Which cities can boast more than a dozen bagpipe factories? Edinburgh? Glasgow? How about, Sialkot, Pakistan?
Sialkot is located in north-east Pakistan, some 125 kilometers from the capital Lahore. Legend has it that the city started making bagpipes during the British Raj, when a Scottish businessman came to town and set up a factory.
More than a century later Sialkot is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of bagpipes, with more than a dozen bagpipe factories, both big and small.
Abu Dhabi (CNN) – Growing economic ties between the UAE and South Korea are encouraging an influx of Koreans into the Gulf nation.
There are currently an estimated 7,500 Korean in the UAE, and that number is expected to reach 13,000 in the next two years.
Lee Hyo-Won owns a restaurant in Abu Dhabi and has experienced the influx first hand. “Twelve years ago, it's not easy finding Koreans in the street. Now we can see anywhere, shopping malls, schools, it's easy to find Koreans,” she told CNN’s Schams Elwazer.
Last year, trade between South Korea and the UAE grew 24% to $22 billion. The boom is riding the economic momentum created in 2009 when the UAE granted a South Korean consortium a $20 billion contract to build four nuclear reactors - the first in the region outside of Iran and Israel.
Herat, Afghanistan (CNN) - In several Afghan provinces the fight to curb the growing of opium poppies seems to be a losing battle.
In 2011 a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime survey said opium poppy cultivation rose by 7% overall from the prior year. Opium poppy has been one of the main sources of funding for the Taliban especially since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Poppy cultivation is expected to grow partly because the opium poppy's prices are rising and because farmers are having a hard time deriving as much profit from alternative crops.
But one Afghan province is showing real progress in doing just that. The alternative crop is the world's most expensive spice, saffron.
Yangon, Myanmar (CNN) - Myanmar has been closed off to most of the world for the last 50 years. But as its government continues down a road of reform, Myanmar is emerging as the missing link between China and India, with investors wondering if it’s time to re-enter the country.
A half century of military rule meant economic isolation for Myanmar, which saw it sink from being one of the most prosperous countries in Asia to one of the poorest. But economic reforms are happening in tandem with political reforms and the new civilian government is keen to prove to the world that the country is open for business and is no longer such a risky investment.
Abu Dhabi (CNN) - There are more than 2.2 million Filipino workers in the Middle East. Not only are they a vital part of the region’s workforce, the money they send home makes a valuable contribution to the Philippine economy.
Some of the poorest Filipinos in Manilla work and live in a giant charcoal factory in the Tondo slum, constantly breathing toxic fumes. It’s an all-too-common existence in a country where about 30% of the population live below the poverty line, according to the government.
For many Filipinos the only way to escape this kind of hardship is to find work abroad. Millions have migrated to the economic powerhouses of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.
India and Pakistan’s border in Kashmir is one of the most dangerous in the world. But the "Line of Control" dividing them has been opened to trade, in the hope that it can boost the local economy and help build peace between the two nations.
Kashmir has been a major flashpoint for India and Pakistan since the countries were partitioned at the end of British rule in 1947. Both say Kashmir belongs to them.
There's still a heavy security presence throughout the area, but the situation is much better than it was a few years ago, say local residents. And the relative calm is bolstering trade.
(CNN) – Fifteen months ago Tahrir Square was the site of a tsunami that swept President Hosni Mubarak and his entire government from office.
In the most populous country in the Middle East and North Africa, only the military apparatus has been left intact from the Mubarak era. The world is getting very familiar with the name and face of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's ruling military council.
This week marks a historic opportunity to break from that past. There are a dozen candidates vying for the top job, a third of them labelled as front runners.
In geo-political circles, Egypt is described as a pivotal power, an emerging market economy and potential political power that can sway the outcome in the region.
Demra, Bangladesh (CNN) - Centuries ago, "jamdani" was among the most highly prized textiles in the world. But these days it's being replaced by cheaper, mass-produced materials, and the expertise needed to make traditional jamdani is dying out.
Jamdani originated in what is now Bangladesh, many centuries ago. Woven on hand looms, for hundreds of years it was traded everywhere from Bengal to China, and as far west as Italy. Historical accounts from the British East India Company show exports of jamdanis in the 1700s worth millions of rupees.
Abu Dhabi (CNN) - An Abu Dhabi mosque is being adorned with beautiful new mosaics - thanks to some traditional Italian craftsmanship.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is first and foremost a place of worship, but in less than five years it has become synonymous with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Enrico Fantini is a fourth-generation Italian mosaic artisan who was recruited to work on the vast exterior ground and key parts of the grand interior. “We are very proud to have an Italian tradition - the mosaic started in the Byzantine world, the Roman world,” Fantini told CNN’s John Defterios.
The United States aims to promote stability in Central Asia by encouraging trade in the region, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton told CNN.
The American strategy focuses on bolstering north-south trade, linking India and Pakistan via Afghanistan to the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.
“If people are trading with each other, if they are investing in each other's countries, if they are engaged in commerce of all kinds, there develop relationships and, frankly, stakes in peace and security that are desperately needed,” Clinton told CNN’s Jill Dougherty.
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