• Monday, 09 April 2018
  • Published inApril 2018

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Country Risk Update
Saudi Arabia
Risk Indicator – DB3c
Risk Level – Slight

Ratings Trend – Stable

Dun & Bradstreet upgrades its rating outlook for Saudi Arabia due to several factors, including oil price strength, a new bankruptcy law and easing political tensions.Longer-term growth will be driven by government reforms under its Vision 2030, which aims to reduce its dependence on oil export revenues and boost the private sector.

Market Overview

DEWA reveals plans to power UAE’s largest eco-friendly attraction
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced plans to support the development of the Al Marmoom Conservation Reserve with six sustainable development projects.Launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Al Marmoom Conservation Reserve aims to become the UAE’s largest environmental tourist destination that attracts one million visitors annually.The Reserve, which will be a home for the area’s unique plants and animals and local and migratory birds, will feature a total of over 20 projects implemented by nine government organisations.

UAE, Oman forecast to lead Gulf economic growth in 2018
Higher oil prices coupled with improved global economic conditions are expected to support growth momentum of the GCC countries, according to a new report.Seltem Iyigun, Coface economist for Middle East & Turkey, said real GDP growth rates in the GCC are expected to average around 2.3 percent compared to 0.6 percent in 2017.Growth will remain below pre-2014 levels due to volatile energy prices and geopolitical uncertainties, she said.Oil prices averaged $54 a barrel in 2017, up from $46 in 2016, and are expected to average at $57 in 2018.Iyigun said the UAE and Oman are expected to lead growth rates in the Gulf this year with 3.8 percent, followed by Kuwait with 3.1 percent.

Alibaba Files Lawsuit Against Dubai-Based Developers Behind The Cryptocurrency Alibabacoin
China’s Alibaba filed a lawsuit this week against a cryptocurrency under development in Dubai called Alibabacoin, saying its creators intentionally used the Chinese e-commerce giant’s trademarked name in an attempt to raise more than $3.5 million in an initial coin offering (ICO).Alibaba Group filed the lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in New York, stating that the legal action arose from an unlawful scheme to misappropriate the company’s “renowned brand name in order to deceive investors in the U.S. and around the world with a single-minded focus to capitalize on [the] Plaintiff’s reputation for success.”The lawsuit lists a number of defendants associated with the cryptocurrency: the Alibabacoin Foundation (or ABBC Foundation), ABBC Block Chain IT Solutions LLC, Alibabacoin General Trading FZE and Alibabacoin Foundation LLC, as well as Jason Daniel Paul Philip and Hasan Abbas.

Egypt To Launch A New Free Zone In South Sinai
Egypt plans to establish a new economic free zone in the coastal town of Nuweiba in the South Sinai province, as a part of a comprehensive plan aiming to develop Sinai.“The government seeks to pour investment into needy areas, including Sinai and Upper Egypt, to accelerate economic growth” said Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation.The new duty-free zone will benefit from investment incentives, such as a three-year 50% tax exemption for projects launched in the free zone, subject to a renewal by the government.Free zones contribute to 24% of Egypt’s exports and provide around a million direct and indirect job opportunities. The new zone will bring the number of local free zones to 11, with Nuweiba and El Minya the only ones to be launched in Egypt since 2005.Egypt’s public free zones attracted $2 billion in FDI in 2016. Total investment in free zones reached $26 billion in 2016, with 1,108 companies contributing around $10 billion to Egypt’s exports.

Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts launch digital ‘eCourts’ platform
Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Courts have launched an “eCourts” platform that allows users to monitor their cases around the clock, file documents and take part in remote court hearings, the entity announced on April 7, 2018.The platform, which was developed in partnership with Microsoft, allows users to initiative, manage and monitor ongoing cases through mobile devices, as well as file documents and receive SMS notifications updating them on their case. Additionally, “electronic evidence bundles” are included at no additional cost. Court hearings can also be conducted through video conferencing technology, accessed through an integrated calendar.

Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Conference 2018
Dubai World Trade Centre
09 April 2018 to 11 April 2018
Business Updates

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