The Arab League considers itself a loose confederation of 22 Arab nations, whose broad mission is to improve coordination and communication among its members in terms of common interest. The League was developed in response to concerns about post-war colonial territory divisions. The initial agreement was signed in Cairo on March 22, 1945 by representatives of the first six member states–Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, and there are indications that they will be signing another agreement on the basis of an Arab military force in the near future.
globalEDGE Blog - By Tag: business-in-the-middle-east-series
gE Blog Series: Business in the Middle East Part 4 - Debunking the Myths of the Syrian Refugee Crisis
Since 2011, Syria has had civil unrest beginning with the Arab Spring protests, which were nationwide protests against the government which resulted in violent crackdowns by the Syrian government. Soon enough, it changed from protests to armed rebellion from various groups formed during the protesting process. Groups involved include al-Qaeda affiliates, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Syrian Government, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Since the FSA is considered an opposition faction, it is able to receive support by the United States and other Gulf Countries, giving it increased fighting capacity. During the Syrian crisis, around 5 million citizens have fled the country seeking a new home. It is believed by many that the movement of Syrian refugees into many Middle Eastern and European Union countries is becoming economically unstable.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) trade bloc has six member states within the Middle East: United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait. The trade bloc was entered into force on December 1, 1981, covering goods and services as well as military trade between the countries.
gE Blog Series: Business in the Middle East Part 2- Iran Preparing for Business Growth in Post-Sanction Era
Since Iran refused to suspend it uranium enrichment program in 1979, various international sanctions have been imposed on this country in order to restrict its policies of developing nuclear weapons. The cost of such military development is the loss of the oil production capacity, which decreased from over 7 million barrels per day in 1979 to around 4.2 million in 2003. Iran has realized the need to boost its oil output for economic growth and it has agreed to curb its nuclear program. In July, Iran signed a historic nuclear deal with six global powers to waive the sanctions, which are expected to be lifted in early 2016. The country is now preparing for the expected economic growth in the coming year.
Doing business in a foreign country or region can be challenging, especially when the culture is substantially different from what one is used to. Thus, informing oneself of the cultural norms and the way business is conducted in a given country can be extremely beneficial and help to prevent mistakes that could damage business relationships. When conducting business in the Middle East, there are several things a businessperson should keep in mind. This blog post highlights some of the key cultural differences to be aware of.