Author Archives: Riad Al-Khouri

Global Arab finance comes of age

Global Arab finance comes of age

Surplus cash from Middle East energy producing countries has been running around the world for over three decades, seeking better returns in offshore havens. However, since the 1970s, investments by Arab states have had the potential to alarm destination countries. An important example of this came after the Kuwaitis acquired about 20% of British Petroleum

Oslo’s secrets

Despite its title, The Secret Israel-Palestinian Negotiations in Oslo (Routledge, Oxford: 2007) is no potboiler, being a recent publication in the scholarly Durham Modern Middle East and Islamic World Series. Rather it looks at the topic against the background of negotiation concepts and strategies, focusing particularly on the timely issue of non-recognition. That was certainly

Ties across the river

As reform bears fruit, Jordan’s economy may finally beready to take off into sustainable growth. Recentindications of this came at the Dead Sea World EconomicForum gathering in May, which witnessed the signature ofinvestment deals for Jordan totaling $2.5 billion. (Bycomparison, all of 2006’s direct foreign investment intoJordan totaled $3 billion) Given that and other strongeconomic

Boomtown: managing UAE growth

The Gulf economies have moved ahead in the currentdecade. The extent of change is apparent when we rememberthat only eight years ago, the price of a barrel of OPECcrude went as low as $9, and vast Arab investment went tothe US or Europe compared to the money put into business athome. In sharp contrast, today’s

Inter Arab Trade

Arab political unity, from being a mantra in the 1950s,has turned into a joke, and today the Arab world’s 22"sister" countries regularly bicker in an endless politicaltragic-comedy. Politically, fragmentation of the Arab worldis clear, but what about economics? The same lack ofintegration had been true in the late 20th century of Arabeconomies as it was

Jordan-US QIZ could be better

The Jordanian economy has done pretty well recently,boasting high growth rates, attracting attention fromregional investors, and enjoying increasing exports.Regarding the latter, the kingdom chalked up close to $4.1billion in national merchandise exports last year, up byalmost 13% on 2005. Traditional Jordanian production such asfertilizers (the country’s second most important good soldabroad) still accounted for almost

Dollar not what it used to be

The US dollar may still be king in terms of foreign-exchange reserves and denomination of international transactions, but the American currency is no longer absolute monarch of the global economy. The yawning US trade deficit and a huge overhang of debt denominated in greenback are causing concern regarding its reserve currency status. Since the middle

Ras Al Khaimah set to grow

Ras Al Khaimah (or RAK as it is affectionately known by the sprinkling of expats that have lived and worked there) was the Gulf’s best kept secret—until it positioned itself as a serious investment destination. An important milestone in this respect was the May 2005 investors’ conference held in the emirate by the RAK government

Smooth as silk

The world economy was until recently a cozy club of the countries of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD – a grouping of 30 of the world’s biggest and more prosperous states) and of the multilateral organizations that they largely finance and control, including the World Bank. However, that coziness could now be