Daily News Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:00:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Banque Du Caire participates in new initiative to support small and micro enterprises in Upper Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/banque-du-caire-participates-new-initiative-support-small-micro-enterprises-upper-egypt/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/banque-du-caire-participates-new-initiative-support-small-micro-enterprises-upper-egypt/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:00:45 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610845 The bank granted over 1.5m loans to owners of micro enterprises with a total value of about EGP 11bn, says El-Zahid

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Banque du Caire participated in the traditional crafts and local industries initiative, a new initiative that aims to support small and micro enterprises in Upper Egypt, according to Mounier El-Zahed, chairperson and CEO of the bank.

El-Zahed said in press statements that the initiative targets to direct all efforts to craftsmen, encourage rural and Bedouin women, as well as women who are the sole earners in their homes to establish micro enterprises, and encourage youth to work in crafts and vocational industries and establish their own projects, which is in line with the policy of the state and the Central Bank of Egypt with regards to supporting economic and social development projects.

He added that adopting the initiative in cooperation with the Egypt Future Institution comes as a continuation of the plan Banque du Caire is following in the field of small, medium, and micro enterprises, which aims to enable all segments of society establish their projects and create thousands of jobs, reducing unemployment, spreading the culture of financial inclusion, and widening the base of those who deal with banks, which contributes to pushing economic growth forward.

The participation of Banque du Caire in the initiative is meant to enable all local communities that are involved in small enterprises and crafts or vocational industries, in order to provide a sustainable income for them, open new marketing channels for handmade products, and establish training centres in rural and Bedouin areas in Upper Egypt and the Red Sea, according to El-Zahed.

He also said that the extensive experience Banque du Caire has in the field of financing small, medium, and micro enterprises qualifies it to take the lead among other banks in serving that sector. The bank can do so by offering credit facilities and loans to these projects with repayment periods suiting the customers’ needs, setting mechanisms that contribute to speeding up procedures, and simplifying the procedures needed to grant the financings, and solving the financing obstacles that face the customers, according to El-Zahed.

El-Zahed added that the new initiative includes establishing a number of specialised workshops for those who work in the field of traditional crafts, and organising field visits to the places in which those people are concentrated in the governorates of Qena, Sohag, Luxor, Aswan, New Valley, Red Sea, Halayeb, and Shalateen.

He added that the initiative also includes offering training to develop production quality and marketing skills, such as presentation, packaging, and sales. The initiative also offers training on the latest marketing techniques, training those who want to establish small- and medium-sized enterprises on how to recognise market needs, in addition to monitoring product quality.

In the same context, El-Zahed said that 2016 was a success for Banque du Caire in the field of small, medium, and micro enterprises, as it succeeded to increase the size of its portfolio to about EGP 3bn.

He added that the bank achieved these results by taking a number of measures, most prominent of which were introducing a specialised department at the bank to serve small- and medium-sized enterprises, offering various products covering all industrial, commercial, and service activities to meet the customers’ needs, and developing the performance of those who work in that field in order to offer the highest quality in banking services.

With regards to financing micro enterprises, El-Zahed said that the bank has a special product for these enterprises. The bank was able to acquire a market share of about 60% of the direct financing the banking sector granted the owners of these enterprises. He added that the bank granted over 1.5m loans to micro enterprise owners with a total value of about EGP 11bn and succeeded to create many jobs for young people.

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Recent reform measures, declining growth in neighbouring markets support Egypt’s economic growth: Elgohary http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/recent-reform-measures-declining-growth-neighbouring-markets-support-egypts-economic-growth-elgohary/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/recent-reform-measures-declining-growth-neighbouring-markets-support-egypts-economic-growth-elgohary/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:30:30 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610838 Cisco expects its business to grow by 10% in Egypt during 2017

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Ayman Elgohary, Cisco general manager for Egypt and Libya, said that the Egyptian economy looks promising in 2017, adding that structural reforms taken by the state and the government in the recent period will maximise the growth potential on the long-term.

He noted that measures, such as the flotation of the Egyptian pound and passing the new investment draft law, will stabilise the economy and drive growth rates upwards.

The Supreme Council for Investment, chaired by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, had issued 17 decisions to attract foreign direct investments. The decisions of the council grant investors incentives and tax cuts, according to their field of industry, as well as allocate free lands in several parts of the country, in addition to establishing a National Council for Payments and forming a permanent committee at the Ministry of Investment to review complaints of investors.

According to Elgohary, the investment climate in Egypt has improved significantly from past years, especially with government transparency and the announcement of future plans.

He said that promoting Egyptian bonds abroad is also a good step and a promising investment opportunity. “The investment climate has improved a lot following the flotation,” he stressed. “The Egyptian market has become more competitive in terms of investment opportunities, especially with the decline in growth in many surrounding countries.”

He noted that the company has injected $10m in the Egyptian market by investing in Algebra Ventures Fund, which reflects Cisco’s confidence in Egypt.

He told Daily News Egypt that the company’s business in Egypt grew strongly in 2015 and 2016, adding that he expects growth rates of 10% for the company in 2017.

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Samsung phones bear new price increases in January http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/610815/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/610815/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:00:53 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610815 The local mobile market in Egypt is expected to continue shrinking throughout 2017

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Prices of Samsung mobile devices increased in January by 7-10% compared to December 2016. According to Samsung’s January price list, the cost of mobile phones, tablets, smart watches, and Internet of Things devices increased.

According to the price list, the price of the mobile phone Piton increased from EGP 495 to EGP 540 in January, an increase of 9%. In October 2016 the price had gone up by roughly 68%, from EGP 320.

As for the J1 mini mobile, its price increased from EGP 960 to EGP 1,039—an increase of 8.2%—while the price of the J5 mobile increased from EGP 3,245 to EGP 3,499, an increase of 7.8%. In October 2016 the cost of the J5 jumped by about 69%, from EGP 2,060.

Also, the price of the J7 LTE mobile increased from EGP 4,750 to EGP 4,999, an increase of 5.2%, compared to EGP 2,660 in October 2016, registering a 69% increase in the past three months. As for the price of the Note5, it increased from EGP 11,700 to EGP 12,599, an increase of 7.6%, while the price of the S7 edge mobile went from EGP 15,400 to EGP 16,599, a rise of 7.7%.

The prices of the company’s tablets increased as well; the price of Tab S2 LTE increased from EGP 10,000 to EGP 11,000, an increase of 10%, while the price of the Tab A (7.0) increased from EGP 3,150 to EGP 3,399, a hike of 7.9%.

With regards to the prices of Internet of Things devices, the price of the Gear VR increased from EGP 2,100 to EGP 2,299, an increase of 9.4%, while in October 2016 it was priced at EGP 1,210. Also, the price of the Gear Fit2 smart watch increased from EGP 4,000 to EGP 4,299, an increase of 7.5%. Sold at that price, it went up by about 51% compared to the price of October 2016, reaching EGP 2,840.

Egypt is suffering a severe shortage in US dollar liquidity since 2015, which pushed the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in cooperation with the government to take many measures: setting controls for exports and customs and cancelling the majority of the maximum limits of dollar deposits, in addition to increasing the dollar’s exchange rate by 14% in the official exchange market in March 2016, before liberalising the dollar exchange rate against the Egyptian pound last November, which led to the dollar jumping to about EGP 20.

Local mobile market sales retreated in the first quarter of last year by about 7% compared to the same period in 2015, according to a report by GFK research institution. The market’s sales in January, February, and March 2016 registered 4m mobile devices compared to 4.3m in the same period in 2015. The growth rate is expected to continue retreating throughout 2017, according to GFK.

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OPPO inaugurates new after-sales centres in Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/oppo-inaugurates-new-sales-centres-egypt/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/oppo-inaugurates-new-sales-centres-egypt/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:30:59 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610819 Inaugurating a new centre in Ismailia in a few weeks, says Shi

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Chinese company OPPO Electronics inaugurated a new centre for technical support and after-sales services in Tanta, which is the company’s fifth centre in Egypt.

The new centre is part of the company’s expansion plan in Egypt, which aims to expand into governorates and regions to keep up with the high demand of customers for after-sales services.

Since entering the Egyptian market in mid-2015, OPPO decided to rely on itself to provide technical support centres and after-sales services, instead of resorting to an outsourcing system to provide those services.

The centre offers several services to customers, including updating operating systems of all OPPO mobiles, along with phone maintenance, phones accessories, and a display of new phones with the opportunity to test them.

It is worth mentioning that OPPO owns four other centres for after-sales services. The first is in Cairo (El-Obour buildings), the second in Giza (Dokki), the third in Alexandria (Smouha), and the fourth in Mansoura (Gezirat Al-Woroud). The company is currently inaugurating its fifth centre in Tanta.

Andy Shi, the brand director for OPPO Middle East and North Africa, said that in a few weeks the company will inaugurate the sixth centre in Ismailia, as part of the expansion plan that was developed before 2017. If the company succeeds in achieving that plan, it would be able to cover the majority of Egypt’s governorates by the end of this year.

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Lenovo aims to double share in Egyptian market in 2017 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/610816/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/18/610816/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:00:58 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610816 30% decline in the number of sold mobiles during 2016, says Salem

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Lenovo Egypt aims to double its market share in the local market to reach 14% in 2017.

In an interview with Daily News Egypt, smartphones sales manager at Lenovo Egypt Sherif Salem said that the mobile phone market saw a decline in the number of sold units by 30% during 2016. However, the company was able to maintain its market share and achieve growth rates in December.

What do you think of the Egyptian market’s growth in current economic conditions, especially withsome research centres expecting that the number of units sold in the Egyptian market will decrease?

According to research centres, sales of mobile phones in the Egyptian market remarkably declined by 30% in 2016 because of the instability of the US dollar price and the non-availability of some phone models.

However, Lenovo was able to avoid the decline experienced by the market and was able to maintain its market share of the number of sold products. The company also increased its market share in terms of sold phones.

How did you maintain your market share despite the declined market sales?

We have revitalised our sales in more than one way, mainly through incentivising merchants to sell the targeted amount, and through the company’s sales team.

This is in addition to allowing interest-free instalments on two years through Delta Group, a company specialised in the sale of electronic devices.

In order to overcome the economic conditions and the decline in purchasing power experienced by Egyptian consumers who certainly need smartphones, instalments are currently the best solution.

We offered special discounts on Lenovo products through Delta Group’s outlets that include Compume, Mobile Shop, Computer Shop, and RadioShack. We also offered discounts on our products on Carrefour’s anniversary.

We achieved an increase in sales by 30% during December, which confirmed that the market still has many opportunities for growth. We target to achieve growth rates of 10% in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.

How do you see the future of the mobile phone market in 2017?

So far, we have a stabilised sales growth of 30%. Many of our newly launched models strongly succeeded in recent weeks, such as K6, which is a positive sign.

The Ministry of Finance announced the stabilisation of the customs US dollar. How do you see the effect of that on the market?

Stabilising the customs US dollar will help stabilising mobile phone prices during the coming period, as many brands modify the price lists of their products on a weekly basis.

The Egyptian market needs smartphones but it suffers from a decline in the purchasing power of consumers. How does your company deal with that?

About 80-85% of our products support 4G services, showing that we have great models in the market.

We are also working to launch new devices at competitive prices, as we will launch smartphones that support 4G services at a price that does not exceed EGP 1,500.

In addition, we are one of the first in modern technology companies, evidenced by our latest products launched under the brand Moto, which we acquired in 2014. The new product is a smartphone equipped with a projector, a power bank, and hands-free equipment that the consumer usually carries next to a usual smartphone. The new phone provides all of these services through a single device.

What is the market share you target in 2017?

Currently, our market share is 7%, and we are targeting to double it this year to reach 14% by late 2017 to occupy third place among competing brands.

What do you think of competition in the Egyptian market, especially with the increasing number of manufacturers?

Competition in general is healthy and beneficial to the consumer. If our products were compared to those of our competitors, ours will win in terms of price and capabilities.

At the global level, we are available in 160 countries and have about 55,000 employees. Our sales amounts to $45bn with 80m mobile phones units sold per year.

In terms of computers, we rank first in sales of computers for the third year in a row.

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A short take on Youssef Chahine’s Bab Al-Hadid http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610798/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610798/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 20:30:35 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610798 In the second part of Youssef Chahine’s autobiographical series Hadoota Masreya (An Egyptian Story,1982), his character (played by Nour El-Sherif) tells his producer and father-in-law (played by Tawfiq Al-Dikn) that his new film Bab Al-Hadid will include many “sex” scenes and will garner EGP 1m. Bab Al-Hadid (The Iron Door) is Chahine’s 11th film, acting …

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In the second part of Youssef Chahine’s autobiographical series Hadoota Masreya (An Egyptian Story,1982), his character (played by Nour El-Sherif) tells his producer and father-in-law (played by Tawfiq Al-Dikn) that his new film Bab Al-Hadid will include many “sex” scenes and will garner EGP 1m.

Bab Al-Hadid (The Iron Door) is Chahine’s 11th film, acting as a brilliantly awkward and well-made piece of art in the director’s career. The film showed a clear and radical growth in Chahine’s skills as a filmmaker, while combining Egyptian social realism (a wave Chahine spearheaded), the French Nouvelle Vague, and Russian (rather the Eisensteinian) editing techniques. Keeping all these styles in mind, Chahine couldn’t ignore his passion for American cinema and gave it a Hollywood-tailored plot.

Compared to previous films, such as the 1954 Struggle in the Valley and Struggle in the Pier, both of which portrayed straightforward classist confrontations whether between a feudal lord and farmers or between a pasha and a quasi-sailors leader, Bab Al-Hadid’s noir plot takes a wider and more critical look on the very sophisticated and disrupting Cairo train station.

The neorealist approach in Bab Al-Hadid diversified its characters from oppressed porters who are struggling for unionism and a physically challenged and frustrated newspaper vendor, to female vendors trying to escape the monopoly of the buffet manager, strangely enough a lover waiting for her boyfriend, and a lost, naive upper Egyptian traveller stuck in the lanes of the station.

Each character deserves a study on its own, highlighting its history and significance to the plot. Each of them uniquely and unilaterally participated in creating the crescendo of the film’s conclusion. Two of the most interesting are Abu Sri (played Farid Shawqi) and Qinawi (played by Chahine himself).

Abu Sri’s unionist and Leninist inclination not only marks Chahine’s political inclinations, but shows his belief in a one-man-solution to a dispersed and unorganised group of labourers. He believes that the government-controlled Labour Office will create a union to handle the workers’ misfortunes. However, their consciousness needs a spearhead to teach and raise awareness against the reactionary old guard. The masculine macho character is filmed from bottom-up as he is spreading wisdom to the workers, in compositions captured by Alevise Orfanelli.

Abu Sri attracts the station’s most sexy and erotic poor girl Hanouma (played by Hend Roustom). In an unforgettable scene, he roughly makes love to her, as frustrated Qinawi watches in despair. The shot is cut to show a close-up on the train running along the track way.

Qinawi’s character manages, despite its repulsiveness, to draw some sympathy from the viewer. His love is unrequited but pure, violent but tender. His eyes, presented through close-ups, show his eagerness to have Hanouma. Angered by her rejection, he turns wild, unfolding the thriller sequence in the film.

Between the rusty rooms, sweaty characters, and noisy background, Chahine delivered the chaos and panic in the one and only Cairo train station, which the narrator describes at the beginning of the film as “the heart of the capital. Every minute a train leaves and another one arrives. Thousands meet to say goodbye, people from the North and the South, natives and foreigners, employed and unemployed.”

In Egypt in 1958, the new republic witnessed a King being toppled, a general being ousted by a colonel, and a new social system being enforced. Chahine’s decision to focus on the very low of the lumpen proletariat, as well as its noir atmosphere was unheard of on the silver screen, resulting in poor reviews from the public, and positive ones from critics.

The film didn’t include “sex scenes” and didn’t earn EGP 1m, but the masterpiece proved that    Chahine, as he said in Hadoota Masreya, that he “always did what he saw as decent.” This perfectly applies to Bab Al-Hadid.

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France 2017: Germany power past Saudi Arabia to reach last 16 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/france-2017-germany-power-past-saudi-arabia-to-reach-last-16/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/france-2017-germany-power-past-saudi-arabia-to-reach-last-16/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:30:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610941 The post France 2017: Germany power past Saudi Arabia to reach last 16 appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The European champions reached the knockout stages of the men’s World Handball Championship with two matches to spare. They easily defeated the Saudis 38-24 in France.Steffen Fäth was the standout player for the Germans with six goals as they cantered into the last 16 in France.

The Saudis, seen as one of the weakest teams in the competition, had made a bright start but the Germans quickly imposed themselves and were 21-13 up at the break.

Germany were quicker, stronger and more creative than their opponents in front of 3,700 fans in Rouen.

They next face Belarus on Wednesday and Group C rivals Croatia on Friday. Top spot in the group is now up for grabs and is important for the seeding in the knockout phase.

Germany are currently first with six points and three wins from three having also dispatched Hungary and Chile earlier in the tournament. But Croatia are also on six points and are always dangerous opponents.

In other results on Tuesday, Norway beat Brazil 39-26, Poland defeated Japan 26-25, Slovenia drew with Tunisia 28-28 and Qatar outdid Argentina 21-17.

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Davos: The common ground of Trump and Xi http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/davos-the-common-ground-of-trump-and-xi/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/davos-the-common-ground-of-trump-and-xi/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:05:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610946 The post Davos: The common ground of Trump and Xi appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Donald Trump is dominating the World Economic Forum – and he’s not even there. It has been up to Chinese President Xi Jinping to relax the atmosphere.Nobody is as good as Donald Trump at making the Davos audience nervous. This Friday (20.1.2017), before the World Economic Forum (WEF) is over, he will be sworn in as the 45th US president.

Trump is a billionaire entrepreneur, but his public speeches and tweets seem to suggest that he’s against everything the Forum represents: open borders, free trade, globalization, lower tariffs. And, especially, a refined and polite discourse.

In Trump’s view, free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are “terrible” and “a disaster.” He threatened to pull out of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Paris climate agreement, and said the “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese.”

He told car makers via Twitter: “Build plant in US or pay big border tax!” Predicting the end of the EU and calling NATO “obsolete” did not help to endear him to attendees at the Forum.

A communist in Davos

Chinese president Xi Jinping, on the other hand, is officially a communist, and he has not been democratically elected. And yet, it was Xi who won the hearts in Davos. In his opening speech, he gave the audience everything they wanted to hear.

WEF founder and president Klaus Schwab called Xi’s speech “historic” and praised him for his “responsive and responsible leadership” – which happens to be this year’s motto in Davos.

The audience applauded when Xi said countries should “stick to the Paris agreement to combat climate change, not walk away from it.” They applauded when he defended globalization, adding it should be “more inclusive and sustainable.” They applauded when he warned of protectionism and trade wars, and praised free trade and cooperation: “Let’s work together for a bright future.”

In short, the Chinese president said all the things the crowd in Davos would have liked to hear from the next American president.

With Trump being absent, it fell to Anthony Scaramucci to translate the rants and Twitter tantrums of “The Donald” into a Davos-friendly form. The hedge fund manager has been on Trump’s transition team to prepare the presidency, and will serve as his director of public liaison and intergovernmental affairs.

Free, but not fair to Americans

“We want to have a phenomenal relationship with the Chinese,” Scaramucci said in Davos. “The new administration does not want a trade war. We would like to have a process of free and fair trade.”

But global trade, as Trump sees it, has not been fair to American workers, Scaramucci said. “It has hollowed out American manufacturing, it has hurt the American middle class, and it has crippled the American working class.”

Scaramucci gave his own father as an example. Without a college degree, he was solidly middle class in the 1970s. “Today, my dad’s wages would be down by 45 percent in real terms” – the effect of globalization, a large labor supply, and excess factory capacity.

“In the last 10 years, 8 million more Americans have gone from the working class to the working poor,” Scaramucci said. “We have to come up with policies to change that.”

“All we are asking for is to create more symmetry in these trade agreements,” Scaramucci added. And if China really believed in globalism, they would have to allow Americans to create that symmetry, “because the path to globalism for the world is through the American worker and the American middle class.”

Since the US still controls almost a quarter of the world’s economic output, rising wages there would mean “more purchasing power and a virtuous circle of consumption.” This, in turn, would lead to more global trade, prosperity and peace, Scaramucci said. “At the end of the day, President Trump could be one of the last great hopes for globalism.”

The similarities between Trump und Xi

Trump still has to deliver on his promise to “make America great again.” But his claim to focus on the problems of the American middle and working class is not so different from what Xi said in Davos.

China has been able to become the world’s second-biggest economy, Xi said, “because we followed a path, under leadership of the communist party, that suits China’s conditions.”

“When it comes to development, China has put people first,” Xi said. “We want development of the people, by the people, for the people. And we have lifted 700 million out of poverty.”

What Xi did not say is that China has been highly selective in opening its economy to global competition. For western companies, large parts of the financial services industry in China still remain off-limits, and so do acquisitions of majority stakes in Chinese companies.

It remains to be seen if Donald Trump will be able to achieve a similar form of cherry-picking for the US. His promises have won him the presidency, but Philip Jennings, general secretary of the UNI Global Union federation, does not believe that Trump will bring a change for the better.

“We have a populist revolution where we cannot see a happy destination for our democracies,” Jennings said. “Will Davos face the facts that the economics, politics and business practices of globalization have failed to bring prosperity to all?”

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AFCON 2017: Rahman injured as Ghana beat Uganda http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/afcon-2017-rahman-injured-as-ghana-beat-uganda/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/afcon-2017-rahman-injured-as-ghana-beat-uganda/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:53:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610953 The post AFCON 2017: Rahman injured as Ghana beat Uganda appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Schalke defender Baba Rahman went of injured in the first half for Ghana but they were cheered by Andre Ayew’s first-half penalty in a 1-0 win over Uganda. Mali face Egypt in the late Group D game.Ghana 1-0 Uganda (Ayew 32′ pen)

A penalty just after the half hour from striker Ayew was enough for fancied Ghana in their African Nations Cup opener, but an injury to left back Baba Rahman soured the mood slightly and left Schalke fans fretting.

He came off after just 39 minutes and was replaced by Frank Acheampong. The extent of the injury was not yet known.

Ghana, who despite their wealth of talent in recent years have not won the continential title since 1982, were the better side for much of the Group D encounter in Port Gentil.

Ayew struck after Isaac Isinde fouled Asamoah Gyan in the area.

But Ghana failed to find a second goal which would have eased worries of a Uganda levellerafter a series of surprise results so far in Gabon.

Coach Avram Grant will hope his side correct their wayward shooting next time out against Mali on Saturday.

Egypt, among the tournament favorites with Ghana, kick off their campaign against Mali in Tuesday’s late encounter.

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The future in Davos http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/the-future-in-davos/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/the-future-in-davos/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:39:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610961 The post The future in Davos appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Nothing will remain the way it is now. Welcome to the digital world, one of the main topics this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.The future can look so old-fashioned. There are five middle-aged gentlemen dressed in grey or blue suits sitting on a podium in one of the many hotels in Davos, talking about the digital world. All of them represent billion-dollar companies including Siemens, UPS and HP and all of their eyes sparkle with excitement when they talk about the brave new world.

David Abney of US logistics company UPS is currently in charge of a transportation fleet of more than 100,000 trucks and 500 planes. For the year 2050 he envisions small mobile packages that fly or drive themselves to deliver products.

“Hold on,” interjects the head of printer manufacturer HP. “The consumer won’t need you anymore. He will simply get the product he wants out of his 3D printer. That will be much more environmentally sound as well.” Brief silence. “Well, who knows what we’ll be doing by then,” Abney laughs politely.

Digital direction

Perplexity combined with great excitement and many question marks dominate the discussion on the digital future in Davos. Hundreds of talks are scheduled on the subject, all of them with top-class panelists. On the podiums, scientists discuss the topic with CEOs and politicians. As early as 7 a.m., Australian finance minister Mathias Corman is sitting in the audience at one of the talks. He wants to learn, he says modestly.

What he learns is that the working environment will change dramatically. Permanent positions, clear career paths, that may be today but it certainly isn’t the future. Instead, the CEOs talk about a ‘liquid workforce’ of employees who keep finding new work on a project-basis as free agents of sorts, who don’t stay with a company permanently – wage earners who have three, four or even more different careers.

The customer is king

Bill McDermott, head of SAP, says “all businesses are changing right before our eyes.” Nonetheless, he sees a rosy future. “The consumer is in charge of everything, whether it is shopping or something else. The consumer decides.”

That’s because all products will be customized and only those things will be produced that the consumer really needs or wants. That is, assuming the consumer even knows how to handle the digital applications.

Executives learn programming

US electronics giant General Electric has been in a digital transition for the past five years, says Steve Bolze, head of GE Power. Each business division now has its own chief digital officer and at the last meeting of senior management, all 600 executives had to practice programming. That barely leaves them time to catch their breath because “the amount of data that is coming in has grown astronomically.”

Data security

The risk of data theft is growing correspondingly. Inga Beale of insurance company Lloyds of London has observed that more and more companies are safeguarding themselves against cyber-attacks. “The number of insurance policies for data protection has tripled during the past three years,” she says, although she doesn’t believe that protection can be absolute.

“Should we not pull the plug and disconnect at some point?” asks someone from the audience desperately and earns only mild laughter. Companies that don’t continue to digitize further, won’t survive, they say. And consumers? They need to be trained. “We need millions and massive online courses for everybody,” the head of SAP tells the audience to applause.

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DNE News Brief: 17 January 2017 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/dne-news-brief-17-january-2017/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/dne-news-brief-17-january-2017/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:24:13 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610849 The post DNE News Brief: 17 January 2017 appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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4 Egyptian women qualify for squash J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions’ quarterfinals http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/4-egyptian-women-qualify-squash-tournament-champions-quarterfinals/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/4-egyptian-women-qualify-squash-tournament-champions-quarterfinals/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:16:30 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610890 After the second round ended, four Egyptian female squash champions—Nour El-Sherbini, Nouran Gohar, Omneya Abdel Kawy, and Raneem El-Welily—made it to the 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions’ quarterfinals. The four Egyptian champions were the ones who represented Egypt at the 2016 Women’s World Team Squash Championships celebrated in December. They made Egypt proud by …

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After the second round ended, four Egyptian female squash champions—Nour El-Sherbini, Nouran Gohar, Omneya Abdel Kawy, and Raneem El-Welily—made it to the 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions’ quarterfinals.

The four Egyptian champions were the ones who represented Egypt at the 2016 Women’s World Team Squash Championships celebrated in December. They made Egypt proud by winning the championship.

In the second round of the tournament, El-Sherbini, ranked first internationally, was the reason her compatriot Salma Hany Ibrahim exited the tournament after defeating her by 3-1.

Ibrahim won the first game 8-11. El-Sherbini, won the second game 11-9. The last two games ended 13-11 in El-Sherbini’s favour.

El-Sherbini was the 2016 J.P. Morgan champion.

Egypt’s Nour El-Tayeb also exited the tournament in the second round, after losing to her compatriot Gohar.

The match between both went to five games as El-Tayeb refused to lose easily. After the first four games, the result was 2-2. However, Gohar snatched the victory after winning the fifth and decisive game. The result was 3-2 (9-11/11-1/8-11/11-6/11-6) in Gohar’s favour.

Abdel Kawy defeated England’s Victoria Lust by 3-1 (11-9/6-11/11-7/11-3).

Commenting on her victory, Abdel Kawy said: “Vicky is a great player. She beat me last time in the British Open 2015, and it was on my mind. I wanted to get my revenge.”

El-Welily played against India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik. The first game between both was on fire as it ended in 17-15 in El-Welily’s favour. The three remaining sets were calmer and ended by 11-8, 11-6, and 11-8, respectively, for El-Welily.

At the quarterfinals, which are taking place on 17 January, El-Sherbiny will play against Malaysia’s Nicol David; Gohar against France’s Camille Serme; Abdel Kawy against England’s Laura Massaro; and El-Welily against England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, who created the upset of the tournament so far as she beat home favourite Amanda Sobhy – runner up of the 2016 J.P. Morgan – in 67m and 5 games – the longest match ever recorded for the American!

El-Welily was the champion of the 2015 J.P. Morgan. In this regard Perry said: “I’m going to give it my all tomorrow and we’ll see what happens”. Perry seems ambitious as she added: “I’m excited to play against Nour here.”

As for Abdel Kawy’s matchup against Massaro, she said: “Laura is a great player. She beat me the last, well, how many times! I’ll keep it in mind, focus on my game plan, and try and reverse the result tomorrow.”

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A full week of fashion in Berlin http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/a-full-week-of-fashion-in-berlin/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/a-full-week-of-fashion-in-berlin/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:05:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610964 The post A full week of fashion in Berlin appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The fashion industry descends on Berlin this week, as designers show their autumn/winter collections for 2017/2018 at Berlin Fashion Week. Retailers will be seeking out the latest trends.One of Germany’s biggest fashion events of the year, Berlin Fashion Week, kicked off on Monday. Opening with the “Zeit” magazine conference at the Kronprinzenpalais on Monday, the week will see shows by local and international designers held at various locations around the city.

The official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week schedule begins on Tuesday, with an opening show by German womenswear designer Dorothee Schumacher and other renowned designers like Anne Sofie Madsen of Denmark and locals Marcel Ostertag and Hien Le.

This year, organizers are trying something new by bringing the runway looks directly to the consumer, opening the doors of the Kaufhaus Jandorf and me Collectors Room to the public.

Also on this year’s schedule are two trade fairs with their own runways. Sustainable fashion is on the agenda at the Green and Ethical Showroom. The Berliner Mode Salon, an initiative by “Vogue” magazine dedicated to presenting German fashion, is likewise planning a number of events, including the presentation of a new collection by newcomer Antonia Goy.

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Ahead of Trump, final sprint to save climate data http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/ahead-of-trump-final-sprint-to-save-climate-data/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/ahead-of-trump-final-sprint-to-save-climate-data/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:59:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610863 The post Ahead of Trump, final sprint to save climate data appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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With only a few days before Donald Trump takes over the United States presidency, scientists and hackers are hurrying to copy climate data onto independent servers. Are they paranoid, or simply prepared?A curious scene is playing out in universities across the US: Professors, database geeks, computer-savvy archivists and activists are sitting in front of their laptops, crawling through thousands of websites and copying them.

What sounds like a nationwide hackathon is actually a desperate attempt to safeguard as much climate and scientific data as possible before January 20, when Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

National and international scientists are worried that the new government could redact and whitewash publicly available scientific research and databases.

“Our incoming administration professes a position of ardent climate change denial,” pointed out Karl-Rainer Blumenthal, a librarian and archivist.

“This information is far too important to the future of our planet to lose to a modern-day book-burning,” Blumenthal told DW in writing.

He has organized a meet-up in Chicago to copy data sets, databases and web-based services that researchers and the public rely upon to learn about the causes and effects of global climate change.

What began with a call from the University of Toronto and University of Pennsylvania to participate in the End of Term project – a web archive that captures and saves US government websites at the end of each presidential administration – has quickly turned into a “guerrilla archiving” movement.

Last minute data-rescue events are taking place across the nation over the course of the week: Indianapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Paranoid or prepared?

In a collaborative effort with more than 20 universities and institutions, the Data Refuge project and the Environmental Data Governance Initiative have already copied 6,900 websites onto independent servers.

The project Climate Mirror recreates entire websites, storing them on servers across the world to spread the risk of losing any valuable information.

To some, the huge data-saving effort might seem irrational.

Neither Trump nor any of his team members have indicated they intend to restrict access to or even delete governmental data.

But critics point out, Trump’s words and actions leave room for doubt.

Ahead of his election, Trump vowed he would “tear up” existing climate treaties. In 2012, he tweeted that global warming was “a hoax” that was invented by the Chinese.

Trump later changed his tune on climate change, saying he believed there was likely “some connectivity” between climate change and human activity. Yet, he elected climate denier Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The harvesting project might sound “alarmist,” admits Bethany Wiggin from the University of Pennsylvania, an organizer of the Data Refuge project.

“Our position is, better be safe than sorry, and to operate with an abundance of caution. All librarians and archivists will tell you, more copies in more places is always a good idea.”

Climate data disappeared before

Political assaults on scientific information are not unprecedented.

The George W. Bush administration shut down some of EPA’s research libraries that contained rare environmental data.

And at the end of December, Wisconsin’s state agency overseeing environmental regulation removed text from its website saying humans and greenhouse gases are the main cause of climate change. The website now claims the subject is a matter of scientific debate.

With the Trump presidency looming, many scientists are worried that such action will increase.

“In the upcoming administration change – with climate deniers in the highest offices – we think there is a risk that more data will be ‘lost’ than is normally the case,” says Wiggin.

Information is power

Why would Trump be interested in deleting or obscuring certain scientific data?

“Generally, it can be said that information is knowledge – and knowledge is power,” Eileen Wagner, project manager at Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, told DW.

“With data, you can determine the political discourse. And if you control the data, you can use them for your own political gain.”

Wagner believes that Trump will continue to collect data on climate change in some form. The question is whether the results will be made publicly available.

If the data supports Trumps arguments and plans – sure. But what about data that contradicts the views of the administration?

Strangling science

Above all, this harvesting of big data reflects a sense of insecurity among scientists in the US.

Trump has targeted climate scientists in the past. In December, the Trump transition team requested that the Energy Department provide a list of climate change experts.

While not all observers expect Trump to delete existing climate data, they fear his administration is certainly likely to cut funding for new research.

“It’s likely that the government will reduce or even eliminate funding to gather new data,” Philip Duffy, president of the privately financed Woods Hole Research Center, a climate research think thank, told DW in writing.

Advisers to Trump have already proposed to strip funding for NASA climate research.

Wiggins admits she is most worried about money. If funding for environmental research programs is curtailed, “it will be very hard for our scientists to carry out their work.”

Martina Buttler contributed to the text.

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MENA growth accelerates in 2017 despite GCC’s weak performance: FocusEconomics http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/mena-growth-accelerates-2017-despite-gccs-weak-performance-focuseconomics/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/mena-growth-accelerates-2017-despite-gccs-weak-performance-focuseconomics/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:52:57 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610841 The economic activity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has shown surprising resilience in 2016 despite mounting political and economic headwinds, according to a report recently released by the economic analysis and forecasts provider FocusEconomics. The report reviews the performance of the region throughout 2016. While the region managed to accelerate despite …

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The economic activity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has shown surprising resilience in 2016 despite mounting political and economic headwinds, according to a report recently released by the economic analysis and forecasts provider FocusEconomics. The report reviews the performance of the region throughout 2016.

While the region managed to accelerate despite a challenging economic and political climate, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have performed poorly in 2016. The low oil price since mid-2015 forced GCC countries to implement harsh austerity measures in order to control their budget deficits, according to the report

The company estimated in its analysis that the region’s aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2.7% in 2016, compared to 2.6% growth in 2015.

The figures of 2016 are the results of the diverging economic trends within MENA. “The region has greatly benefited from Iran’s reintegration into the global economy and its consequent surge in oil shipments. Another positive note for 2016 was Iraq’s economic rebound following 2015 dismal performance when the Islamic State occupied large swaths of lands in the country,” the report said.

In regard to Egypt, FocusEconomics said that the Egyptian pound has lost more than half of its value since the liberalisation of the exchange rate in November; however, the efforts of the government to push forward reform-oriented policies to encourage investments and revive the economy managed to grow a mediocre 4.3% in fiscal year 2015/2016.

FocusEconomics expected a gradual increase of US dollar inflows and investors as well as an expansion of GDP by 3.5% in 2017. It also expected inflation to reach an average of 18.9% in 2017, and 14.6% in 2018.

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Egypt defeats Bahrain, prepares for Argentina and Sweden http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610828/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610828/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:47:39 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610828 Match between Egypt and Bahrain expected to be a tough battle for the Egyptian team 

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Egypt played its third match of the 2017 IHF Handball World Men’s Championship on Monday against Bahrain.

Egypt won by 31-29, of which six goals were scored by Egypt’s Yehia El-Deraa who won the Best Player of the Match award. On the other hand, six of Bahrain’s goals were scored by Mahdi Abdullah Saad.

Egypt’s win was expected; however, winning by two goals is not a remarkable victory, as Egypt still has a long way to go throughout the championship, where it will face formidable opponents.

As the Pharaohs are placed in group D, they will be facing Argentina on 18 January and Sweden on 20 January.

The match against Sweden is expected to be a hard battle for the Egyptian team.

Sweden’s national men’s handball team won this championship four times, the last of which was in 1999. Sweden has also been the runner-up three times, most recently in 2001. The team has also came in third four times, most recently in 1995.

At the 2016 Rio’s Summer Olympics, celebrated in August, Sweden reached the quarterfinals of the men’s competition. However, its team exited this great celebration after it lost to Norway by 33-20.

 

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CBE pumps EGP 2.5bn into United Bank’s capital http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/cbe-pumps-egp-2-5bn-united-banks-capital/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/cbe-pumps-egp-2-5bn-united-banks-capital/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:41:46 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610836 Supporting the bank’s capital is meant to support its ability to expand in various sectors and expand its role as a prelude to selling it

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The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided to pump EGP 2.5bn into United Bank, bringing the bank’s capital up to EGP 3.5bn. The CBE owns 99.9% of the bank’s shares.

According to Ashraf Elkady, chairperson of the United Bank, the CBE’s injection of new capital will give a strong boost to the bank and its team to develop its business, strengthen the capital base, and raise the capital adequacy.

Elkady added that increasing the capital base of banks is one of the most important challenges that Egyptian banks face, in light of the important and necessary economic reform policies taken by the Egyptian state in the current period.

This increase in the bank’s capital aims to meet the growing requests to expand in business and finance, whether directly or indirectly. It also targets a strategic expansion for the bank, establishing new branches and providing new products and competitive services in the market. This is in addition to developing a plan to expand financial inclusion, and to strengthen the infrastructure and banking technologies, according to Elkady.

He added that this decision also aims to increase the market share of the bank and avoid risks, as well as maximise its value as a prelude to offering the bank up for sale during 2017.

The United Bank aims to be a partner in sustainable Egyptian development plans, and to be the first choice for customers in various governorates to meet their financial and banking needs by clever and distinct products. The bank also aims to attract new customers by offering a diverse range of traditional and compliant financial solutions according to the provisions of Islamic Sharia in the long- or medium-term, Elkady said.

He explained that the decision to increase the bank’s capital is part of the CBE’s policy to provide unconventional solutions to create strong professional banks with the capability to face risks, and to encourage bank mergers.

Egypt at this important stage of economic construction needs strong banking entities to improve financial inclusion rates and to achieve targeted profitability, he explained.

He pointed out that the Egyptian banking sector is strong and attracts local and international investments, as its indicators of profitability are excellent and attractive.

The capital of the United Bank was EGP 1bn at the beginning of its acquisition of the Nile Bank, the United Bank of Egypt, and the Islamic Bank for Development and Investment in mid-2006.

He added that with the support of the CBE, the bank’s employees have been able to bear the responsibility and manage an integrated system that includes restructuring and dealing with defaulting files. The bank transformed from three weak entities to a bank that achieves profits based on a specific vision and an effective strategy.

The bank has been able to achieve growth rates and profitability by the end of 2016 that are considered the highest since its launch, according to the initial budget of the bank, which is not fully disclosed yet.

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Procedures package to expand social safety net: Prime Minister http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/procedures-package-expand-social-safety-net-prime-minister/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/procedures-package-expand-social-safety-net-prime-minister/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:36:31 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610834 Measures also include lowering customs and tax tariffs on imported rice and sugar by 30%

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Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced a package of decisions that aims to expand the social safety net and support low-income people.

Ismail said that he tasked concerned authorities with implementing several decisions including raising the prices of strategic food commodities in favour of low-income people and increasing the domestic production of sugarcane, wheat, barley, and corn.

The measures also include lowering customs and tax tariffs on imported food commodities, rice, and sugar by 30% to maintain affordable prices.

In addition, Ismail directed the government to import sufficient quantities of basic goods to maintain a six-month stock. Basic commodities will be sold through outlets of subsidiaries of the Food Industries Holding Company at low profit margins.

The measures also include bearing the sale price differences that are caused by the high cost of commodities listed as part of the subsidy system, as well as increasing the allowance per person to EGP 21 up from EGP 18, effective from 1 December 2016.

The prime minister also assured he will take all actions necessary to review and filter the ration cards system. This includes updating the list to exclude the deceased, citizens living abroad, and duplicates, while adding more eligible citizens to the system.

The government will also secure the availability of basic commodities at affordable prices to most needy areas and ban the export of rice.

With regards to the procedures for the provision of goods, reducing cost, and prices to the public, the plan includes stock buying of local and imported goods from major companies and importers, or direct import.

Moreover, contracts for supplying basic commodities will be conducted according to a scheme that allows for long-term supply and payment to obtain discounts and payment facilities.

This would come with lowered profit margins.

Furthermore, Ismail said that these measures are meant to implement mandates by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for the government to tighten controls on the market and adjust prices within the state’s efforts to protect the citizens.

The prime minister also directed concerned bodies to continue implementing necessary measures to control the markets across several aspects, including raising the number of “Gama’ety” outlets and moving outlets, developing consumer complexes, and designing a new policy to tighten controls on the market.

Ismail stressed that the government pays special attention to secure the provision of goods in highly populated areas, including Upper Egypt and most villages in need.

Finally, the prime minister commissioned concerned bodies to coordinate with the Ministry of Health to take all necessary actions to secure the availability of medication from the local market and abroad to maintain fair prices and follow up on all stages of the supply chain, starting from producers and importers through distribution to stores and pharmacies.

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One kidnapped worker in Libya reportedly killed: kidnappers to his family  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/one-kidnapped-worker-libya-reportedly-killed-kidnappers-family/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/one-kidnapped-worker-libya-reportedly-killed-kidnappers-family/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:31:47 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610832 MP Tarek El-Khouly filed an inquest to the parliament speaker to forward it to the Foreign Ministry to follow the case

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Following circulating news regarding the kidnapping of 15 Egyptian workers in Libya, kidnappers informed the brother of one of the kidnapped workers that his brother was killed due to the media campaigns launched by his family.

Meanwhile, Tarek El-Khouly, member of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee submitted an inquest to parliament speaker Ali Abdul Aal regarding the Egyptian workers kidnapped in Libya, in order to refer it to the Foreign Ministry to follow the case.

The MP made the inquest after he had received a message from the killed worker’s brother.

Hamada Salah, the brother of the allegedly dead Mohamed Salah, told Daily News Egypt on Tuesday that one of the kidnappers asserted to him through a WhatsApp message that Mohamed is now dead as a punitive measure for leaking the kidnapping operation to the media.

“They informed me that my brother is now dead. Until now, we did not get a proper answer from the Foreign Ministry who had previously informed us that it will be hard to reach them due to the absence of an Egyptian diplomatic mission to Libya,” Hamada asserted.

Regarding the MP’s inquest, El-Khouly did not mention details about the death of Mohamed. It was only mentioned that Hamada had received information about the disappearance of workers and a call from a kidnapper seeking EGP 70,000 as ransom. The MP relied on Article 134 of the Constitution and Article 212 of the Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives in his inquest.

Hamada further explained that following the receipt of the message, he and members from the families of the other Egyptian workers in Libya decided to go to Dakahlia security directorate to meet the security manager there.

The incident dates back to 10 January, when numerous photos circulated through several social media outlets in Egypt, showing a number of young Egyptians being bound in chains with apparent torture marks on their backs.

Hamada had told Daily News Egypt back then that Mohamed had been kidnapped by anonymous militants after illegally travelling to Libya in December 2016. He said that a smuggler had agreed to smuggle his brother into Libya so that he could find employment in agriculture. He explained that his brother is a farmer.

The alleged kidnapper asked Hamada to pay a ransom of EGP 70,000. “He urged me to collect the money and pay it as soon as possible because he and other Egyptians were subject to unbearable torture by their captors.”

Daily News Egypt made several attempts to reach the Foreign Ministry spokesperson for a comment on the incident, but no answers were received

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Hotel revenues per available room forecasted to grow by 8% between December, February in Cairo: Colliers  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610825/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610825/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:24:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610825 Cairo hotels continued to show a strong performance despite the recent devaluation of the local currency. The continued surge in revenues per available rooms (RevPAR) is a result of the increasing Average Daily Rates (ADR), according to Colliers International’s MENA Hotel Forecasts December 2016 report. Consequently, hotel profitability rates are expected to further enhance. According …

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Cairo hotels continued to show a strong performance despite the recent devaluation of the local currency. The continued surge in revenues per available rooms (RevPAR) is a result of the increasing Average Daily Rates (ADR), according to Colliers International’s MENA Hotel Forecasts December 2016 report.

Consequently, hotel profitability rates are expected to further enhance.

According to the report, both Cairo and Jordan’s Aqaba are considered tourism hotspots with 8% and 11% expected RevPAR growth from December to February, respectively. Alexandria is the runner-up with a forecasted 6% RevPAR growth in the same period.

On the other hand, Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh continue to feel the negative consequences of declining tourism due to recent events that have weighed down the inflow of tourists. Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh are expected to witness 3% and 2% growth, respectively, during the same period.

Moreover, Mecca and Abu Dhabi beach are expected to maintain a stable RevPAR performance, while Jeddah witnessed a 13% drop in RevPAR due to new visa regulations, and the drop in meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions (MICE), and corporate demand caused by the cuts in public and private spendings. Kuwait City also registered a 13% decrease due to the decline in MICE and corporate demand.

Regarding the Guest Experience Index (GEI), Colliers noted that Cairo scored 73 out of 100 for November 2016, marking a three-point increase, while Alexandria scored 76, Sharm El-Sheikh scored 81, and Hurghada scored 82.

The reports indicated that the highest GEI growth was witnessed in Ras Al-Khaimah with a five-point increase, reaching a score of 77 points. Aqaba’s GEI witnessed the highest recorded drop in the GEI score with an eight-point decrease, reaching 71.

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Magnum Photos publishes guide on Europe for refugees, migrants http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/magnum-photos-publishes-guide-on-europe-for-refugees-migrants/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/magnum-photos-publishes-guide-on-europe-for-refugees-migrants/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:15:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610867 The post Magnum Photos publishes guide on Europe for refugees, migrants appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Roughly 1 million people applied for asylum in the European Union last year. A special guide published in several languages now gives them practical tips and useful background information on the history of Europe.Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Belarussians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Germans – they were once all refugees themselves.

Roughly 20 million people were displaced by World War II. During the winter of 1944/45, 12 million Germans were expelled from their former homes in East Prussia, Pomerania, Brandenburg, Silesia and Poland. During the war in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, millions of people fled their homes.

According to the UNHCR, 65 million people worldwide were refugees in 2016, fleeing war, terrorism and hunger – especially in war-torn Syria. Roughly 1 million people applied for asylum in the EU last year, most of them from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

How can we help?

For the last 20 years, German Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak has been working in regions ripped apart by war and crisis. He took pictures in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, as well as in Chechnya, Georgia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was on the Balkan route in the fall of 2015 when hundreds of thousands of refugees were trying to reach northern and western Europe. Dworzak was frustrated by what he saw, observing how he and other photographers around him were all doing the same thing: capturing the refugees’ suffering in the same pictures and the stories repeated over and over. Nothing seemed to change.

“I got the impression that my pictures wouldn’t make a big difference,” he said. That’s why he decided to try out something else. “I noticed that the refugees were asking a lot of questions. How do I apply for asylum in Belgium? What kind of health system do they have over there? They were mainly interested in practical things.”

Making Europe more accessible

Knowing how the refugees could access information via Facebook and various apps, Dworzak decided to go one step further and develop an introduction into life in Europe.

He came up with a book full of practical information and useful tips, but also some chapters on the history of Europe and the EU, as well as political debates in Europe that would affect their future as migrants. In addition, the book contains contributions by journalists and authors, and personal reports by Europeans.

Thanks to the work of many contributors, the book “Europa: An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees” was published this past November, less than a year after the project was started. It was supported by the publisher Al-liquindoi, the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), the Italian cultural organization On the Move, the UNHCR and the Allianz Cultural Foundation.

Another major contributor was, naturally, Magnum Photos.The photo agency, known around the world for its huge archive of historical and present-day photos, contributed many iconic images.

Without its involvement, the book – published in English, French, Farsi and Arabic – certainly wouldn’t be what it is now. The mostly black-and-white photos focus on postwar Germany, the Western way of life, the destruction of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and a lot more.

“Just looking at the pictures, you wouldn’t know where they were shot. That was an important aspect to me,” said Alia Malek, a New York-based journalist who edited the book and helped develop its structure.

The idea was to show the refugees that Europe hasn’t always been what it is now, a rich and industrialized continent, and to emphasize that Europe also saw wars and military conflicts until most of its states peacefully united in the European Union.

“Telling the refugees the story of Europe could strengthen their hope for reconciliation,” added Malek.

Practical tips

The book also contains plenty of practical tips. Dworzak’s special project was to take pictures of street signs, supermarket labels, ticket machines and trash cans – all normal, everyday things which could look completely different in the refugees’ home countries. With his pictures, Dworzak hopes to help these new arrivals get around and navigate daily life in Europe.

The book also tells readers about the typical foods and drinks, traditions and popular films and books in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain and Sweden, countries that have become particularly popular with refugees and migrants. In addition, the book lists major information centers.

“I got the impression that these people were very happy about the fact that something had been created especially for them,” explained Jessica Murray of publisher Al-liquindoi, who coordinated the project. She toured Europe at the end of November in order to distribute 5,000 copies free of charge to NGOs, refugee shelters and aid workers.

Murray’s trip was very successful – “refugees were fascinated by the amount of information in the book,” she remembered. “Also, teachers working with the refugees were impressed by the many ways in which they can make use of the book.”

Improving international understanding

Another objective of the book’s authors and editors is to promote cultural exchange between different groups of refugees. Particularly helpful in this regard are the personal accounts of people living and working in Europe, locals and newcomers, refugees of the post-war era and of today.

“Europeans and refugees are given an opportunity to see their own experiences reflected in those of others,” said Malek. Though to what extent the book is able to achieve its high-minded goal remains to be seen.

“Europa: An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees” is a charitable, non-profit project. The book is not available in bookstores. The first edition of 5,000 copies was distributed for free to NGOs and refugee organizations. Aid workers working with refugees and migrants can order a copy by contacting Jessica Murray (jessica@al-liquindoi.com)

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EEHC contracts with Doosan Group to supply turbine, generators to Assiut power plant for $61.6m http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/eehc-contracts-doosan-group-supply-turbine-generators-assiut-power-plant-61-6m/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/eehc-contracts-doosan-group-supply-turbine-generators-assiut-power-plant-61-6m/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:10:32 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610822 The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) signed a contract with Doosan Group to supply a turbine, condensers, and generators to the Assiut power plant for $61.68m. A source at the EEHC said that several other companies had presented their bids to the tender, before it was awarded to Doosan Group. These companies included Mitsubishi Hitachi …

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The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) signed a contract with Doosan Group to supply a turbine, condensers, and generators to the Assiut power plant for $61.68m.

A source at the EEHC said that several other companies had presented their bids to the tender, before it was awarded to Doosan Group. These companies included Mitsubishi Hitachi Alliance, Toyota Tsusho, Siemens-Shanghai Electric Alliance, and Doosan Group.

Chairperson of the EEHC Gaber Desouki said that the contract extends over 39 months from the date it was awarded, noting that the project is due to begin by the end of 2019.

He explained that the project is composed of a steam turbine with a capacity of 650 MW, condensers, generators, and other facilities. The plant works through a steam boiler of supercritical pressures fuelled by natural gas and fuel oil. The output energy will be linked to the main station in Assiut with a voltage of 500 KV.

He pointed out that the project comes within the 2012-2017 five-year plan which aims to support the national electricity grid to meet the growing need for electricity and achieve development across different fields.

The Upper Egypt Electricity Production Company’s (UEEPC) CEO, Ibrahim El-Shahat, said that the total cost of the power plant amounts to EGP 5bn, noting that financing for the project was secured via loans from international financing bodies, in addition to UEEPC’s own resources.

Funders include the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the Islamic Development Bank, and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). The UEEPC will self-finance $170m, roughly 23% of the total cost of the project.

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Court postpones verdict halting Hesham Geneina’s dismissal to 24 January http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610786/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610786/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:58:39 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610786 Geneina had previously received a one-year prison sentence and an EGP 20,000 fine on charges of spreading false news

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Cairo Administrative Court decided on Tuesday to postpone the verdict of halting the sacking of former top auditor and former head of the Central Auditing Organization (CAO) Hesham Geneina to 24 January.

The lawsuit was filed by Geneina against President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and said that the dismissal decision that was taken by Al-Sisi is unconstitutional.

In March 2016, Al-Sisi ordered the dismissal of Geneina from his post at the CAO, according to a presidential decree that was issued in July 2015, whereby he is authorised to replace, appoint, and dismiss heads of regulatory bodies, despite the Constitution guaranteeing the independence of these institutions from the state’s executive branch. However, the lawsuit argues that Al-Sisi dismissed Geneina while there was no parliament.

The Cairo Criminal Court had issued a verdict in July 2016 against Geneina. He was sentenced to a one-year prison sentence and an EGP 20,000 bail to suspend the imprisonment decision on charges of disrupting security and public order. However, Geneina appealed the verdict.

The case started when a local newspaper published falsified statements attributed to Geneina about the size of financial corruption in the public sector. Geneina had stated that wasted public funds amounted to EGP 600bn from 2012 to 2015. Youm7 had reported that he was referring to only 2015. Geneina accordingly filed a lawsuit against Youm7. The verdict of that case might affect the case raised against Geneina for publishing false news.

Following the statements which were first published in the news in December, the Egyptian presidency denied “press reports” and ordered investigations into the claims.

 

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Parliament to have last word over Egyptian-Saudi demarcation deal despite State Council verdict: Abdul Aal http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610788/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610788/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:54:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610788 There are disputes among MPs on constitutional articles 151 and 190, which are contradictory of each other 

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Parliament will discuss the Egyptian-Saudi maritime demarcation agreement in accordance to constitutional Article 151, parliamentary speaker Ali Abdul Aal asserted during a televised interview on Monday.

This came hours after the Administrative Court rejected the government’s appeal against the court’s previous verdict. It thereby asserted its preliminary verdict of nullifying the agreement in a case known in the media as the “Red Sea islands” case.

Abdul Aal noted that international agreements should pass through five stages before official implementation, and until now, “we cannot consider the agreement finalised or official”, as it did not yet pass through these five stages.

“The first stage is negotiations over the agreement between both sides, followed by filing the agreement, sending it to parliament for voting, gaining the approval of the president, and then publishing it in the country’s Official Gazette,” Abdul Aal explained.

Abdul Aal said that the first part in the Article 151 of the Constitution states that the parliament should approve of such agreements before sending them to the president for consent. Such agreements or conflicts on international levels fall under the sovereignty of the presidency.

Article 151 of the Constitution, stipulates that “the president shall represent the state in its foreign relations and conclude treaties and ratify them after the approval of the House of Representatives,” adding that “voters must be called for a referendum, and they are not to be ratified before the announcement of their approval in the referendum. In all cases, no treaty may be concluded which is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution or which results in ceding any part of state territories.”

Regarding whether the deal is constitutional or not, the parliament speaker said that this is the parliament’s role.

Monday’s verdict triggered disputes among supporting and opposing parliamentary members (MPs) to the agreement. Each group is trying to prove its view in accordance to certain articles in the Constitution. The disputes are focusing on articles 151 and 190.

A number of MPs believe that the verdict asserted the invalidity of the agreement, in accordance to Article 190 which stipulates that “the State Council is an autonomous judicial body, and it shall have the exclusive jurisdiction to settle administrative disputes and disputes relevant to the execution of all its rulings”. This implies that the State Council’s court is considered the highest judicial entity in the country.

Meanwhile, other MPs said that the Administrative Court should have waited for the verdict of the Constitutional Court, and that parliament still has the right to discuss the agreement in accordance to Article 151.

In mid-August the government filed an appeal to the Constitutional Court to decide on whether or not the judiciary has the authority to decide on the sovereignty of the islands.

The lawyers who initially brought the case to court said that throughout the court sessions, government representatives failed to prove Saudi sovereignty over the islands. The judicial panel confirmed that in its statement while announcing the verdict.

Deputy of the State Council Ahmed El-Shazly, who announced the verdict, said that the government did not present any document proving Saudi sovereignty over the islands, and that the court rejected the appeal on consensus.

On 8 April, the government concluded the demarcation deal that sought to transfer the sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia during an official visit by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

There was no previous mention in the media regarding any discussion between both countries prior to the visit. Saudi Arabia has so far not reacted to the court rulings.

 

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Real estate stakeholders affected by Egyptian pound flotation: JLL  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610784/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610784/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:07:16 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610784 The rapid devaluation of the Egyptian pound has led to uncertainty and delayed decisions by both investors and occupants

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The flotation of the Egyptian pound has caused challenges for real estate stakeholders throughout 2016, according to the 2016 Cairo Real Estate overview report recently released by real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). The report analysed the impacts of the decision made by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in November 2016 to liberalise the exchange rate.

“The Egyptian pound showed signs of increased volatility following the devaluation and in December 2016, it lost 52% of its value,” the report said. The rapid devaluation has resulted in uncertainty and has delayed decisions by both investors and occupants who waited to see where the Egyptian pound will settle in value. The currency devaluation has increased costs of inputs in the construction industry, negatively impacting developers’ cash flows, the report said.

The report summarised the highlights of each sector in real estate in 2016. In terms of offices, the fourth quarter (Q4) witnessed relatively smaller companies cancelling their relocation plans to grade A office spaces. They are expected to be pushed to find spaces of lower quality in less prime areas, as New Cairo continues to be the most sought-after destination for office occupants. Office rents have remained stable over the past quarter as the market is still adjusting to current business conditions.

As for residential units, average sales prices for both apartments and villas have decreased significantly in US dollar terms in Q4, especially in New Cairo and 6th of October City. Prices of rentals, on the other hand, were more resilient towards the currency flotation than sales, as rental units are partially targeted towards foreigners.

The retail sector has not witnessed the completion of any retail development in 2016, while average rentals are expected to remain under downward pressure due to the continued decline in consumer spending and retail sales.

For hotels, the occupancy rates have increased by 5%. Improvement in airport security and development of inbound tourism from Arab countries are some of the reasons for increased occupancy rates.

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Parliamentary Health Committee agrees to hold meetings on development of small medical units http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/parliamentary-health-committee-agrees-hold-meetings-development-small-medical-units/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/parliamentary-health-committee-agrees-hold-meetings-development-small-medical-units/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:03:30 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610781 The Doctors Syndicate has objected to the offering of small medical units to investors

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The parliamentary Health Committee agreed to hold meetings in participation with all concerned parties to develop 377 small medical units across 16 governorates in the next period.

Member of the committee Samy El-Mashad said that the committee summoned the Minister of Health Ahmad Emad El-Din on Monday and three scenarios for the development were presented. The first would put the Ministry of Health in charge of carrying out development. The second would be to have Egyptian universities carry out the development. The third option would involve the development being carried out in partnership with the private sector.

Member of the Health Committee Shadia Thabet said that she refuses the participation of the private sector in developing small medical units at the current time, given the absence of a comprehensive health insurance system supporting low-income citizens, especially because of the increase of medicine prices.

She added that the aim behind establishing the small medical units was to alleviate pressure on public hospitals in cities and governorates by enabling medical units in villages and remote areas.

Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Arabi said earlier in press statements that NI Capital, one of the National Investment Bank’s investment arms, has been assigned as a financial consultant to offer the small medical units, which are affiliated to the Ministry of Health, for investment to the private sector.

The Doctors Syndicate has objected to offering the small medical units to investors, arguing that doing so will increase health services’ costs.

The secretary general of the Doctors Syndicate, Ehab El-Taher, said in previous statements to Daily News Egypt that the cost of treatment has become very high recently, especially with the rising cost of medicines.

He also said that the syndicate had informed the Ministry of Health, the parliament, the cabinet, and the presidency of its objection.

The Doctors Syndicate also presented suggestions on the optimal utilisation of the small medical units.

The syndicate’s suggestion included studying areas most in need of health services, developing the small medical units in these areas, while enabling the private sector to be involved in small medical units in areas that already have good hospitals and turn them into training and research centres in order to raise the quality of medical teams.

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NTI agrees with ETIT to locally manufacture tracking devices http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/nti-agrees-etit-locally-manufacture-tracking-devices/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/nti-agrees-etit-locally-manufacture-tracking-devices/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:58:33 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610775 The National Telecommunications Institute (NTI) and the Egyptian Company for Tracking and IT services (ETIT) signed an agreement to locally design, manufacture, and market vehicle-tracking devices. The signing ceremony was attended by Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser Al-Qadi. This comes in the framework of the state’s steps to activate the presidential initiative “Egypt, …

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The National Telecommunications Institute (NTI) and the Egyptian Company for Tracking and IT services (ETIT) signed an agreement to locally design, manufacture, and market vehicle-tracking devices.

The signing ceremony was attended by Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser Al-Qadi. This comes in the framework of the state’s steps to activate the presidential initiative “Egypt, the future,” which was posed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during the 19th Cairo ICT 2015. The president’s initiative aims to design and manufacture electronics in Egypt, as well as to stimulate the IT, communications, and electronics industries in Egypt.

Al-Qadi said that the devices will be 100% locally designed. It will also be manufactured with domestic components and will adhere to international standards.

The ETIT has been paying attention to provide tracking and technological solutions to manage fleets in Egypt, being the only company licensed to provide tracking services.

This service is one of the technological breakthroughs that achieve more efficient administrative systems in Egypt. It also contributes to the reduction of car thefts and helps grow many sectors, such as transport, oil, and tourism.

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Supreme Council for Investment approves establishment of National Council for Payments http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/supreme-council-investment-approves-establishment-national-council-payments/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/supreme-council-investment-approves-establishment-national-council-payments/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:47:22 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610779 The council will work to pivot Egypt towards a cashless community, says CBE governor

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In its third meeting on Monday, the Supreme Council for Investment approved the proposal by Tarek Amer, governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), to establish a National Council for Payments, according to recommendations posed in earlier meetings. The necessary steps to establish the council will be taken soon.

According to Amer, the council will work to pivot Egypt towards a cashless community and contribute to achieving sound, transparent financial transactions. “It will also ensure the state obtains its arrears and merge the formal and informal economies together,” he added.

During the meeting, which was attended by the prime minister, CBE governor, and ministers of defence, military production, interior, justice, finance, and investment, as well as chiefs of the General Intelligence Directorate, Administrative Control Authority, the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), and the Federation Of Egyptian Industries, the executive situation of previous decisions taken in the previous meeting on 4 December were reviewed.

Minister of Investment, Dalia Khorshid, said that the final draft for the new investment law has been finalised by the cabinet and sent to the State Council, in preparation to sending it to the parliament, as part of the steps required to pass legislations to implement further decisions by the Supreme Council for Investment.

Moreover, the meeting also touched on a number of topics, including the plan to promote direct and indirect investments in 2017. The council approved a suggested promotion plan and reviewed the executive steps taken to establish a company that will be tasked with promoting direct and indirect investments, both locally and abroad.

The meeting addressed the integrated investment map for Egypt, which Khorshid presented and was prepared by the ministry. The map includes the investment objectives and opportunities available for investment in various sectors, which have been divided according to geographical regions to fully cover Egypt. The president had given directives to complete a vision for investment in Egypt in order to maximise the economic feasibility of investment opportunities and to provide new job opportunities. He also said that the investment map should contain national projects, new communities, the Suez Canal Economic Zone, and the government’s IPOs programme.

Meanwhile, Khorshid also presented a report prepared by the ministerial committee that examined the procedures required to improve Egypt’s ranking in the Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum and the Doing Business Report issued by the World Bank. These are the two reports concerned with rating Egypt’s position according to international investment indicators.

The attendees also discussed the implementation of the IPO programme, for which the president had directed to accelerate the promotion in Egypt and abroad.

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Parliament speaker denies extra-judicial killings in Al-Arish http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/parliament-speaker-denies-extra-judicial-killings-al-arish/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/parliament-speaker-denies-extra-judicial-killings-al-arish/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:41:10 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610777 Electronic battalions targeting Egypt are responsible for these claims, says Abdul Aal

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Parliament speaker Ali Abdul Aal denied rumours circulating on social media outlets that security forces have been conducting extra-judicial killings in the North Sinai city of Al-Arish, a state-run media outlet reported.

The parliament speaker’s comments came in the context of discussing an urgent statement by members of parliament representing Al-Arish.

“Army and police forces are sacrificing their souls on a daily basis; there are electronic battalions that are targeting Egypt, its people, army and police. We [Egyptians] should not only depend on notorious websites and build unrealistic opinions,” Abdul Aal said.

An urgent memo by the MPs of Al-Arish stipulated that residents of North Sinai were surprised by a statement from the Interior Ministry in which it said that it killed several perpetrators of recent attacks that struck the city.

The statement further asserted that when they heard about the Interior Ministry’s statement, the residents of Al-Arish welcomed it, but were later shocked when they heard that some residents had claimed that the people killed by the ministry were in fact people that had been detained by authorities a few months earlier.

The statement called for the formation of an investigative committee to look into the incident and asked a sovereign entity affiliated to the Egyptian Armed Forces to open urgent investigations regarding the matter.

On Saturday night, families in Al-Arish echoed outrage against the recent operations conducted by the Interior Ministry against the perpetrators of the two deadly attacks that hit Al-Arish a week ago and left eight police officers and a civilian dead, a North Sinai based journalist told Daily News Egypt on Monday on condition of anonymity.

The meeting came in the wake of a raid executed by the Interior Ministry against a residence, which according to the ministry was used as a shelter by the perpetrators of the recent attacks.

Security sources also denied accusations made during the meeting, which claimed that the police detained their relatives and killed them.

The ministry said that the perpetrators opened fire against police forces that stormed their residence. Consequently, security forces responded by killing all 10 alleged perpetrators.

 

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Russia finalises inspection of Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh airports http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610771/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610771/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:33:56 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610771 Russian transport ministry announced that a group of experts are currently drafting a report following the conclusion of their inspection of Cairo airport

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A Russian security delegation left Egypt on Monday after a six-day visit, during which the delegation inspected the security measures undertaken by Egyptian authorities at Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh airports, in order to resume direct flights between the two countries.

In a statement, Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said that the Russian delegation followed up on the new technical and security developments in the two airports, and praised the Egyptian side on the applied measures.

Sources at the airport, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Daily News Egypt that the delegation checked the measures passengers have to go through from the moment of their arrival at the airports until the aeroplanes take off.

They also said that they checked the activation of biometric devices used to track the workers at the airport. The delegation, which included seven members and took five days to complete the inspection, is expected to draft a report on the security measures in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh airports.

This visit was among several visits by Russian delegations to check on the security measures at Egypt’s airports, amid continuous promises of resuming direct flights between Egypt and Russia soon.

Earlier this month, the Russian transport ministry announced that a group of experts are currently drafting a report following the conclusion of their inspection to Cairo International airport. Based on this report, direct flights between Cairo and Moscow may resume.

In December 2016, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin told Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi that flights will return soon. It was reported that direct flights may resume at the beginning of 2017; however, the Russian side has not fixed a date yet.

On 31 October 2015, Egyptian Air Traffic Control announced that it lost contact with a Russian plane that took off from Sharm El-Sheikh en route to St Petersburg.

Twenty-three minutes after it took off, the plane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula, with officials saying that all 224 passengers and crew members on board were killed. Although direct flights are suspended, it did not have a significant negative effect on bilateral relations between Egypt and Russia.

 

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