner conducting business will generally do so in his own name and will not declare the interest of the other partners to others. The liability of the partners who are conducting business is unlimited with respect to the liabilities of the company. If the liability of the other partners is disclosed, the venture will be treated for every purpose as a general partnership.
  • There are no registration formalities for this type of company as it is not a distinct legal entity.
  • A joint venture company uses the business name and the license of the partner conducting the business. A Memorandum of Association should, however, be prepared to indicate the rights and liabilities of the partners and the method of distribution of the profits and losses.Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC):
  • A public joint stock company is a company whose capital is divided into equal value negotiable shares.
  • The shareholders of a PJSC are liable only to the value of their shares in the capital of the company.
  • The minimum share capital requirement is Dh. 10 million with a nominal face value of AED. 100, a banking entity AED. 40 million for banks and AED 25 million for insurance and investment companies.
  • A PJSC must have at least 10 founder members and its management should be vested in a board of directors consisting of a minimum of three to a maximum of fifteen persons whose term of office may not exceed three years. Directors however can be re-elected when their term of office has expired.
  • A PJSC is required to have a chairman (of the board of directors) who must be UAE national. The majority of the board of directors are required to be UAE nationals.

Private Joint Stock Company:

  • A private joint stock company is essentially the same as a public joint stock company with the following differences:
  • The minimum capital requirement is Dh. 2 million.
  • The shares of a private joint stock company cannot be offered to the public.
  • Only three founder members are required.
  • A Private joint stock company may be converted into a public joint stock company. In order to do so, the following conditions must be met:
  1. The nominal value of the issued shares is fully paid up.
  2. A period of not less than two financial years has passed since the company was formed.
  3. During the two years preceding the application for conversion, the company has achieved net profit distributable to the shareholders, of which average is not less than 10% of the capital.
  4. A resolution of the extraordinary assembly for the conversion of the company is adopted by a majority of three-quarters of the company shareholders.
  5. The Ministry’s decision to convert the company form a private joint stock company to a pubic joint stock company is published in the Official Gazette.

Limited Liability Company (LLC):

  • Limited Liability Company is one with limited liability, where the number of partners may not exceed fifty and should not be less than two. Each of the partners shall only be liable to the extent of his share in the capital. The partners’ participation should not be represented by negotiable certificates.
  • In addition, an LLC has the following legal and commercial characteristics:
    1. The minimum share capital must be AED 300,000 divided into equal shares with a minimum face value of AED 1.000 per share. (for most of the Commercial Industrial activities except General Trading AED. 3 million contracting 1 million Commercial/Industrial/Agricultural holdings and trust companies AED 3 million)
    2. UAE nationals must hold at least 51% of the shares.
    3. Public subscription for raising capital is not permitted.
    4. The management or managers are appointed by Memorandum of Association, by a separate management contract or the general assembly of the partners.
    5. Managers may be one or more of the partners or any other parties provided that they do not exceed a total of five persons.
    6. It is possible to provide in the Memorandum of Association that the profit and losses will be shared in a ratio different to that of the share capital ratios.
    7. It is necessary to appoint an auditor who must be accredited in the UAE.Partnership Limited With Shares Company (PLS):
    • A partnership limited with assets is a company formed by general partners who are jointly liable to the extent of all their assets for the company liabilities, and participating partners who are liable only to the extent of their shares in the capital.
    • The partners whose liability is unlimited must be a UAE national.
    • The minimum share capital requirement for limited partnership is Dh. 500.000.

Branch of a Foreign Company:

  • A branch office is legally regarded as part of its parent company and does not have a separate legal identity from that of its parent company.
  • Branch offices are nevertheless required to have a national agent. If the agent is a company, it must be wholly owned by UAE nationals. The national agent, however, will not acquire any rights or interest in the business of the branch office and will simply provide services on matters which concern federal and local government departments.

Terms & Conditions for conducting Business in the Emirate of Dubai
I. Nationals of the United Arab Emirates:
United Arab Emirates nationals may conduct all commercial, professional and industrial activities subject to the approval issued by the concerned authorities depending upon the activities. For example, media activities require approval of the Ministry of Information and Culture.They may carry on activities through any of the following legal forms:

  • Individual establishment
  • Limited liability company
  • Joint liability company
  • Private shareholding company
  • Public shareholding company
  • Civil business company

II. Nationals of Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC)GCC nationals may conduct most commercial, professional and industrial activities, subject to the approval issued by the concerned authorities depending upon the activities. The may conduct activities through any of the following legal forms:

  • Individual establishment
  • Limited liability company: one or more UAE national partner is required, with a shareholding of not less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
  • Private shareholding company: one or more UAE national partner is required with a shareholding of not less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
  • Public shareholding company.
  • Civil business company: two or more GCC nationals may establish a civil business company to practice a specific profession without a local services agent. However if there are one or more partners who are not GCC nationals, a local services agent who is a UAE national shall be appointed or included as a partner.

III. Nationals of Other CountriesNationals of other Arab or foreign countries may conduct economic activities through any of the following legal forms:

  • Individual establishment: may be established to practice only professional activities, and subject to the appointment of a local services agent who must be a UAE national.
  • Limited liability company: may be established to carry on any commercial or industrial activity, including one or more UAE partners whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
  • Private shareholding company: may be established to carry on any commercial or industrial activity, including one or more UAE national partners whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
  • civil business company: two or more persons may establish a civil business company to practice a profession, provided that a local services agent, who must be a UAE national is appointed or included as a partner.
  • Public Shareholding Company: Board of Directors takes the decision of allowing non-UAE nationals to become shareholders.

IV. Foreign Companies:Any company incorporated outside the United Arab Emirates may conduct any commercial, industrial or professional activity through one of the following legal forms:

  • Branch of a foreign company
  • Limited liability company: may be established to conduct any commercial or industrial activity, including one or more UAE national partners, whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
  • Private shareholding company: this kind of company shall be established to operate any commercial or industrial activity, including one or more UAE national partner whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
  • Public shareholding company: Board of Directors take the decision of allowing non-UAE nationals to become shareholders.

Reference: Dubai Department of Economic Development, 2004.


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Kingdom of Bahrain: jumping the gun in a fiscal policy

The Kingdom of Bahrain has decided to issue a new currency to take place of the Bahraini Dinar (BD) ahead of the proposed date to join up with the Gulf currency - which, is yet to be named - that is set to move into motion, come 2010.

The new currency that has yet to be named and approved, it is said, will have a different signature than the one printed on the current Bahraini Dinar; carrying with it the signature of Bahraini Central Bank which will be established for this exact purpose along with laying out the other basic fiscal policies for the Kingdom.

The question that lies here is if the Kingdom of Bahrain wants to really join the Gulf currency or not, specially after such a short period of changing it's local currency and to what purpose would it serve to change it's own currency now?
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