The Middle East has been hit hard by the fallout from the global economic crisis.
The country’s second largest export market, Middle East-China trade, is expected to be down by more than a third this year and by as much as 20% by 2020.
This is according to the report from the International Trade Centre (ITC), a trade consultancy based in Geneva.
The Middle Eastern trade deficit has grown by almost two thirds in the last decade.
The ITC said the Middle East had exported $1.5tn worth of goods in 2020, compared with $1tn in 2009.
“This is the second-highest trade deficit in the world, with Saudi Arabia the biggest and Iran the second biggest,” ITC chief executive, Robert Clements, said.
“The Middle East is a major transit country for large quantities of oil and gas.”
The Middle-East has been particularly hard hit by the collapse in oil prices and the fall in the value of the local currency.
“Middle Eastern economies are very dependent on oil prices to finance their foreign exchange needs,” ITCA head of research and analysis, Hala Ghafoor, told BBC News.
“With the collapse of oil prices, the Middle-Eastern economies have had to rely heavily on international trade to finance this,” she added.
“We estimate that by 2020, Middle Eastern economies will be facing a deficit of $3.6tn.”
“We think it is going to be a real challenge to sustain the growth of the Middle Eastern economy, and it is not going to go away.”
Saudi Arabia has long been the Middle Kingdom’s main source of foreign currency earnings.
The Saudi government’s economic policies have led to a steep fall in prices, which has forced the kingdom to borrow more and cut spending.
The latest government figures showed that gross domestic product in Saudi Arabia fell by 2.3% in the first quarter of 2019.
However, that is only half the total GDP lost in the same period last year.
Saudi Arabia was one of the biggest oil exporters in the Middle Sea region and exported $10.7tn in goods and services in 2019.
It also exported $2.9tn of oil to countries including India and Iran.
Iran is the country with the biggest trade deficit, and is due to import $3bn of Saudi goods and $2bn of Iranian goods this year.
“While the Saudis are still one of OPEC’s most important exporters, Iran has become the biggest net importer,” Clements said.
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the country’s exports to the Middle States had fallen in the past year by around 70%.
Saudi Arabia also has a very big trade surplus with Iran, which accounts for almost two-thirds of the countrys GDP.
However Iran’s trade with Saudi has fallen by almost half in the year to date, from $4.9bn in 2018 to $2,099m in 2019, according to ITC data.
Saudi is now the biggest importer of Iranian products in the region, accounting for about 10% of its total trade.
Iran has been the largest exporter of Chinese goods to the region since the mid-1990s, but that trade has plummeted.
“I think we are in a situation where Iran and the Saudis have been fighting it out for years, and the Saudi economy is going through a recession,” Cement said.
The report said the collapse had led to massive layoffs in the oil and natural gas sector.
“Since mid-2020, a total of 11,000 job losses have been reported in the gas sector alone.
The oil and coal sector has been especially hard hit,” ITCE chief economist, Tarek Elshamy, told Reuters.
“Even if you look at the impact of the oil price drop on the economy, it is a very small effect compared to the impact on the oil sector,” he added.
Saudi’s economy is expected by analysts to shrink by 1.8% in 2020 and by 3.8%.
The Middle States is the largest single export market for the world.
Its $1trillion economy is estimated to have exported $6.9 trillion worth of items in 2020.
“Saudi is still one the top exporters of Saudi Arabia, so we think that’s where the trade surplus will fall by half,” Calegh said.
He said the government’s efforts to reduce the gap between Saudi and its Middle East neighbours were having an impact.
“It’s a really interesting development, and I think it’s going to lead to a lot of jobs in the Gulf, especially in the sector that is most affected by the slowdown,” he said.
An advertising company that made millions selling gelsones for children in New York City is now suing for the money it’s spent on ads for the candy.
The New York Post reported Monday that Stax Group of Santa Fe, New Mexico, was awarded a $1,717,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed last month by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The lawsuit claims that Stux, based in Santa Fe’s town of Westchester, made more than $2 million from ads on Halloween 2017 and later spent $1 million to run ads on the network’s “Biggest Loser” and “Celebrity Deathmatch” shows.
Stax, which also produces the gelson market, is a subsidiary of Stax Laboratories, which has a sales-to-service agreement with Stax in the United States and Canada.
The $1-million settlement, according to the lawsuit, covers advertising expenses and legal fees.
The settlement includes $400,000 in back payments to Stax as well as a $600,000 cash payment.
The Stax brand has been sold since 2005, according a Stax spokesperson.
The spokesperson declined to comment further.
The Attorney General’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
“In an age of rampant fraud, it’s even more important that the public have the confidence that the products they buy and buy from reputable businesses are safe,” said Schneiderman in a statement.
The company said the settlement did not affect the legal proceedings.
The “Big Loser and Celebrity Deathmatch,” which aired on the popular Fox network, featured a cast of reality stars that included Kim Kardashian, Kim Kardashian West, Kelly Clarkson and Christina Aguilera.
Stix also said in a press release Monday that the “Big Hollywood Deathmatch Show” was cancelled in February, and that the show had been replaced by the “Celebrities vs. Gelsons” show, which was filmed in Los Angeles.
Styx said it plans to appeal the settlement.