Category Archives: Economics

For Danish Firms, Boycott in Mideast a ‘Nightmare’

For Danish Firms, Boycott in Mideast a ‘Nightmare’
Millions of Dollars in Sales Are Lost as Markets That Were Built Over Decades Disappear in Days

By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, February 11, 2006; A12

COPENHAGEN, Feb. 10 — The Arla Foods plant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which produces cheese and flavored yogurt drinks, sits idle and the company’s 800 employees in the country have been sent home because of a Middle East boycott of Danish goods, following a Danish newspaper’s publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

“It took us 40 years to build up our business in the Middle East, and five days to bring it to a total stop,” said Astrid Nielsen, spokeswoman for the Danish company here. She said suspending operations at the Riyadh plant, the company’s regional base, and a near-total boycott of the company’s products have cost Arla about $1.7 million a day since Jan. 28.

The boycott of Danish goods, propelled by Muslim leaders and imams preaching in mosques, has brought exports of Danish products to the Middle East and North Africa to a virtual standstill. It has scuttled a flow of goods to the region that was worth about $1 billion in the first 10 months of 2005, according to government statistics.

The boycott has been less visible than the angry mobs around the world burning Danish flags, torching embassies and carrying placards calling for “Danish blood.” But it has been just as unnerving for Danish business leaders, who have spent decades expanding their sales of food, pharmaceuticals, industrial equipment and other products into the Middle Eastern market.

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When Will the Oil Run Out

If there are 3 trillion barrels left, we should have the time to find alternatives to oil. If there are only 1 trillion, then we are in trouble

A correspondence between Jeremy Leggett and David Jenkins.

Jeremy Leggett is CEO of Solarcentury.
David Jenkins is a former chief technology adviser to the BP group

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Amity with Israel opens WTO door (for Saudi Arabia)

Amity with Israel opens WTO door

By John Zaracostas
The Washington Times
Published November 12, 2005

GENEVA — Saudi Arabia has agreed to end all economic boycotts of Israel, allowing the World Trade Organization (WTO) yesterday to admit the oil-rich kingdom as its 149th member, diplomats said.

Saudi officials did not comment on the Israel boycott, which had been the key obstacle during the kingdom’s 12-year bid to gain entry.

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WSJ: Middle East Oil-Cash Gusher Lures Foreign Investment Banks

Middle East Oil-Cash Gusher Lures Foreign Investment Banks

Michael Wang, Sarah Spikes and Simeon Kerr. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Nov 14, 2005. pg. C.6

LONDON — Awash with dollars from a pumped-up oil market, the Middle East is becoming a priority growth target for investment banks keen to tap into promising takeover and capital-markets earnings streams.

Up for grabs is about $1 billion in annual income from investment- and corporate-banking activities, a figure investment banks expect to grow exponentially during the next few years.

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