Newsletter : 5fax0821.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Aug. 21, 1995, V3, #152
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Israel's Coca-Cola Concession to Export to Russia
Coca-Cola Israel will export 8 million cans of the beverage to
Russia with Russian writing on the cans. The Israeli subsidiary won
the concession in a bid against European Coca-Cola concessionaires.
The Coca-Cola and Sprite drink cans will be marketed in Moscow.
Joint U.S.-Jordanian Maneuvers Under Way
By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)
US and Jordanian military maneuvers are underway in southern
Jordan. The military exercises were previously scheduled but come
amid increased tensions with Iraq over the defection last week of
a top-ranking Iraqi military officer. Iraq is denying US reports of
unusual military movements in the south near the Kuwaiti border.
The joint maneuvers, known as "Infinite Moonlight," are underway in
southern Jordan and should last another two weeks. At the same
time, the US military says it is moving supplies closer to the area
after reporting unusual troop movements in southern Iraq.
Diplomats in the region say they have not seen anything
threatening in southern Iraq. Baghdad says the reports are more
of American saber rattling. The official party newspaper Al Thawra
calls the US build-up "the croaking of frogs."
But tensions have increased in the region after a close confidante
and son-in-law of Saddam Hussein defected with his family and his
brother who led the Presidential Guards. Gen. Hussein Kamel Hassan
directed Iraq's secret weapons programs before he fled Baghdad amid
reports of family feuds and turmoil in Saddam Hussein's inner
circle of power.
Gen. Hassan told a news conference in Jordan he now wants to
overthrow Saddam Hussein and end Iraq's political and economic
Expatriate Palestinians Apprehensive Over Investing in Autonomy
By Jennifer Griffin (Amman)
As Israel and the PLO continue talks on expanding Palestinian
self-rule to the West Bank, investors are positioning themselves to
profit from the new peace. Palestinian business leaders in Jordan
say they need more assurances before they invest their money.
Palestinian political analyst Labib Kamhawi says Jordanian
investors have millions of dollars to invest, but they want to see
a new legal framework in the territories to protect their business
"The euphoria which accompanied the return of Arafat to Gaza
quickly subsided and was slaughtered by the harsh fact, the harsh
realities of life inside the Strip, inside jericho, and inside the
West Bank. People are not extremely confident about the
professional abilities of Arafat's administration to run the
country on a modern and equitable basis."
Many investors and analysts like Kamhawi say they are concerned the
former Israeli-occupied territories are being run by decree, with
Arafat acting as tribal chief.
"It's rampant public corruption and when there is such rampant
corruption in such a volatile environment, the private capital runs
Recently, Arafat asked a conference of business leaders in Jordan
why they were not investing in the West Bank and Gaza. Investors
told him they needed some assurance of governmental accountability.
Businessmen say they are not sure which laws apply in the occupied
territories, and wonder to whom they should apply for licenses:
Israel or Arafat? Some banks have reopened in Palestine but few
are lending money because there is no legal mechanism for them to
Those who are investing focus on areas sure to make money, such as
telecommunications and electricity.
After the Israel-PLO peace accord was signed in Oslo in 1993, a
group of wealthy Palestinians pooled their resources and set up the
Palestine Development and Investment Company, or Padico.
The group of tycoons is sometimes described as the Rockefellers and
Trumps of the Palestinian Diaspora. They raised $200 million
dollars for business ventures in Palestine by selling shares in
their investment company.
Investors willing to risk putting their money in the uncertain
economies of the West Bank and Gaza believe the potential rewards
could be high. Padico's chief executive, Yousef Ghanem, says those
who wait will be the losers. In two to three years, he says, all
the best projects will be taken.
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