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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’

Global Competitiveness Report Gives Israel High Marks for Innovation [video]

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Each year, the World Economic Forum releases its Global Competitiveness Report, examining data on the soundness, resilience, sophistication and innovation of businesses in each country to compile evaluations of the economy of 138 countries, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.

The 2016-2017 edition highlights that declining openness is threatening growth and prosperity. It also highlights that monetary stimulus measures such as quantitative easing are not enough to sustain growth and must be accompanied by competitiveness reforms. Final key finding points to the fact that updated business practices and investment in innovation are now as important as infrastructure, skills and efficient markets.

“Declining openness in the global economy is harming competitiveness and making it harder for leaders to drive sustainable, inclusive growth,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

On the Global Competitiveness Index for 2016–2017, Israel is ranked in 24th place, behind Switzerland, Singapore, the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Hong Kong and Japan, and directly behind Ireland in 23rd place. In last year’s report, Israel was ranked 27th. UAE in 16th place and Qatar in 18th are the other two Middle Eastern countries in the top 25, but for Qatar the ranking represents a 4-point drop from last year’s report.

Among other areas, the World Economic Forum looks at innovation, taking into account the quality of scientific research, company spending on Research and Development, ties between academia and industry, the number of patents, and the number of engineers and scientists in each country. In the index for innovation and sophistication factors, Israel is ranked in 2nd place (the US is 4th), with Switzerland in first place.

In innovation capacity, Israel is 9th, Switzerland 1st, the US 6th.

In business dynamism, Israel is ranked 19th, right behind Canada (the US is in first place, Germany 10th).

The most problematic factors for doing business in Israel, according to the report (in descending order): inefficient government bureaucracy, high tax rates, policy instability, an inadequately educated workforce, problems in access to financing, excessive tax regulations, and restrictive labor regulations.

Israel’s least problematic issues: little corruption (who would have thunk, right?), capacity to innovate (there’s plenty), work ethic in national labor force (Israelis work like horses), crime and theft (very low), inflation (non-existent), and public health (Israel has one of the best public health programs in the West).

According to the International Monetary Fund, Israel’s GDP is $296.1 billion, GDP per capita $35,343.3

The Middle East and North Africa region continues to experience significant instability in geopolitical and economic terms as spillover effects from the conflicts in Libya, Syria, and Yemen are undermining economic progress in the entire region.

Instability is also being created by the uncertain future of energy prices after recent falls, which affect the region’s countries in different ways. Oil-exporting countries—which include Algeria (87th), Bahrain (48th), the Islamic Republic of Iran (76th), Kuwait (38th), Oman (66th), Qatar (18th), Saudi Arabia (29th), the United Arab Emirates (16th), and Yemen (138th)—are experiencing lower growth, higher fiscal deficits, and rising concerns about unemployment. Growth in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies averaged 5.2 percent between 2000 and 2012, but fell to 2.5 percent in 2015. The forecast for 2016 is also 2.5 percent, and rising oil supplies are  expected to keep prices low and limit growth expectations for the coming years.

JNi.Media

Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council Declares Hezbollah a Terror Group

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council led by Saudi Arabia formally declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization on Wednesday (March 2). The group has already been declared a terrorist entity by the European Union and the United States.

Hezbollah was blacklisted by the group in response to hostile acts perpetrated within GCC member states, the GCC said in a statement. Among the offenses listed were attempts to recruit new terrorists and smuggling weapons and explosives. In particular, Hezbollah’s support for the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen is of great concern to the Saudis and its Gulf partners.

The other five members of the GCC are the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. All have recently withdrawn staff members from their embassies in Beirut and issued warnings to their citizens against travel to Lebanon.

The move is seen by analysts as the lining up of Sunni Muslim nations against the Shi’ite Iranian axis being formed in the region. But it is also a move by Saudi Arabia to draw closer to the Western world at a time when radical Islamists are pulling Muslim-majority nations in the opposite direction.

Arab leaders are being faced with a difficult choice: join the 21st century with the West or risk one’s role at the top by either doing nothing or siding with extremist Islamists. As deeply conservative and even radical Saudi Arabia itself might be, it appears that its leadership sees the writing on the wall and has opted to avoid another Arab Spring.

Hezbollah has been sending fighters to the Syrian front for years to battle on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad alongside the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Hezbollah has also provided training and other technical assistance to Hamas on behalf of Iran prior to the Gaza-based terrorist group’s wars with Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Fearful of Neighbor Iran, Gulf States Looking to Buy Israel’s Iron Dome

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

(JNi.media) Bahrain and some of its partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are currently negotiating to purchase Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system to defend against “a growing arsenal of Iranian missiles,” Sky News reported.

Developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries, the Iron Dome system intercepts and destroys short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 2.5 to 43 miles, after analyzing whether their trajectory would take them to a populated area. First deployed in late March 2011, by late October 2014, the Iron Dome systems had intercepted more than 1,200 rockets shot from the Gaza Strip at Israeli towns and villages.

Sky News speculated that a deal that would include the entire GCC: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, could be worth hundreds, of billions of dollars.

Sky News cited Bahrain’s foreign minister Khalid bin Mohammed al Khalifa, who said on the visit to London: “The Israelis have their small Iron Dome. We’ll have a much bigger one in the GCC.” He also said: “Iran has been trying to undermine and topple government in our region for years.”

A senior Gulf government source told Sky News: “If Netanyahu were not making less of a mess of things and was more like Anwar Sadat (who signed a peace deal for Egypt with Israel) then we would be happy to buy the missiles straight from Israel.” However, to save the GCC the embarrassment of purchasing a lifeline from the Zionist entity, the US has offered its services in brokering the deal, Sky News reported.

JNi.Media

Germany Expels Four Syrian Diplomats

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle announced Thursday that his country is expelling four members of the Syrian Embassy.

“After the arrest of two persons suspected of spying for Syria, I have ordered the expulsion of four members of the Syrian Embassy in Berlin,” Westerwelle said in a statement.

The expulsion comes at an especially sensitive time for the Syrian regime, after the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council announced the expulsion of their Syrian ambassadors and the withdrawal of their envoys from Syria. Tunisia also announced earlier this week that it intends to expel its Syrian ambassador in response to the intensifying government brutality in Homs.

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/germany-expels-four-syrian-diplomats/2012/02/09/

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