XUZHOU, Chine, 23 février 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Cinq apprentis internationaux ont visité le siège social de XCMG, un fabricant international d’équipements miniers et de construction basé à Xuzhou, en Chine, pour un programme d’apprentissage immersif d’une semaine du 18 au 24 janvier chez XCMG. Découvrez le communiqué de presse multimédia interactif ici : http://www.multivu.com/players/uk/7764851-xcmg-apprentice-program/ Photo – […]
Smartphone solutions provider expands global reach and introduces the S8 – the first phone to deliver smiles BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Gionee, a global telecommunications solutions provider, today officially launched a new brand identity at the Mobile World Congress. “The smiling face on new logo shows our desire to create happiness by […]
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 22 2016 (IPS) – The continued decline in oil prices is threatening to have a direct and indirect impact on several fronts, including development aid, migrant workers and remittances, voluntary contributions to UN agencies, humanitarian assistance to refugees and infrastructure-building in the Gulf countries.
Still, the drop in oil revenues is unlikely to have any immediate impact on uninterrupted arms supplies to the Middle East – even as military conflicts and insurgencies in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya show no signs of de-escalation.
“The military intervention in Yemen by a coalition of Arab states, which began in 2015, was facilitated by high levels of arms imports” by several countries in the coalition, says a new report released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The nine-member Saudi-led coalition battling Youthi rebels in Yemen includes Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Sudan.
In 2011–2015, Saudi Arabia’s arms imports alone increased by 275 per cent compared with 2006–2010.
Although concerns have been raised in arms-supplying states over Saudi air attacks in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is expected to continue to receive large numbers of major arms from those states—specifically from the US, UK and France — in the next five years, says SIPRI.
The report said arms on order include 150 combat aircraft and thousands of air-to-surface missiles and anti-tank missiles from the US, 14 combat aircraft from the UK and an undisclosed but large number of armoured vehicles from Canada with turrets from Belgium.
The US, which also provides military intelligence to the Saudis on the situation on the ground in Yemen, has complained about the increasing number of civilian casualties attributed both to Saudi and rebel forces.
Asked if arms purchases will decline if oil prices keep falling, Pieter Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the Arms and Military Expenditure Programme at SIPRI told IPS: “It’s hard to see how Saudi Arabia can keep up the pace, even though it will depend on how much long-term benefits it may gain from low oil prices, which push other oil suppliers with much higher production costs out of the market.”
However, in terms of deliveries right now, several major contracts for arms supplies to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE are being implemented, with deliveries on-going or starting soon, he added.
“That means, in terms of deliveries, the volumes of arms imports by these countries are scheduled to remain high for the coming five years or so”, Wezeman pointed out.
The decline in oil prices in the world market has been described as the lowest in nearly 13 years, with the price of a barrel falling to less than $30 last week compared with a high of $110 in 2014.
The recession in the oil market has also resulted in mass staff lay-offs in US alternate energy companies, including shale producers, which have either declared bankruptcies or struggling to survive.
On average, oil producing countries in the Middle East depend on oil revenues for anything between 25 to 75 percent of their budgetary incomes.
The SIPRI report says that with a 33 per cent share of total arms exports, the US was the top arms exporter in 2011–2015.
Its exports of major weapons increased by 27 per cent compared with 2006–2010, and the US delivered major weapons to at least 96 states in 2011–2015, a significantly higher number of export destinations than any other supplier.
The largest recipients were Saudi Arabia, accounting for 9.7 per cent of US arms exports, and the UAE with 9.1 per cent.
At the regional level, the Middle East was the largest recipient of US weapons, accounting for 41 per cent of arms exports.
Asia and Oceania received 40 per cent and Europe 9.9 per cent. Supplies of aircraft accounted for 59 per cent of the volume of US arms exports.
As of the end of 2015, the US had numerous outstanding large arms export contracts, including contracts to supply a total of 611 of its new generation F-35 combat aircraft to nine states.
Wezeman told IPS most countries in the Saudi-led coalition use mainly US or European arms.
Russia and China have not succeeded yet in getting many major contracts in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar or Morocco– despite their attempts at seeking markets.
“From what I can see, it has been predominantly US supplied equipment that has been used by the collation leaders, followed by UK and French equipment. But as detailed information is limited, a more accurate assessment is difficult to make,” he said.
In particular, Russia and somewhat less China, he said, have been more successful in Egypt, which has long sought for diversification of its arms suppliers in the knowledge that the US has a tendency to impose restrictions or temporary embargoes in reaction to internal political developments.
In addition, he pointed out, price is an important factor too, Wezeman said.
The SIPRI report also said the UAE has continuously had high levels of arms imports since 2001—and its arms imports increased by 35 per cent between 2006–2010 and 2011–2015.
Qatari arms imports rose by 279 per cent between 2006–2010 and 2011–2015. These imports included the first deliveries of a number of large arms contracts that will substantially increase the size of Qatar’s military arsenal.
Some of the outstanding deliveries include 24 combat helicopters, nine air defence systems and three airborne early warning aircraft from the US, 24 combat aircraft from France and 52 tanks from Germany.
Arms imports by Egypt grew by 37 per cent between 2006–2010 and 2011–2015.
Egyptian arms imports rose steeply in 2015. The US lifted a partial suspension of arms supplies to Egypt and delivered 12 combat aircraft, and France delivered a frigate within months of a deal being signed.
In 2014 and 2015 Egypt signed a number of large deals for weapons from France, Germany and Russia.
The SIPRI report also said that six of the top 10 largest arms importers in the five-year period 2011–2015 are in Asia and Oceania: India (14 per cent of global arms imports), China (4.7 per cent), Australia (3.6 per cent), Pakistan (3.3 per cent), Viet Nam (2.9 per cent) and South Korea (2.6 per cent).
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XUZHOU, China, Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Five international apprentices visited global construction and mining equipment manufacturer XCMG’s headquarters in Xuzhou, China for a one-week immersive XCMG Apprentice Program from January 18 to 24. Experience the interactive Multimedia News Release here: http://www.multivu.com/players/uk/7764851-xcmg-apprentice-program/ Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160222/335603 Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160222/335604 Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160222/335606 Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160222/335607 The program […]
BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire — Gionee, a global telecommunications solutions provider, will officially launch its new smartphone S8 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016. The phone will open up a new era of mobile video shooting and photography. Gionee has started to produce phones since 2002 and owned the longest history among those […]
THE CONGRESS, SP and BSP may speak up in Parliament, but on the ground, in Uttar Pradesh, they appear subdued by the BJP’s aggressive framing of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) issue as a shorthand for a resetting of political focus on the “enemy within”. As the BJP tries to draw a broader polarisation between “us” the nationalists and “them” the anti-nationals/ Leftists/ Islamists/ political opponents of the Modi regime/ Indian Muslims, non-BJP parties can be said to be looking on, at best. There is little or no attempt to challenge the BJP on JNU, either on its own ground, or by articulating the issue as one that involves freedom of expression, or the university’s autonomy.
Amid hopes of a rise in the number of tourists to Iran [as a result of nuclear agreement that was reached between Iran and P5+1], the United States passed a law which can hurt Iran’s tourism industry.
The law has changed the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which normally allows nationals from 38 countries to travel to the United States without visas. As a result of the changes, the program no longer includes dual nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan, or anyone else who has traveled to the four mentioned countries in the past five years.
About 20 million European nationals visit the US each year. This large figure can indicate how Iran’s tourism industry will be affected by the changes in the VWP.
The majority of tourists come to Iran from Germany, France, Belgium, Britain and the US.
Iran plans to attract about 20 million foreign tourists per year by 2025 to achieve the objectives of the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2015-2020).
Iran Daily interviewed Naser Rezaei, a leading expert from Tourism Research Center affiliated to Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, to learn more about the impacts of the US law on the number of tourists visiting Iran.
IRAN DAILY: How many foreign tourists visited Iran last year? Has Iran witnessed a significant growth year-on-year?
NASER REZAEI: More than 4.5 million foreigners visited Iran in the year to March 2015, during which the number of outbound tourists and the number of arrivals were balanced for the first time after so many years.
Iran witnessed a 200-percent growth in the number of arrivals in Spring 2015 compared with the figure for the corresponding period last year.
In addition, most hotels, tourism agencies and accommodation centers across the country are reportedly fully booked up to March 2016 with the number arrivals expected to exceed 5 million during this period.
Iran ranked among top 50 destinations in 2015 despite negative reports by certain media outlets to tarnish Iran’s tourism industry. Iran was also internationally recognized as a secure and peaceful nation with hospitable people in 2015. What are the main objectives of tourists visiting Iran?
Tourists come to Iran for various reasons including sightseeing, enjoying natural attractions and making pilgrimage. Some of the tourists also come here for treatment.
Pilgrims constitute the majority of tourists to Iran followed by tourists interested in historical sites.
Health tourism has witnessed a significant growth over the past few years thanks to steps taken by the incumbent administration to improve health centers.
Iran has many breathtaking natural attractions which still remain unknown to many tourists.
We also lag behind other nations in attracting sport tourists, most of whom are the youth.
Which European nationals constitute the majority of arrivals to Iran?
Germans make up the majority of foreign tourists to Iran, followed by French, Belgium, and British nationals. More Europeans wanted to travel to Iran after Iran was ranked among the top 50 destinations last year. Although the number of European tourists to Iran is much lower than the number of Asian tourists and those coming from neighboring nations, European nationals play a greater role in increasing Iran’s tourism revenues because they spend much more.
How can changes in VWP prevent European nationals from traveling to Iran?
The law can have negative impacts on Iran’s tourism industry. While, it is true that most hotel rooms and accommodation centers are fully booked in Iran until March 2016, such a negative and anti-Iran law can lead to a decline in the number of arrivals.
Such a law not only hurts Iran’s tourism industry but also places restrictions on scientists who have to travel to Iran for scientific research projects.
What can the government do to avoid the adverse impacts of such law?
ICHHTO is unable to solve this problem alone. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must be involved in solving the problem.
For years, Iran has been seeking to ease travel restrictions so that nationals of certain nations can travel to Iran without visas. Such programs are helpful in reducing the adverse impacts of such an anti-Iran law.
Experts have predicted that the number of Russian tourists to Turkey would decline as a result of the recent developments in relations between the two nations. Many neighboring countries have planned to attract Russian tourists. How do you evaluate Iran’s chances in drawing Russian tourists?
Turkey’s tourism industry has grown in the past few years. According to official reports, Turkey’s income from tourism industry increased from $14.5 billion in 2006 to $24.4 billion in 2014.
Russians make up the majority of tourists to Turkey after the Germans. The decline in the number of Russian tourists to Turkey can hurt the country’s tourism industry. While all neighboring countries seek to attract Russians, Iran is after restoring peace in the region.
A sense of security is the most important factor for tourists when they make a decision on traveling to a region. A tranquil Middle East is to the benefit of all regional nations.
Iran is an ideal destination for every tourist since it has high tourism potentials. However, the country needs to improve its tourism facilities to be able to serve tourists and satisfy them.
Fortunately, the government believes that offering high-quality services to lower number of tourists is much more important than attracting large number of tourists without being able to provide necessary services to them.
Iran must be capable of catering tourists from all age groups and preferences.