Jordan, struggling to speed up its pace of economic and regulatory reforms, expects foreign direct investment to drop next year before ultimately rebounding, its industry and trade minister has said.
Jordan's economy has been hurt by regional protests and energy supply disruptions tied to the Arab Spring, Minister for Industry and Trade Shabib Ammari said in an interview.
"The last figure that I have in mind today with respect to FDI (foreign direct investment) during 2011 was a bit below $2 billion," he said on the sidelines of the International Economic Alliance symposium.
"I would expect 2013 to be maybe $1.5 billion, anywhere between $1 billion to $1.5 billion, 2014 may double this figure," he added.
An Iranian official says Tehran plans to create its own search engine and e-mail service to replace Google and its Gmail e-mail service, even as it weights lifting a ban on Gmail enacted in response to an anti-Islam film.
Sunday reports by Iranian newspapers including the independent Aftab daily quote Deputy Telecommunications Minister Ali Hakim Javadi as saying he hoped to launch the Fakhr search engine and Fajr e-mail in the near future.
Hakim Javadi said authorities are discussing lifting the ban on Gmail imposed by an Iranian court in response to the posting of the film on YouTube, which is owned by Google.
Egypt has signed a deal to loan $1bn from Turkey, half of the aid package Ankara promised Cairo earlier this month, Egypt's state news agency reported.
President Mohamed Mursi signed the loan agreement with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after giving a speech at Turkey's ruling AK Party conference.
"President Mohamed Mursi and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on signing a loan worth $1bn dollars from Turkey," MENA state news agency said, quoting Egypt's finance minister. It did not give further details of the agreement.
The Taba-Aqaba tourist maritime line has re-opened, following an 18-month closure.
Speaking at the opening, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said the line would serve the two countries' interests, as more than 250,000 people use the route annually.
He added that the reopening would generate about $250 million of revenues for both countries.
At least 32 people have been killed in Iraq as car bomb attacks targeted security forces and Shia pilgrims around the country, police say.
In Taji, a mainly Sunni town north of the capital, Baghdad, four car bombs went off within minutes of each other, killing at least eight people.
In the southern town of Madain, a bomb exploded near a Shia shrine and Iranian pilgrims were among the injured.
There were also attacks in Kut and other Iraqi cities.
The UAE has re-iterated its demand for an end to what it describes as Iranian occupation of three disputed Gulf islands.
Speaking at the 67th session of the United Nationals General Assembly in New York, UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that Iran’s presence on Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs was contrary to international law.
“We hope the Iranian government will deal with this sensitive and important issue in a positive and just manner in order to establish good neighbourly relations, build bridges of cooperation, preserve the common interests between our two countries, and strengthen security and stability in the region as a whole,” Sheikh Abdullah said.