Daily News Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:01:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 8th season of Fashion Evolution http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/8th-season-fashion-evolution/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/8th-season-fashion-evolution/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:01:36 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623456 Cairo Fashion Festival April 27th – 29th, 2017

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Cairo Fashion Festival (CFF), in collaboration with Cairo Festival City Mall (CFCM), is back this April—brought to you by “selfie expert Oppo camera phone”—celebrating the eighth season of Fashion Evolution. The festival takes place from 27 to 29 April 2017 at CFCM Festival Amphitheater!cff
Cairo Fashion Festival is a three day extravaganza featuring both leading and emerging designers from the region. The festival is mostly known for scouting fashion talents, and this season they will showcase fresh, talented designers as usual. As for international designers this season, Cairo Fashion Festival and Cairo Festival City Mall present to you the breathtaking designs of Hama Designs, which have captured the eyes of the beautiful Queen Rania of Jordan and other royalty.
The theme of this season is inspired by carnivals and amusement park vibes that embody a fashion wonderland, with its soft, white, pastel, and vintage vibes. The fashion shows and presentations will feature the SS’17 and FW’17/18 collections from top Egyptian, regional and international fashion designers and brands.
For the start of the festival, CFF has joined forces with the top exhibitors to create a brilliant bazaar, with over 20 exhibitors in the mall’s Festival Promenade. The bazaar will run from 10:00am till 12:00am, without any invitations needed. Everyone can enjoy an endless day of shopping from a huge variety of unique exhibitors.
On 28 April, the exclusive event will include more than ten runway shows, non-stop fashion presentations, and a glamorous red carpet. Needless to say, the show’s lineup will blow your wardrobe dream and introduce you to the top fashion trends in hair and makeup beautifully styled by Kriss Beauty Salon.
As per tradition, Cairo Fashion Festival will take place in the ever-so-grand Cairo Festival City Mall—strategically located in the spacious outdoor arena. Luckily, shoppers at the mall can also enjoy the show live on Cairo Festival City Mall’s mega screens.
CFF, in cooperation with CFCM, will give major support this season, as they have collaborated for the second time in a row with the best fashion university worldwide, London College of Fashion. CFF will give the opportunity to one of the festival’s designers to attend the university for a short course fully funded by Cairo Festival City Mall
DHL once again has tapped into the fashion industry and has created a global international campaign around upcoming fashion designers. DHL has joined forces with CFF to create a heated competition among all the designers, with a grand prize to be announced at the end of the event.
The red carpet event this year will be welcoming over 3,000 VIP guests, ranging from global media representatives to society’s top fashion elite.
CFF’s management expressed their happiness with their collaboration with CFCM for the 8th time, in addition to their partnership with “selfie expert Oppo camera phone” for the first time this season.
Sam Hosn, the general manager of Cairo Festival City Mall, has said, “CFCM is always keen to support the Egyptian fashion industry and the young entrepreneurs to help make Egypt’s future a brighter one. CFCM’s 2nd grant to the London College of Fashion is just one more way we are able to help the fashion industry, by giving a fashion designer the tools to become their best in fashion worldwide.”
Omar Madkour,the CEO of CFF, also stated that he and the whole festival team are grateful to all their partners and sponsors, as they have helped in taking the event to higher level, and he assured that it

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Egypt concerned about ‘partisan’ US senate foreign aid hearing http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/egypt-concerned-non-neutral-senate-foreign-aid-hearing/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/egypt-concerned-non-neutral-senate-foreign-aid-hearing/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 14:51:55 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623407 Foreign ministry’s spokesperson says hearing ignored achievements of Egypt in region and in counter terrorism

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According to a statement, Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Ministry criticized on Thursday the US senate’s hearings that aimed to present an assessment of the financial aid presented to Egypt from the United States. Speakers in the hearings pointed out alleged human rights violations in Egypt, an issue which the foreign ministry considered as “partisan” and an intentional act of negatively interpreting the situation.

The Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry said that “any close observer to the opinions of a number of former American officials towards Egypt” will conclude that the hearings were initiated to harm the positive relations between Egypt and the new American government.

The hearings took place Tuesday, where American researcher Michele Dunne, former US ambassador to Egypt Daniel Kurtzer, and former US state department official Dennis Ross were questioned by senators about the continuation or suspension of aid to Egypt. Opinions varied, with a state of polarization overwhelming the views of the senators.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zaid said that the three questioned had the same critical tendencies towards the Egyptian government, adding that they ignored “the country’s achievements in supporting stability and fighting terrorism.”

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Turkey suspends more than 9,000 police officials on suspected Gulen links http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/turkey-suspends-9000-police-officials-suspected-gulen-links-2/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/turkey-suspends-9000-police-officials-suspected-gulen-links-2/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 14:26:22 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623444 More than 9,000 personnel have been temporarily suspended from Turkey's police force while they are investigated for suspected links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. The cleric was blamed for last year's failed coup.

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DW- Turkish authorities suspended 9,103 police personnel on Wednesday as a part of an investigation into to last year’s attempted military coup, according to a press release from the police.

This comes hours after Turkish authorities arrested more than a thousand “secret Imams” who they claim infiltrated Turkish police forces on behalf of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

“One thousand and nine secret imams have been detained so far in 72 provinces, and the operation is ongoing,” said Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly blamed the attempted coup on Gulen, who has denied the accusation. Turkey has been under a state of emergency since the attempted coup last July, which has given Erdogan and his cabinet the power to bypass parliament, and pass laws as well as hold suspects in jail for an extended time without being charged with a crime.

Countries around the world have expressed concerns the state of emergency has been used to round up political opponents along with potential coup conspirators. About 47,000 people have been arrested and about 120,000 have been fired or suspended from their professions in the nine months following the coup.

We are trying to cleanse Gulen supporters: Erdogan

Wednesday’s suspensions and arrests come 10 days after Turkish voters supported a referendum to give Erdogan more sweeping control over the country. Opposition parties and European election observers have said the referendum vote was troubled by irregularities. Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) said Wednesday it will challenge changes to the voting rules for Turkey’s referendum at the European Court of Human Rights.

Erdogan told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday that the referendum was necessary to avert potential instability, be it from those associated with the coup or Islamist or Kurdish militants. Referendum opponents worry the vote pushes Turkey closer to an authoritarian state.

“In Turkey, there was an attempted coup with a goal of toppling the government and destroying the state,” Erdogan told Reuters.

“We are trying to cleanse members of FETO inside the armed forces, inside the judiciary and inside the police,” he added, using an acronym for what the Turkish government labels Gulen’s supporters.

Germany condemns incarcerations

Sebastian Fischer, a spokesman for Germany’s Foreign Ministry, said there should be an investigation into last year’s attempted coup, but “the measures must adhere to the rule of law.”

“We don’t believe arresting 1,000 people so long after the putsch is really proportionate,” Fischer added, referring to police arrests earlier Wednesday.

Relations between Germany and Turkey have soured in recent years, especially since the attempted coup. At least 18 Germans have been detained in Turkey since last July, with some still behind bars. Erdogan has refused to release German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel “as long as I am in power.”

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‘Huge’ explosion at Damascus airport http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/huge-explosion-damascus-airport/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/huge-explosion-damascus-airport/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 13:24:27 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623405 According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a large explosion has hit near Damascus International Airport. Syrian state TV said an Israeli airstrike targeting a Hezbollah arms depot caused the blast.

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DW- The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday that a large explosion rocked the Syrian capital early in the morning and that fire was now burning near the airport.

No casualties have been reported.

“The blast was huge and could be heard in Damascus,” said the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, according to the AFP news agency.

A Lebanese TV channel, al-Manar, said the blast was “probably” caused by an Israeli airstrike.

Read: On the frontline – citizen journalism in Syria

Al-Manar is affiliated with Hezbollah, an ally of the Syrian government. Syrian state television also reported that Israel had conducted a missile attack on the site.

An anonymous regional intelligence source speaking to Reuters said the blast site contained a weapons depot operated by Hezbollah, which was regularly stocked with supplies sent from Tehran. Iran is also an ally of the Syrian government.

Israel has refused to confirm or deny that it was responsible for the blast, but  Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said such a strike would be in line with Israeli policy.

“We are acting to prevent the transfer of sophisticated weapons from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon by Iran,” Katz said on Israeli army radio. “When we receive serious information about the intention to transfer weapons to Hezbollah, we will act. This incident is totally consistent with this policy.”

Israel has carried out similar attacks in the past.

Damascus has been largely spared from the violence that has occurred regularly in other parts of the country since Syria’s civil war began in 2011, but clashes between government forces and rebel troops have come closer to the capital in recent months.

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Renaissance Capital plans to open Cairo office http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/renaissance-capital-announced-plans-open-cairo-office/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/renaissance-capital-announced-plans-open-cairo-office/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:58:25 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623401 The office is set to open once we receive the regulatory approval, says the CEO

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Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital, which is top-ranked for mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital markets, and securities sales and trading, has announced their plans to open an office in Cairo in 2017 in order to increase their investment ties with Egypt, the bank’s MENA chief executive officer, Ahmed Badr, said on Thursday as reported by Reuters.

According to Badr, the bank expects to open their Cairo office within a few months, once they receive the regulatory approvals. The bank currently has operations offices in Moscow, London, Dubai, Lagos, Nairobi, and elsewhere.

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Kabil issues resolution imposing EGP 12,000 fee per tonne of exported fish for 4 months http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/kabil-issues-resolution-imposing-egp-12000-fee-per-tonne-exported-fish-4-months/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/kabil-issues-resolution-imposing-egp-12000-fee-per-tonne-exported-fish-4-months/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:42:20 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623399 The resolution aims to prioritize the local market needs, says Kabil

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Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil issued a resolution to impose a fee of EGP 12,000 per tonne of fresh and frozen fish exported for a period of four months from the date of the resolution’s publication in the official state gazette. The resolution exempts manufactured fish (such as the smoked or canned), as well as fish exports to the European Union, according to a press statement on Thursday.

This decision comes in the framework of the ministry’s keenness to provide for the fish needs of the local market, especially in light of the increase in fish exports during the last period, which contributed to the reduction of supply and the increases in prices, said Kabil.

According to the study conducted by the ministry, the average annual production of fish in the period from 2013 to 2015 had reached around 1.5m tonnes annually, while the needs of the domestic market accounted for about 1.8m tonnes of fish, causing a deficit of 300,000 tonnes per year, which is covered by imports. Fish exports in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 registered around 48,000 tonnes and 14,000 tonnes respectively.

Kabil explained that although the export ratio did not exceed 2.5% of the annual production of fish, an increase in the exports of tilapia and mullet was witnessed, which are the population’s main alternative to meat and poultry. The exports of these two types of fish accounted for about 80% of the total fish exports during the first quarter of 2017.

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Cairo Wedding Festival season 2: bringing bridal dreams to life http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/cairo-wedding-festival-season-2-bringing-bridal-dreams-life/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/cairo-wedding-festival-season-2-bringing-bridal-dreams-life/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:30:41 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623349 Weddings are a life-long dream for many people around the country. The long-anticipated night includes an endless number of details and necessities that future brides and grooms spend months looking for. After a very successful season last year, Cairo Wedding Festival (CWF) came back for a second season last weekend at Uptown Cairo. From gowns …

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Weddings are a life-long dream for many people around the country. The long-anticipated night includes an endless number of details and necessities that future brides and grooms spend months looking for.

After a very successful season last year, Cairo Wedding Festival (CWF) came back for a second season last weekend at Uptown Cairo. From gowns to jewelry, flowers, invitation cards, photographers, and even dentists, the event’s long list of exhibitors did not leave any wedding-related detail out.

“For our second season, we want to go bigger, better, and more luxurious. We wanted to focus on the vendors, fashion, and wedding trends of the year. We wanted to bring the best of the best in the industry. We have lots of exhibitors that offer a diversity of products and services, something that couples nowadays highly seek. All young couples want things that are different and unique,” said Morien Ghaly, social media specialist for CWF.

With each booth showcasing a different related product, the exhibitors have also competed to stand out further. The team behind CWF has given each exhibitor the chance to decorate their booths, which led to a diversity of bridal display.

On the other hand, the second season also has a fashion show, related entertainment, and A-list celebrities among the front row audience.

“Basically, we aim to curate an area where brides and grooms can find all of what they need. Furthermore, we also help them through offers, prizes, and discounts—courtesy of our exhibitors. We try to make the whole pre-wedding process far easier for them,” said Ghaly.

The event hosted 80 exhibitors and four fashion shows, including Raghda Helal and Amira Khazamy, who showcased their couture collections, as well as Bridal Veil, which presented its selection of imported bridal gowns, and, finally, Botros jewelry.

“We always aim to put brides at the core of our interests and plans. Every year, we plan to offer her more to meet her needs. Brides want a fairytale wedding; meanwhile, they also want to have something different. We offer as much diversity as possible. We are always keen on choosing exhibitors that meet a wide variety of brides,” said Ghaly.

According to the team, their main goal during the second event was to raise awareness regarding their work and position CWF as the wedding hub in the Middle East. Through their selection of partners and services, they reached out to brides and grooms that are currently in the process of planning their own weddings.

“We mainly chose Uptown Cairo for the open-air atmosphere; even though, today was extremely hot. But, in this atmosphere we get to equally enjoy the sunset as well as the fireworks show,” said Ghaly.

Despite the unstable weather, the crowd enjoyed the clear sky and light breeze at night, while the entertainment lineup unfolded.  According to the organisers, the fresh and open aesthetic is highly linked to how they aim to present themselves. “This is the atmosphere we seek: glamorous and relaxing, where you will mingle with your friends and network while enjoying the night,” said Ghaly.

By the end of the glittery night, the team added that they are already working on the upcoming season. “As soon as we finished the first event last October, we took a few weeks off; then we started working on this season right away. We already have upcoming ideas for the coming season. We never stop; we are always working and searching for the next big thing,” concluded Ghaly.

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Sandra Mansour: international fashion talent on the rise http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/sandra-mansour-international-fashion-talent-rise/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/sandra-mansour-international-fashion-talent-rise/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:00:17 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623346 “Rudolf Bauer, the avant-garde German painter, was also a huge reference in the Doux Reves collection,” says designer

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She is a strong woman that believes in the power of dreams. She enjoys a calm morning among the city’s most iconic artistic attractions. Each line and each frame is a close friend that she grew up gazing into.

While she appreciates art, she also sees beauty in the sharpness of geometry; she cannot help but fall for the simplicity of straight lines and the balance of rectangles.

Even though she appreciates practicality, she often fails to ignore a well-embroidered tulle fabric. She is a fashion aficionado, who waits from season to season to wear Sandra Mansour’s latest designs.

Mansour is the region’s new fashion star that has managed to attract increasing attention across the Arab world, as well as in Europe and the US.

Despite the region’s intensive appreciation of couture fashion, Mansour specialises in ready-to–wear (RTW). Unlike the region’s well-known list of international designers, Mansour prefers creating affordable garments that could be restyled and shuffled multiple times.

After launching a couple of successful collections, her aesthetic effortlessly captured many women across the globe.

While being based in Lebanon, Mansour regularly showcases her new masterpieces at Paris Fashion Week (PFW). On the other hand, she is also a favourite of many international clients due to her presence on the world-wide acclaimed ecommerce website, Moda Operandi.

Even though it is widely known that the fashion industry is often linked to cities such as New York, Paris or Milan; Mansour is keen on maintaining her brand in the heart of her home land. According to the designer, building a successful global brand in Lebanon further adds to her aesthetic and long-term goals.

With that said, the young designer favours a simple and dreamy taste. Nonetheless, her work is widely known for smart details, intricate fabrics, and eye-catching embellishments.

Daily News Egypt talked with Mansour to learn more about her RTW label, bridal designs, and upcoming plans.

How would you define your aesthetic?

Elegant and effortless.

What made you establish your brand in Lebanon, despite studying in Paris and regularly showcasing your collections at PFW?

I came back to Lebanon for several reasons. The essential one being it’s thriving with inspiration; the colours and the people; one can’t help but be inspired.

Another aspect was the craftsmanship. Lebanese tailors are some of the best in the world, and they helped me and my vision come to life. It was also very important for me to be recognised as a Lebanese designer, as it was evident that the market was growing and I wanted to be a part of it.

Who is the Sandra Mansour bride?

She is soft, elegant, and strong. All bridal gowns are made to measure, so the brides I work with are beautiful, strong women with a very firm sense of what they want and what they aspire to look like on their wedding day.

Why did you favour specialising in RTW rather than couture?

I love RTW and couture, but with RTW, I create pieces that can be translated into individual outfits day and night. On the other hand, with couture, you are limited to dramatic pieces that are not as easy to wear.

How did being available on Moda Operandi affect your brand?

Moda Operandi gave me exposure, especially in the US market. Working with them has also allowed me to experiment with different design possibilities. For instance, we have teamed up to create capsule collections; our most recent being a Kaftan Capsule collection for Ramadan.

Tell us more about your FW17/18 collection. What was your main inspiration behind it and what are the main stories that you aimed to communicate through it?

Surrealism played a great role in our FW 17/18 collection; it was inspired by the manipulations of art and fabric.

Using the technique of fabric patchwork re-embroidered together to create a story, expresses the interpretation of every individual in each piece.

Rudolf Bauer, the avant-garde German painter, was also a huge reference in the Doux Reves collection, as geometric shapes came to life while interpreting dreams and their repetition.

What is your favourite trend for FW17/18?

I try not to follow trends; I really try to set my own for myself and the brand.

What are your near-future plans?

A ready-to-wear bridal line and a boutique that envisions the Sandra Mansour journey.

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Abu Auf invests EGP 50m in 2017 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/623342/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/623342/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:00:02 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623342 Company targets sales of EGP 500m, up by 42%

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Abu Auf Food Industries plans to invest EGP 50m in 2017, half of which will be financed by the Societe Arabe Internationale De Banque (SAIB Bank) and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

The chairperson of the company, Ahmed Auf, said that the company also plans to increase its sales by 42% this year to reach EGP 500m by the end of the year, up from EGP 350m in 2016.

He pointed out that the cost of production rose significantly because of a higher dollar exchange rate, as the company relies on importing raw nuts. He added that the increased customs tariff also contributed to cost hikes.

Auf said that the high cost of production forced the company to consider new products, such as peanuts and hibiscus.

Abu Auf offers several products, including caviar, cheese, chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, and coffee.

Auf said that the company also aims to increase the size of its exports by 2021 to account for 25% of the company’s total production. Currently, the company’s exports are valued at less than $1m, but are expected to reach $3m by the end of the year.

East Asian countries account for 70% of the company’s exports, the Gulf area accounts for 15%, and North America for 15%.

He added that the company intends to enter new African countries in the coming period, including Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Nigeria, and Cameroon, especially through offering dates.

He pointed out that the company agreed with its external customers during the Gulfood exhibition in February on the means of increasing exports.

Auf said that Egypt is one of the world’s top date-palm-producing countries, but comes in last when exporting the fruit. This requires intensive efforts by the Ministry of Industry and the Agriculture Export Council to solve the issue, he said.

He noted that one of his company’s clients in Indonesia imports 10,000 tonnes of date-palms, but only 500 tonnes from Egypt.

He stressed that there is a good opportunity for exports in the coming period, especially amid lower local demand.

He explained that the decision to float the pound raised the competitiveness of Egyptian products in target markets, which was hard to achieve before.

Auf added that exports of dates and nuts are now worth more on the global market and see higher demand, especially from East Asian countries, as they have a higher Muslim population, which consumes dates.

He said that the price of Egyptian products following the flotation is highly competitive and less expensive when compared to those of Turkey, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Tunisia.

He added that Egyptian presence abroad is well, but can easily double with little effort.

Auf pointed out that African markets are emerging and are, consequently, keen to try different products, especially as most companies did not channel exports to the continent because of a number of problems, also stating that most exporters complain about the high cost of shipping.

Moreover, the long time needed to ship imports also contributed to raising the cost of transportation and could expose products to damage.

Additionally, Auf said that not receiving the exporting incentives is also a problem bothering exporters, who then prefer existing markets rather than taking the risk of exploring new ones.

He explained that the problems of shipping can easily be overcome through establishing fast shipping lines to reduce costs and sign trade agreements to help Egyptian products access the African markets easily.

As for obtaining incentives, he said that this problem can also be easily solved through dealing with verified importers in other countries and buying insurance on shipments, which can guarantee exporters 85% of the cost of shipping goods in case they do not get paid or the products are damaged.

Auf added that the Egyptian food industry is well but that it is still undergoing developments. He noted it will take more concerted efforts and cooperation between the government and the private sector to reach international quality standards, which can help Egyptian products access more markets.

He pointed out that most companies in that field are small, which entitles them to be issued bank loans with low interest, but the banks themselves put obstacles on these small companies without clear reasons.

He pointed out that Egyptian food-producing companies are present in the markets of the Arab Gulf area, the United States, and Canada, and should consider Latin America and East Asian countries, as well as Africa in the coming period, noting that focusing on African countries is both easy and beneficial for the companies, as some other countries like China and Turkey have started dominating several African markets.

Auf said that the overall performance of Egyptian exports in the first three months of 2017 was good and is expected to reach $22bn at the end of the year, up from $19bn last year.

On the external marketing of Egyptian products, Auf said that the commercial representation offices abroad are weak, especially as their data do not meet the needs of exporters.

He added that the main current outlets for exporting companies are the specialised foreign exhibitions, which provide opportunities to meet foreign importers and get to know their needs.

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Almamlka Foods negotiates with agriculture ministry to buy soybean and maize crops from 2,000 feddans http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/almamlka-foods-negotiates-agriculture-ministry-buy-soybean-maize-crops-2000-feddans/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/almamlka-foods-negotiates-agriculture-ministry-buy-soybean-maize-crops-2000-feddans/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:30:10 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623359 Company to establish oil extraction plant with Algerian and Moroccan companies for EGP 250m, says Arafa

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Almamlka Foods is negotiating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation to sign a letter of guarantee and buy soybean and maize crops from 2,000 feddans (2,076 acres) at the international price.

Mahmoud Arafa, CEO of the company, said that the company expanded in the domestic market after the flotation of the pound that caused a low value of the Egyptian pound against the dollar, which increased import costs and affected the profits of the company, which depends entirely on imports for its production input.

He added that the company plans to inject new investments, in partnership with entities from Algeria and Morocco, to set up a factory for feed and oil extraction on an area of 25,000 square metres with an initial investment of EGP 250m.

He pointed out that the company will submit a request to obtain a piece of land for the implementation of projects in Upper Egypt, according to the Egyptian president’s decision regarding granting lands there.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decree determining that lands will be allocated to industrial investors free of charge. According to the decision, lands will be granted free of charge to investors who meet the technical and financial conditions in specified areas, including Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Aswan, and the New Valley governorates.

Arafa explained that the flotation of the pound has had a significant impact on the company, since it is operating with imported raw supplies and extracted oils.

He added that shifting to the cultivation of soybeans and maize will provide the dollar reserves required for imports and therefore positively impact prices.

He said that the company is importing 10,000 tonnes of feed, but imports declined by more than 50% after the liberation of the exchange rate.

Almamlka Foods was founded in 2008. It is an Egyptian shareholding company operating in the supply of raw materials to feed mills, as well as oil extraction.

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Hero Food Industries set to enter US market in May for first time http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/hero-food-industries-set-enter-us-market-may-first-time/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/hero-food-industries-set-enter-us-market-may-first-time/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:00:39 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623356 Export target for the US is $10m, says managing director

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Hero Food Industries contracted with a supermarket chain in the United States to directly export its jam products next month.

The managing director of the company in the Middle East and Africa, Mahmoud Bezan, said that entering the US market proves the company’s commitment to maintain international quality standards.

He added that the company aims to boost its exports to the US to $10m over the coming three years and increase all its exports to EGP 500m by the end of 2017 across 25 countries worldwide.

Moreover, he pointed out that the company aims to raise sales on the local market to EGP 1bn, up from EGP 700m last year, which included exports worth EGP 245m, accounting for 35%. The new plan is to boost exports to 50% of the production.

Bezan said the company aims to enter new African markets in 2017, despite the challenges it faces in the continent, considering the low consumption rate of jam.

He highlighted the importance of international exhibitions that help the company introduce its products to the world.

He said the company is already present in a number of African countries, as Hero accounted for a large share in the Sudanese market before the recent turmoil. The company also exported large quantities to Libya.

Bezan stressed that the company intends to raise its market share in Africa through overcoming the two major problems of transfers and shipments. He noted that increasing exports to African markets will rely on expanding in existing markets—such as in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Mauritius, and Seychelles—in addition to entering new markets. He noted that the company successfully entered new markets following the flotation, namely Mali, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Zimbabwe.

He said that exporting is one of the company’s priorities in the coming period, as the mother company supports that. Hero injected $5m last year to raise the quality and production capacity in Egypt, being the gateway to the Middle East and Africa.

Bezan pointed out that Hero accounts for 60% of the jam market in Egypt, and is ranked among the top companies in a number of Arab countries, including Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Libya, Jordan, and Palestine.

He explained that with regards to baby food, the company holds 90% of the local market share and 40-70% in Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait. He noted that all baby food is imported from other branches of the international group. He pointed out that baby food accounts for 30% of the company’s annual sales.

Hero is one of the largest three manufacturers of fruits and their products in the Middle East. The headquarters in Cairo is considered the main hub for exporting to the Middle East and Africa.

The global Hero Group had acquired 65% of French Vitrac company in 2002, and the remaining part of shares in 2005. The name was then changed to Hero Food Industries.

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Misr Cafe’s exports amounted to $20m in 2016 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/misr-cafes-exports-amounted-20m-2016/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/misr-cafes-exports-amounted-20m-2016/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:30:41 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623354 Company allocates EGP 150m to raise capacity for packaging lines by 50% in 2017

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Chairperson of Misr Cafe Moneer Masood said that the company’s exports in 2016 reached $1.5m to African countries, with plans to boost the figure by 25% in 2017. Total exports registered $20m.

Masood told Al-Borsa that Africa is one of the most promising markets for Egyptian food industry companies, as the company aims to participate in all exhibitions to enhance its presence in the African markets, including the Food Africa exhibition.

He added that there are several obstacles that must be solved, such as the difficulty of maritime shipping, especially to the countries in West Africa. He noted that shipping accounts for 8% of the final price to Africa; however, shipping to Europe only accounts for 3%.

He explained that African countries impose certain requirements on the packaging of Egyptian products, and this also raises the cost of the product, especially after the flotation of the exchange rate and the price hikes of several packaging materials, which account for 9% of the final price.

Moreover, Masood said that lack of shipping lines to many African countries also hinders exporting to them, urging the government to sign trade agreements and waive customs tariff between the countries of East and West Africa with Egypt to lower the prices of Egyptian products and raise their competitiveness.

As for the company, Masood said that Misr Cafe increased its production capacity to 9,000 tonnes in 2016.

He added that the company is seeking to expand in packaging lines this year to increase their capacity by 50%, with investments of EGP 150m.

Misr Cafe is specialised in producing instant coffee products, including Instant Coffee, 2×1 Coffee, 3×1 Coffee, Ginseng Coffee Mix 4×1, Ginger Coffee Latté 4×1, flavoured instant cappuccino, and iced cappuccino.

Masood said that the food industry is one of the most promising sectors in the Egyptian market, adding that the Agricultural Export Council is working to remove obstacles for exporters.

He pointed out that the flotation of the pound in November enhanced the competitiveness of Egyptian products throughout all markets, which contributes to the provision of foreign currency.

He expected the coming period to see more investments being pumped into the food sector, especially as the turmoil in several countries stopped their production and increased the need for imported products.

He pointed out that the company exports to 40 countries around the world, including Malaysia, the US, Japan, and Canada, besides the Arab countries, with plans to enter new markets in Poland, Armenia, and all over Africa.

He highlighted the need for taking part in food exhibitions to communicate with importers in other countries.

Masood said that the company participated in the Gulfood exhibition and that it will be taking part in the Food Africa exhibition.

He noted that the company’s market share is 10-15% in Egypt, noting that, in a bid to offset losses, priority is given to exports, especially following production cost hikes by 35%.

The company did not raise the prices of its products following the pound’s flotation at the same rate the exchange rate increased, Masood pointed out.

He added that the Egyptian market has huge potential, especially in the field of food industries. Additionally, factories aim to expand and find more opportunities following the government decisions to limit imports, which gives local products a chance to replace imported goods, he stated.

Masood furthermore explained that the company is working on the development of production and on the use of the latest technology in manufacturing and improving the product-delivery process, as well as increase spending on research and development.

Finally, he stressed the need for technical training in the coming period to improve the quality of labour in all fields.

Founded in 1984, Misr Cafe is the number one company in Egypt and the Middle East for producing instant coffee from a blend of Robusta and Arabica coffee, with three brands on the market.

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Saudi Arabia led tourist traffic to Egypt in 2016: Rashed http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/saudi-arabia-led-tourist-traffic-egypt-2016-rashed/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/saudi-arabia-led-tourist-traffic-egypt-2016-rashed/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:00:27 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623340 Arab tourists in 2016 amounted to 2 million, up from 1.7 million in 2015

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Arab tourism influx to Egypt during the past year accounted for 36.3% of the total traffic of 5.3 million tourists, according to Minister of Tourism Yehia Rashed. He added that Saudi Arabia was the top Arab country in terms of number of tourists to Egypt, with 507,000 tourists, followed by Jordan with 180,000, Kuwait with 150,000, and then Lebanon with 86,000 tourists.

Rashed said in a statement obtained by Daily News Egypt that the total number of Arab tourists in 2016 amounted to 2 million tourists, up from 1.7 million in 2017—an increase of 17.6%.

The first quarter of 2017 witnessed an increase of 38.8% in the number of Arab tourists compared to the same period last year, according to Rashed, expecting tourism to recover during the current year.

The Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Tourism Authority are successfully participating in the Arabian Travel Market exhibition held between 24 and 27 April.

Rashed said that the ministry’s participation in the exhibition aims at enhancing cooperation with the partners in the region and reinforcing efforts to attract Arab tourists, noting that Arab tourism is extremely important to Egypt.

He added that Egypt is always keen to provide attractive factors for the Arab tourist, the most important of which is facilitating entry and visa procedures and motivating aviation from Arab countries.

The minister explained that work is now underway to facilitate the entry of companions accompanying tourists arriving from the Arab Gulf countries, next to facilitating the receipt of visas at ports of access for tourist groups coming from the Arab Maghreb countries.

This year, the Egyptian booth reviews the Egyptian tourists’ destination that can satisfy all tastes, with a focus on cultural, religious, and therapeutic destinations, including the “Path of the Holy Family” destinations, which was revived by developing the sites on the Holy Family’s route. The ministry has already developed 8 out of the 25 points on the route.

The eight archeological sites include the Church of Abu Sarja, the Hanging Church in Old Cairo, the Church of the Virgin in Maadi, the three monasteries of Wadi Al Natroun, the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Bird, the Muharraq Monastery, and the Holy Virgin Mary Monastery in Assiut. The development is being carried out in coordination with the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Antiquities, and the Coptic and Catholic churches.

Head of the Egyptian Tourism Authority Hisham El-Demery said that Egypt aims to highlight therapeutic tourism through its participation in the exhibition, adding that a law is now being prepared to regulate that.

In the field of therapeutic tourism, the Helwan Sulfuric Centre for Rheumatism and Physiotherapy has been very important, next to the Bahariya Oasis and Siwa Oasis with their mineral water springs.

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Average night in Marsa Alam hotels costs $25: Shalaby http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/average-night-marsa-alam-hotels-costs-25-shalaby/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/average-night-marsa-alam-hotels-costs-25-shalaby/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:30:07 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623336 Flights should cost less than EGP 2,500-3,000 per person, as one family of four cannot afford to spend EGP 12,000

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The average occupancy rate of Marsa Alam hotels in April reached 35%, according to deputy chairperson of the Tourism Investors Association in Marsa Alam, Tarek Shalaby, adding that 80% of tourists are German.

Shalaby pointed out that the average price of accommodation per night ranges from $20 to $25, noting that the hotels will not raise the prices unless occupancy rates increase first.

The hotel capacity in the Marsa Alam area is about 11,000 rooms, with investments exceeding EGP 15bn. There are an additional 6,000 rooms currently under construction.

Shalaby said that bookings in Marsa Alam hotels are stable and were not impacted by the recent bombings in the Delta and Alexandria.

He pointed out that Marsa Alam is considered one of the important tourist areas in light of the state’s tendency to establish the Golden Triangle project, which links the Red Sea to the inner cities in the Nile Valley during the next few months.

He added that reducing flight prices for Egyptians will boost occupancy rates, especially in the summer, as many families and individuals come to spend their vacations on the sea.

He stressed that flight prices must be less than EGP 2,500-3,000 per person, as a family of four would then pay EGP 12,000 for the flights only.

He called upon the government to subsidise the flights for Egyptians.

Moreover, Shalaby said that 30 hotels have shut down recently in the area, driven by weak occupancy rates, while the remaining hotels hope the rates will increase to help ease losses.

He pointed out that foreign individual tourism in the region increased significantly recently, especially from Italy, even though Italian airlines do not operate flights to Marsa Alam. He explained that Italian tourists come via Turkish or Polish airways.

According to Shalaby, individual foreigners spend the most compared to groups.

He expected bookings to increase again in the winter season, especially from Italians and Germans.

He noted that the inflow of Arab nationalities in the region is still very weak, as they prefer going to Sharm El-Sheikh, especially Jordanians and Lebanese.

The tourism traffic to Egypt fell last year to 5.3 million tourists, compared with 9.3 million tourists in the previous year—a 40% decrease.

Shalaby called on the Ministry of Tourism to promote tourism to Marsa Alam, especially in European countries, which account for 72% of all tourist inflows to Egypt.

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All Inclusive packages are blamed for service quality decline: Mohsen http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/inclusive-packages-blamed-service-quality-decline-mohsen/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/inclusive-packages-blamed-service-quality-decline-mohsen/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:00:01 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623333 Tourists who can have all three meals and drinks at hotels will not leave their rooms, says Mohsen

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Karim Mohsen, the head of the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF), blamed the all-inclusive packages for the decline of service quality in Egypt recently. He said that the all-inclusive package has been first started in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Turkey, before being implemented in Egypt ten years ago. But it has been implemented randomly since then.

In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Mohsen demanded applying certain criteria on hotels that offer these packages, such as lowering their rating from five stars to four.

There is a committee formed by the Ministry of Tourism to develop a price guide of tourism services in Egypt. What is your take on this?

It is better to leave the issue of prices to the market’s supply and demand. No agency should intervene in imposing prices. This intervention was the reason behind the lack of stability in the tourism market in the past period.

Regarding the quality of service provided at tourism facilities and hotels, I believe that the government should rather put forward strong rules and oversee their implementation.

Another solution is to lower the ratings of hotels that offer all-inclusive packages. This will raise the prices of accommodation in Egypt and improve the quality of service provided, especially with the presence of controls and supervision over the quality.

People have to know that all-inclusive packages are the main reason behind the lack of development in tourism areas in the past 10 years.

Tourists who can have all three meals and drinks at hotels will not walk out of their rooms. This harms taxi drivers and other tourism facility providers. That means that the packages harm the national Egyptian economy in the end. Tourism is an economic activity that provides job opportunities and develops local community.

Did you take part in the committee that developed the indicative prices?

The Egyptian Tourism Federation did not partake in this committee. It was formed from the Egyptian Chamber of Hotels and its public assembly. This is my point of view: I believe that having a price guide in a free market will not fix the problem that the sector has been suffering from over the past few years.

There was a dispute between the Egyptian Tax Authority and the ETF regarding taxes on incentives provided for charter flights. What is the situation in that regard now?

There was a meeting with the Egyptian Tax Authority over the past few days. We agreed to leave the court to rule. I believe that the judiciary will rule in favour of the ETF.

The ETF did not receive any money from these incentives that the charter companies received. The ETF was simply a link to deliver the money to these companies, but our budget did not see one pound of these funds.

We agreed with the Egyptian Tax Authority to separate taxes from the wages of the ETF employees and the taxes related to the charter incentives, which the Egyptian Tax Authority is demanding.

In your opinion, how much are these taxes?

I stress that the ETF did not take one pound of this money, but only delivered them to the charter flights companies. According to the Egyptian Tax Authority, these funds have amounted to EGP 120m since 2010.

We are waiting for the court ruling in this regard. In the past period, based on the Central Auditing Organization’s recommendations, payment of these incentives to foreign and local charter flight companies was decided to be done by the Egyptian Tourism Authority.

Moreover, these dues are paid to the Egyptian airports and are deducted from the cost of landing and takeoff that the companies pay. This was better than the first method.

Since 1 November 2016, the file was handed over to the Egyptian Tourism Authority. The ETF does not have anything to do with that issue now.

During the recent period, the parliament passed a value-added tax law. How do you think it will impact the sector?

We agreed with the Ministry of Finance to exempt the sector from payment of the value-added tax for one season. I believe this indicates that the state supports the tourism sector.

How do you see Egyptian hotel occupancies during the recent period?

From October 2016 until the end of March, occupancy rates have increased in Luxor, Aswan, and Cairo, reaching as high as 100%. This is tangible improvement, compared to the same period last year. This contradicts the modest rates in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, which remain low due to the continued suspension of British and Russian flights.

If Russian flights to Egypt are not resumed this year, Egypt will only reach a 30% growth in tourism inflows compared to 2016, when the number of tourists reached 5.3 million.

The growth in occupancy rates was not confined to traditional hotels, but also included the floating hotels.

I believe that Egypt is able to attract tourists to its different destinations. We have various products to offer, including beach tourism, archaeological tourism, and safari trips.

Pope Francis is set to visit Egypt next week. How can that be used to promote Egyptian tourism?

The pope’s visit to Egypt is an important event that provides good marketing by itself. The Egyptian Tourism Authority is the best agency to make promote and market Egyptian tourism, supported by its potential and financial resources, as opposed to companies and tour operators whose only pursuit is their private interest.

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Unpredictable future of IMF loan http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/unpredictable-future-imf-loan/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/27/unpredictable-future-imf-loan/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 06:00:10 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623330 The IMF is to pay a visit to Egypt on 28 April after postponing it for the third time

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Nobody knows what the IMF delegation will say or decide about Egypt, or whether they will approve the second tranche of the loan or ask for more reforms.

However, managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, stated during a conference held on Thursday that there is “clearly a question that needs to be addressed, I would say, head-on, and that is inflation.”

Lagarde said that the government has implemented many reforms, adding that the government must keep the current rate of reform while giving special focus to the hiking inflation.

She said in the conference, “I think that the Central Bank and the finance minister of Egypt are both aware and will, I hope, tackle the inflation risk, which is weighing on the population.”

However, Lagarde stated that the IMF approved the Egyptian programme, which is the second largest financial programme globally.

Furthermore, Bloomberg published an article quoting Jihad Azour, director of the fund’s Middle East and Central Asia department, who stated that the “available monetary and fiscal policy instruments, including interest rates, can help to contain inflation.”

At a press conference on Friday, Azour said interest rates are “the right instrument” to manage Egypt’s inflation. “This is something that we are discussing with the authorities,” he said, according to Bloomberg.

In this regard, Aliaa El-Mahdy, a former dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University, believes that the government applied many steps in the way of implementing the programme approved by the IMF, such as cutting oil, electricity, and gas subsidies, and it will apply more subsidy-cuts in the next fiscal year (FY).

She also said the government wants to reduce its payments and set more austerity measures in the new budget; but, unfortunately, the new budget is getting bigger, even if they want to reduce it, although it is still lower than the rate of inflation.

Unrealistic goals, difficult reforms

El-Mahdy said that the government and the IMF expect a budget deficit of 9.5%, which she doubts the government could achieve.

The flotation was one of the most important decisions that was implemented, she noted; yet, the biggest problem is inflation.

She added that the current interest rate— 20%—is already very high, and if the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided to raise the interest rate again in the current state of stagflation, there will be no new foreign or local investments.

“I believe that the main problem in the country is the inflation, and the rate of inflation is going higher, and the government cannot fix it by any decisions; the only way is to improve the way of attracting investments and encourage local investors to produce more,” she said.

However, she stated that achieving a general domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5% is possible if the government worked on implementing solutions that improve the investment climate.

El-Mahdy added that fixing investors’ disputes is one of the main things that could help the government attract more investments, either by expanding local investors or by attracting foreign direct investments.

“The government has to find solutions for the disputes between the investors on one hand, and the government or the banks on the other,” El-Mahdy said. “Attracting foreign investments or promoting local investors are the only way to achieve the government’s goals of raising the GDP by 5%, which would also help reduce unemployment.”

However, it is worth noting that Lagarde said in February that Egypt is making good progress in the loan programme, adding that the currency is likely to stabilise after months of depreciation.

Lagarde added that the IMF sees good, noticeable progress by the Egyptian government, with a focus on Egyptian people and the most vulnerable segments of the society. She also noted that the IMF believes the state has been doing its best given the circumstances.

The government must be committed to the loan’s decisions

From another view point, the executive chairperson of Union Capital Incorporated (UC), Hany Tawfik, said that the government has no other choice but to cut more petroleum subsidies, because that is what it has agreed to in order to receive the IMF’s loan.

He added that it is very serious to delay any decisions, because it shakes Egypt’s stability and international commitments, which could easily affect Egypt’s future loans or the process of attracting foreign investments.

If the government didn’t implement what it had agreed to, the IMF might freeze the next loan tranches, which would destabilise Egypt once again, Tawfik noted.

It is worth mentioning that the visit of the IMF delegation was postponed to April instead of March. This also postponed revising the progress that the Egyptian government achieved, consequently delaying the receipt of the second tranche of the loan.

Tawfik stated that if the government didn’t commit to its decisions, the country would face a lot of accusations about Egypt’s seriousness to implement economic reforms.

Moreover, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report last week that while Egypt’s IMF programme will support gradual improvements to the country’s fiscal and external position, its social and economic costs risk slowing the pace of fiscal reform.

“The implementation of the targets of the IMF programme—including reductions in fiscal deficits and government debt levels, as well as improvements in Egypt’s external liquidity position—will help address Egypt’s key credit challenges,” said Steffen Dyck, a Moody’s senior credit officer and co-author of the report.

“However, ambitious fiscal consolidation targets will be challenging to achieve and could face implementation risks in a scenario of mounting public discontent,” he noted.

Moody’s projects that Egypt’s fiscal deficit will decrease to 11% of its GDP in FY 2017 and 8.5% in 2019—down from 12.6% in 2016. Moody’s forecasts are more conservative than the IMF programme projections of 10% of GDP in FY 2017, reducing to 6.1% in FY 2019, driven by Moody’s somewhat lower growth assumptions and potential fiscal slippage, both in the near and medium-term.

Worries about the high debt

The managing director of Multiples Group, Omar El-Shenety, has different thoughts regarding the increasing foreign debt.

He stated that the IMF expects the foreign debt of Egypt to exceed $100bn by the year 2020.

He believes that during the near future, Egypt might fall into the trap of foreign debt, and it would easily exceed a rate of more than 150% of GDP, which is a very critical situation.

El-Shenety believes that the rates of public debt are not worrying; yet, it will reach the critical zone no matter what, because foreign debt is going to be greater than 50%.

He said that there are different types of loans that Egypt receives, but the main problem is about how the government will create other sources of foreign currencies to repay the main loans and interest.

El-Shenety added that Egypt’s government is planning to raise the GDP to the level where the debt represents a small rate of it, which is likely difficult to achieve, explaining that the government expects a growth rate of 6% in FY 2017/2018, but then decreased that expectation later to 4.6%, which is unlikely to happen in the real budget, due to the poor state of tourism, the region’s political turbulence, and many other factors.

The current rate of the public debt compared to the GDP is 130%, not including the debt of loans. According to the IMF, within three years, the rate will reach 150%, again without including loan debts, which will be used to fund national projects and institutions and will probably push the total amount to exceed 160-170%. This is a very high and dangerous rate, El-Shenety noted.

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Restoring the Free Egyptians Party is our real battle: Al-Alaily http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/restoring-free-egyptians-party-real-battle-al-alaily/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/restoring-free-egyptians-party-real-battle-al-alaily/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:09:41 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623343 “We were wrong when we allowed former members of the National Democratic Party to join the Free Egyptians Party and represent it in parliament”

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The 3rd of April 2011 is a historical day for political life: the day the establishment of the Free Egyptians Party was announced—a party based on the principles of freedom and citizenship.

Everyone working in politics considered the party as a new liberal alternative after the 25 January Revolution.

During six years, life inside the party witnessed many turbulences that divided the party into two fronts with each claiming to be the official representation of it. The first one, headed by Essam Khalil, has taken the party’s office in Zamalek as its headquarters.

The second entity is represented by the party’s board of trustees and led by businessperson Naguib Sawiris, the founder of the party in 2011, which established its headquarters at the old downtown office of the party on Sheikh Rihan Street.

Both entities claim that they are the ones legally representing the party.

What happened to the Free Egyptians Party is not new to Egyptian political life: we ​​have seen many splits before the revolution of 25 January 2011 in several parties, such as the El-Ghad Party, the Al-Amal Party, and the Liberal Socialists Party. Accusations have always pointed to the ruling regime and its security services—part of its secret task of weakening the political life.

This raised my doubts and I thought that the security services are the reason behind the current situation of the Free Egyptians Party, so I confronted Mahmoud Al-Alaily—a member of the board of trustees of the party, loyal to the “Sawiris Front,” and the candidate for the party’s presidency—an election scheduled to take place on 5 May—with all my doubts during the following interview.

At the beginning, I would like to share my doubts regarding the division of the party: that it was not by chance or due to conflicts but a deliberate act of arson.

All your doubts and assumptions are correct, but what we are currently seeing does not explain all the circumstances. Besides, I am against the ideas or phrases of a great conspiracy.

So what happened?

The fact is we are facing an undisciplined political situation and with this situation come those who practise politics in an undisciplined manner—unrelated to political practice, leading to controversial situations. The beneficiaries of these conditions vary on a daily basis—what is important, however, is that we are talking about a new political situation for everyone. But, in the end, the will of the citizens is what counts.

You cannot convince me that the will of the citizen counts for representatives of the political life.

Regardless of the practice pursued by the executive and legislative powers, the will of the citizens is in the background all the time. It counts and was put into consideration in the parliamentary and presidential elections. Everyone is trying to satisfy the Egyptian citizens.

Who is trying to satisfy the Egyptians?

The executive and legislative powers, as the representatives of the latter are depending on the people’s satisfaction to keep their seats in the coming elections of the parliament, and they are working on it all the time. Let us admit that this did not exist before and that this change occurred only after 2011.

Parties failed to fulfil the aspirations after the revolutions of January and June.

The practices themselves on the level of political parties don’t match the aspirations of the Egyptian people very much unfortunately, including the Free Egyptians Party. Citizens consider the Free Egyptians Party not only as the biggest party, but also as the party that represents Egyptians with respect to the issues of citizenship and freedoms, which are of utmost importance. But this expectation has not been met by the party, so those who believed in us were disappointed.

The Free Egyptians Party practice is still largely confined to its headquarters and new parties entered political life in Egypt without achieving any real movement.

The Free Egyptians Party and any other party—in the absence of a parliament—practised politics through statements and the media. But with a parliament, the parties practice politics in the House of Representatives in order to fulfil the programmes and visions of the party. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Much rather the opposite happened, especially with everything related to citizenship and matters of freedom.

Why did you not talk with your party’s members in the House of Representatives regarding the differences?

Citizens, especially young people, were putting high hopes in the party, but a party that stands against everything related to freedoms in the parliament is very sad and shameful.

There was a discussion about the practices of members of parliament (MPs), but the dealings within the party are different from companies or executive management.

Don’t you think that the real crisis was caused by the party’s choice of its members?

Indeed, the matter started with a controversy over who represents the party in the parliament. In the beginning, the debate was about whether to enter or not to participate in the in Love of Egypt list.

We ended up joining the list and decided that the party’s representatives should have previous experience in the electoral process under the umbrella of the Free Egyptians Party and should also be free of any tendencies towards Islamist policies. They also furthermore believe in the party’s principles.

There were, of course, former members of the National Democratic Party [editor’s note: NDP—the now-dissolved party of long-time president Hosni Mubarak]. A wide discussion regarding this matter took place and there was some tolerance for these candidates. Despite the controversy surrounding this matter, we approved their participation in the election in a very short time.

What is the price you’re paying for the stability of the party now?

We are definitely paying much for that and we admit it. This is a lesson to be learned for all parties in the world: we should only choose people to represent us with regards to political, social, and economic stances. It has been proven that you cannot rely on anyone who is politically corrupt.

Which group did you support?

I once had tolerance for those former members of the NDP who wanted to join our party. I thought that the Free Egyptians Party was their only hope to return to political life, but I now regret this assumption.

Why?

Because those who got used to the monopolisation of power cannot establish a system related to the exchange of opinions, power, and influence based on political ideology, as they used to depend on their influence alone. We benefited from this lesson, and we seek now to restore our party.

Some thought that we had lost the party, but we are actually trying to restore the party for the sake of all Egyptians.

How?

If we had not prevented those practices that contradict our party’s principles, the party and the liberal current could have been destroyed. The dramatic changes experienced by Egypt helped this liberal current to restore the party.

Who oversees the party’s performance?

The board of trustees established the party and now oversees applying its principles and orientations.

Who represent the party legally?

The board of trustees has an official Supreme Council.

Can you elaborate?

On 30 December 2016, the executive management of the party, headed by the chairperson of the party, called for a general conference to amend the regulations of the party, despite the fact that the party’s main regulations stipulate that the board of trustees must approve any amendment to these regulations.

However, the amendments were put forward for voting without the approval of the board of trustees. Some members started to collect signatures to dissolve and eliminate the board of trustees. The Political Parties Affairs Committee [editor’s note: the committee is a judicial authority of the state] did not confirm any changes made by the executive management. Therefore, any action based on the voting was illegal.

What did the party do in this regard?

The board of trustees filed complaints to the Political Parties Affairs Committee, and it called for a meeting of the Supreme Council of the party to be held. It was decided in the meeting to hold internal elections on 5 May after the end of the current chairperson’s term in accordance with the party’s regulations. The Supreme Council chose the head of the election commission and the committee that assists him.

What about the recent elections held in the party’s headquarters in Zamalek?

This election was illegal because it was held while the current president’s term had not yet ended. More things will be disclosed when the executive management submits the final results of the election.

How do you view the participation of some members of the General Assembly in the election?

Unfortunately, about 600 members participated in this election. It is sad because the party once had more than 170,000 membership applications. Additionally, some of the voters were not even entitled to vote.

Does it mean that the coming elections in May will witness a high turnout?

Yes, of course.

How did the executive authorities [of the state] deal with this crisis?

The chairperson of the Political Parties Affairs Committee asserted that the committee is not involved in the party’s dispute. He called on the disputing parties to solve their problems gracefully or through a legal dispute. It was clear that the regulations from 2015 are the only regulations adopted by the committee. We took all the necessary legal procedures and wait for the judiciary ruling.

However, the legal procedures in Egypt have many loopholes which can extend any case for many years.

We have no alternative except the restoration of our party through legal measures because we will neither surrender nor allow the Free Egyptians Party to turn into a corrupted entity that harms political life in Egypt.

If you achieve your purpose and recover the party, will you lose the parliamentary bloc?

It is important to keep the real members and those who believe in the party and its concepts. However, the parliamentary bloc, with all due respect to its members, is not more important than the party returning to its natural path.

Does this mean you are fighting this one battle, which is restoring the party?

My battle is known and well defined. I will not get tangled up in skirmishes on the sidelines. My goal is to restore the party and then look into the rest of the issues successively.

What is the role of political leadership in all of this?

We do not communicate with anyone, and we do not know how the regime thinks, but we are definitely sure that the political system will not be improved without a partisan system. I believe that attention for partisan work is up to party members. The executive political management is not concerned with the issue. If it intervened, this will not be in our best interest, because I am the one who is supposed to defend my rights and interests. I am not part of the socialist union system or of a rigged democratic system.

What about the role of Sawiris in this crisis?

He is a member of the board of trustees and he chose this situation voluntarily from the beginning. If he wanted to be head of the party for life, he would have had the opportunity, but he believes that the party is a way to express the attitude of all Egyptians regarding freedoms and citizenship. It is not a way to impose authority or leadership, because the issue is a lot simpler than this. After the fascist coup [in the party], the board of trustees decided to reopen the headquarters again; and, despite that, there are still a few administrative matters under the control of the executive management. However, all matters will be resolved soon.

Why did you allow issues to worsen until it came to this clash?

The board of trustees has offered observations and remarks. Procrastination and false promises were the dominant traits of every discussion. The problem is that the chairperson of the party, who is responsible for the executive authority, does not believe in the party’s principles, including freedom, citizenship, democracy, and human rights. I believe this is the largest lesson to learn from this crisis.

Are there parliament members representing the party who take the side of the board of trustees?

Yes, a number of MPs are supporting the demands of the party’s board of trustees to restore the party, but there are others in electoral districts and committees within the council who view the issue differently. The case is we have 20 MPs who believe in the principles of the party, which is better than having 500 MPs who do not believe in these principles.

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EETC to sign solar energy agreement with Saudi Alfanar next week http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/eetc-sign-solar-energy-agreement-saudi-alfanar-next-week/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/eetc-sign-solar-energy-agreement-saudi-alfanar-next-week/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:05:26 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623328 EBRD and IDB will finance the project, according to Abdel Karim

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Saudi Arabian company Alfanar will sign a power purchase agreement with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) next week.

Mohamed Abdel Karim, director of Alfanar’s renewable energy projects in Egypt, said that the company on Wednesday paid the third instalment of the cost-sharing agreement after an increase of its value by about 35%.

He added that the company managed to complete the financial closure of the new solar power plant with a capacity of 50MW and investments of up to EGP 100m. This project will be financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

Alfanar has allocated $200m for the establishment of two new and renewable energy projects in Egypt, with a total capacity of 100MW and operating according to the feed-in tariff.

The second phase of the feed-in tariff was launched on 28 October 2016, at a price scheme of about 102.3 piasters per kWh for houses. The capacities of less than 200 kWh will be sold at 108 piasters for houses, and 102 piasters for commercial activities. The capacities of less than 500 kWh will be sold at 108.58 piasters for commercial activities.

The solar power projects of capacities ranging from 500 kW to less than 20MW will be sold at 7.88 piasters per kWh, while the projects of capacities ranging from 20MW to 50MW will be sold at 8.40 piasters per kWh.

According to the second phase of the feed-in tariff programme, the investor is committed to achieving the financial closure of solar energy projects within a maximum one year, and one year and a half for wind power projects, starting from 28 October 2016. The investor also has to submit a credit letter from foreign financing institutions within a maximum of six months for solar energy projects and one year for wind power projects.

The second phase of the project stipulated that companies secure 70% of finance from foreign banks and 30% from local banks.

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Al-Tayeb inaugurates dialogue of religious leaders ahead of Pope Francis’ visit http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/623323/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/623323/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:02:04 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623323 Be careful about “media lies” that are linking Islam with terrorism, says Al-Tayeb

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Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb inaugurated on Wednesday the fifth round of dialogue between eastern and western religious leaders.

This comes as Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt on Friday.

“The Caliphate era was being ruled by certain legislations suited to its era regarding non-Muslims and their rights in the Caliphate; however, it makes sense, and according to Islam as well, that if the political system changes, many related legislations change with it,” Al-Tayeb said in his speech.

Al-Tayeb welcomed the delegation of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and asserted the role of religious leaders in making citizenship initiatives more effective, and this is the biggest challenge amid terrorism and calls to extremism.

He added that “there is no doubt that citizenship is the true guarantee to achieving the absolute equality of rights and duties between Muslims and non-Muslims.” The Grand Imam further warned of “media lies that link Islam with terrorism and accuse Muslims of oppressing Christian citizens.”

Meanwhile, Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, said that the WCC is looking forward to the partnership with the Muslim Council of Elders. He praised Al-Azhar’s efforts in spreading peace and inviting religious leaders to dialogue, which boosts global peace.

“This relation with Al-Azhar is very important for the World Council of Churches, because Islam and Christianity are the most important religions calling for peace in the world,” Tveit said. He described Islam as a religion that calls for dialogue between all people to achieve peace.

Tveit asked the European countries to not to distinguish between Christian and Muslim refugees from conflict zones. The use of the word “minorities” holds meanings of isolation and segmentation, he added.

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Armed forces will aid in securing Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/armed-forces-will-secure-pope-francis-iis-visit-egypt/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/armed-forces-will-secure-pope-francis-iis-visit-egypt/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:57:14 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623325 21,000 worshipers will perform prayers at the Air Defense Stadium  

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Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, will arrive in Cairo on Friday and will start his visit to Egypt by meeting with President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi at Ittihadyia Palace, a source in the Armed Forces Media Affairs Office told Daily News Egypt.

“About 21,000 worshipers will perform prayers at Air Defense Stadium, while about 2,000 to 2,500 perform prayers on the field. The armed forces will secure the worshipers on their way to and from the stadium,” the source added.

The prayer is expected to take place from 9:30am to 11:30am, while preparations will start at 7 am, according to the source. The Pope will be accompanied by a choir of 120 performers.

Two films will be broadcast, one about the Pope and the other one about Vatican City. Two presenters will host the ceremony, while speeches will be held by bishops before the Pope makes his appearance, the source said.

The source added that the Pope is expected to enter the stadium at 9:25am in a golf cart and will take about 10 minutes to change his clothes before taking the stage to perform the prayer.

25,000 flags, of Egypt and the Vatican, will be handed out.

The Armed Forces Media Affairs Office will broadcast a three-minute film about the 54 churches that were destroyed by terrorists in Egypt, while the army restored them, the source told Daily News Egypt.

“All Egypt is celebrating the Pope’s visit and the Pope insisted to visit Egypt because he believes that Egypt is safe and had hosted the Holy Family,” the source said.

 

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Trademarks granted by Egyptian Trademarks Office reached 5,294 in 2016: CAPMAS http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/trademarks-granted-egyptian-trademarks-office-reached-5294-2016-capmas/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/trademarks-granted-egyptian-trademarks-office-reached-5294-2016-capmas/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:05:21 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623320 The number of applications by Egyptians to obtain trademarks reached 10,789 applications in 2016, compared to 12,058 applications in 2015—a decrease of 10.5 %.

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The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) issued a press release on the occasion of the “world intellectual property day”, which is celebrated on 26th April every year. The celebration was adopted by the Word Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) member states in 2000 to promote public awareness of the role of intellectual property and to celebrate innovators’ contributions to the development of societies under the slogan “Digital Creativity: Culture is Renewed.”

CAPMAS stated that the total number of trademarks granted by the Egyptian Trademark Office reached 5,294in 2016, compared to 5,488 trademarks in 2015—a decrease of 3.5 %.

Furthermore,  450 patents were granted by the Egyptian Patent Office in 2016, including 73 for Egyptians (16.2%) and 377 patents for foreigners (83.8%), compared to 472 patents in 2015, which included 92 patents for Egyptians (19.5%) and 380 patents for foreigners (80.5%), registering a decrease of 4.7%.

CAPMAS added that 124 patents were granted according to the international classification in the field of chemistry and metals, accounting for 27.6 % of the total patents in 2016. Of the figure, 17.7% of the patents were granted for Egyptians and 82.3% for foreigners.

Human needs followed with 88 patents, accounting for 19.6% of all patents, including 25% for Egyptians and 75 % for foreigner. The field of transport came in third with 81 patents registered in 2016, accounting for 18 % of total approved patents, including 7.4% for Egyptians and 92.6% for foreigners.

United States nationals were ranked first in terms of the number of patents granted from Egyptian patent offices. The United States alone accounted for 105 patents (23.3% of all patents), followed by Egyptians, who were approved for 73 patents, accounting for 16.2% of all patents received in 2016 from Egypt.

In third came Japanese nationals with 43 patents and 9.6% of the total patents granted in 2016.

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Economic challenges a result of previous governments fears: Al-Sisi http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/economic-challenges-result-previous-governments-fears-al-sisi/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/economic-challenges-result-previous-governments-fears-al-sisi/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:53:02 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623319 The country’s sustainable development projects will be finished by 30 June 2018, the president claimed 

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Previous governments were afraid to take the recent economic decisions we have taken in the country, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said during the second day of the Third National Youth Conference on Wednesday, claiming that the economic problems in the country are an accumulation of previous issues, and the challenges are still big.

The second day began with speeches by the economic and social welfare ministers. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, who started the session with a speech, asserted that the price hikes that occurred recently in the country are a result of the great reliance on imports that had cost the country large amounts of money, as well as a consequence of the flotation.

Furthermore, Minister of Planning Hala El-Said confirmed that inflation will start decreasing by November.

The first part of the second day mainly focused on developmental projects in the sectors of housing and transportation. Al-Sisi promised that they will all be finished by 30 June 2018.

During the session, ministers held presentations for several projects. Discussions over the country’s development projects were held between Al-Sisi, the ministers of transportation and housing, and the chairperson of the Suez Canal Authority. Youth joined the discussions to provide their suggestion and views.

Al-Sisi continued that the goal of undertaking sustainable development projects is to fulfil the needs of the country and help people in their daily lives, as these projects aim at offering job opportunities for people. He also said that there are other projects that were not announced and that the state only announces projects when they start.

Prior to the second day’s sessions, Al-Sisi conducted a tour of the Suez Canal tunnels that will facilitate access to the Sinai Peninsula from the rest of the country. This project will be among those that will be ready by 30 June.

The Suez Canal tunnels will be only implemented by Egyptian companies, and no foreign companies would be hired, the president affirmed during the conference.

The third part of the day included the “ask the president” initiative that was launched for citizens to ask Al-Sisi questions.

Previously, the conference’s first day began with a commemoration of Sinai Liberation Day, as attendees held a minute of silence. Al-Sisi honoured former military members from the 1973 war and from the popular resistance battles that followed.

The first day’s session witnessed discussions about the country’s economic challenges, mainly price hikes and terrorism-related issues.

Concerning price hikes, the president noted that the state is putting forth great effort to control the prices of food commodities, and he called on Egyptians to endure the current situation for some more time.

During the session, Al-Sisi answered question by attendees regarding significant issues in the country. The president made remarks on conditions in Sinai and the upcoming presidential elections.

When he was asked what he would do if he failed in the upcoming presidential elections, he swore that if people want him to leave, he will leave immediately.

“I swear to respect the Constitution and the law, and I’m trying to do this. I will not rig the elections under any circumstances,” Al-Sisi asserted.

Concerning Sinai, an attendee of the conference complained to Al-Sisi about media calls for the evacuation of Sinai due to terrorism threats, referring to statements made by TV presenter Ahmed Moussa. Al-Sisi said that the state is the only entity that can evaluate the situation, and mistakes made by media should not be blamed on Egypt, affirming that no one can insult Sinai residents.

“If we would have been planning to evacuate Sinai, we would have done this when terrorism was on the rise, but the problem is ending now,” he continued.

Around 1,500 youth attended the conference, along with ministers, members of parliament, and high ranking officials.

The National Youth Conference’s self-proclaimed goal is to facilitate discussions about issues and Egypt’s challenges between the youth, officials, and the Egyptian society.  The first conference was held in Sharm El-Sheikh in October, while the second took place in Aswan in January. The focus of the Sharm El-Sheikh conference was on what the state had achieved for the youth over the recent years and how it had assisted in improving their skills, while the Aswan conference focused on discussing the issues of Upper Egypt’s governorates.

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New SME institution to replace SFD soon http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/new-sme-institution-replace-sfd-soon/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/new-sme-institution-replace-sfd-soon/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:12:35 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623315 The new body will answer to the Ministry of Trade and Industry

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Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil said that the board of the new small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) institution, which was announced by the prime minister on Monday, will be formed in the near future.

Kabil added that the new body will answer to the Ministry of Trade and Industry and will develop policies and strategic plans for the development of SMEs and entrepreneurship.

The minister pointed out that the institution will consist of a board of trustees headed by the prime minister and include the membership of a number of representatives from concerned ministries. Furthermore, a board of directors, headed by the minister of trade and industry and including a number of members with experience in relevant fields, will be announced soon.

Kabil noted that the new institution will replace the Social Fund for Development (SFD) with the inclusion of the entire Industrial Training Council (ITC) in the new institution, as well as some departments from the Industrial Modernisation Centre (IMC) and the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (TIEC), under a decision issued by the minister.

He added that all these entities will be restructured in line with the new approach that the ministry aims to implement through the new institution.

The minister of trade revealed that the new institution’s mandate includes working with relevant stakeholders to facilitate the completion of the procedures and permits required to start SMEs, and to establish the necessary controls for coordination between the institution and other bodies and initiatives in this field. It also includes the establishment of a database of SMEs and entrepreneurs, and the development of incentive systems for such projects.

He added that the institution will be responsible for facilitating the negotiations for the provision of raw materials at the most appropriate prices for these projects and encouraging them to export their products abroad by providing opportunities and financing incentives to promote presentation of their products in external exhibitions.

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Egyptian vegetables banned from UAE http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/egyptian-vegetables-banned-uae/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/egyptian-vegetables-banned-uae/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:52:14 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623310 UAE says an unsafe level of pesticide residues were detected in the produce

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The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) ministry of climate change and environment has decided to stop importing produce from four Arab countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Oman, for the pesticide residue levels detected in the vegetables and deemed to be higher than the safe standard approved by the state. The decision was based on the results of tests carried out by the Emirati ministry on the imported produce and is set to come into effect starting on 15 May.

The produce to be banned includes peppers of all kinds from Egypt; cabbage, lettuce, zucchini, eggplant, and beans from Jordan; apples of all kinds from Lebanon; and carrots, melons, and watercress from Oman.

The UAE has addressed the concerned authorities in Egypt and the other involved countries, requesting a pesticide residue analysis certificate for the rest of the fruits and vegetables that the UAE imports from them in order to testify that they are pesticide-free for entry into the country. The ban decision is expected to continue until the required certificates are provided by the four countries.

Last month, Sudan decided to stop importing agricultural goods and canned fish from Egypt. In September 2016, Sudan also imposed a ban on importing fruits and vegetables from Egypt, causing losses of nearly $30m, according to the data by the Egypt Agriculture Export Council.

Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil said that his ministry is seeking to impose harsher controls on imported and exported products within its plan to improve the quality of both its imported and exported goods and ensure they meet the global health standards.

Other countries have halted or completely stopped importing fruits and vegetables from Egypt over the past period, including Russia, Japan, the USA, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

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Al-Sisi freezes exports of fish to control local prices http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/al-sisi-freezes-exports-fish-control-local-prices/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/al-sisi-freezes-exports-fish-control-local-prices/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:44:51 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623308 Exports skyrocketed last year, causing a sharp increase in prices, according to the president

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi stated that the government is to prevent exports of fish in order to control the prices of the cheapest source of protein for Egyptians.

The president explained on Tuesday during a conference that Egypt used to export 40 tonnes annually, whereas last year witnessed the export of 120,000 tonnes, which raised the price of fish and made the government halt exports.

Inflation jumped by 30% in the past months, which increased the cost of basic commodities such as food, which made the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, state that the government must focus on inflation while implementing the economic reforms.

Fish witnessed price increases of 90%.

Al-Sisi said the government is working on controlling the prices of food and necessary goods according to the mechanisms of the free market.

However, the president did not mention any dates for the implementation of the decision or how long it will be in effect.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) published a report about fish production in Egypt, titled “2017 Annual Bulletin of Fish Production Statistics for 2015,” which was issued on 20 February.

The report showed that Egypt’s total fish production reached 1.53 million tonnes in 2015, compared to 1.48 million tonnes in 2014—an increase of 2.5%—due to greater output from fish farms and rice fields.

CAPMAS stated that the total production of fish farms and rice fields ranked first, with 1.5 million tonnes, followed by lake production with 171,500 tonnes, marine waters with 102,900 tonnes, and finally fresh water production with 69,700 tonnes.

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Tripartite National Committee on the Renaissance Dam finalises its meeting http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/tripartite-national-committee-renaissance-dam-finalises-meeting/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/tripartite-national-committee-renaissance-dam-finalises-meeting/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:38:51 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623305 The meeting approved the schedule and mechanisms for exchanging data

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The Tripartite National Committee on the Renaissance Dam (TNCRD) finalised its meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, after a four-day meeting started on Sunday in the presence of experts from three countries: Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

The meeting approved the schedule and mechanisms for exchanging data, information, and previous studies needed by the two French consultancy firms—BRL and Artelia—tasked with assessing the possible impact of the dam on downstream countries.

The dates of field visits by experts to dams and tanks from the three countries were also approved by the committee in the meeting. These trips include the High Dam in Egypt, and the Merwi, Jebel Aulia, Roseires, and Sennar dams in Sudan. Deadlines of presenting and reviewing the results of these visits are to be discussed, local media reported.

According to a statement issued by the committee, these field visits target collecting data about dam systems along the Nile River and the relation between them and storage phases, especially the Ethiopian Dam.

Studies aim to put guidelines for the storage bases in order not to negatively affect the water flow in the Blue Nile and the dams along the Nile.

The Ethiopian government had started establishing the Renaissance Dam in April 2011 on the Blue Nile, and it is expected to be finished in June. However, Egypt has expressed concerns that the construction of the Renaissance Dam could negatively affect Egypt’s share of Nile water.

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Fund for economic empowerment of women to be established: Nasr http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/fund-economic-empowerment-women-established-nasr/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/fund-economic-empowerment-women-established-nasr/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:29:33 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623299 The minister reached an agreement with the World Bank and the G20-Africa Partnership during a summit in Berlin

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Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr announced an agreement to establish a fund for the economic empowerment of women in collaboration with the World Bank and the G20-Africa Partnership, supported by G20 president Angela Merkel, during the Women20 (W20) summit in Berlin. Egypt will be one of the fund’s member countries.

The G20-Africa Partnership aims to establish a partnership between African states, some of the G20 member countries, and the World Bank in order to attract investors from outside the African continent.

The main goal of W20 is to promote women’s economic empowerment as an integral part of the G20 process. This year’s summit was attended by German chancellor Angela Merkel; Dina Powell, senior adviser to the US president for economic initiatives; Ivanka Trump, daughter of the US president and senior White House official; and Christine Lagarde, director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The summit discussed ways to improve the economic situation of women and give them more opportunities in the labour market and ensure greater representation in leadership positions, according to Nasr.

Economic empowerment of women should be achieved by cooperation between governments and international financing institutions, adding that women have a positive role in the development of society, and should have equal opportunities to work and start projects that express their ideas.

Moreover, a meeting between Nasr and Powell took place to follow-up on the outcome of what has been agreed upon at the economic level during Al-Sisi’s visit to the US. Nasr and Powell discussed strengthening relations with regards to economic cooperation and investment. Powell confirmed the full support of the American administration to Egypt.

Furthermore, Nasr emphasised the ministry’s keenness to provide equal investment opportunities for women, such as providing the necessary funding for projects that support women breadwinners in various villages and provinces.

The minister added that these projects are small and micro-sized projects that contribute to the economic and social empowerment of women and provide them with equal opportunities in the lab or market. She continued, stating that the ministry also works to quickly provide investment incentives that encourage and attract private sector investors to participate in different areas of economic activity.

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Policeman shot dead near Faisal metro station http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/policeman-shot-dead-near-faisal-metro-station/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/policeman-shot-dead-near-faisal-metro-station/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:29:15 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623301 Incident could be revenge, not terrorism, media claims

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A police sergeant was shot dead on Wednesday morning in front of the Faisal metro station in Giza.

According to state-owned media Al-Ahram, the incident is related to vengeance, not terrorism. Al-Ahram cited an unnamed security source claiming that the victim was killed in retaliation. Other local media reported the same claim.

Local media had reported that the policeman was shot three times. Attackers were not identified.

Policemen have often been individually targeted in drive-by shootings claimed by local militant groups.

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TAQA to supply 1,300 cubic metres of gas to EBSC http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/623298/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/623298/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:04:55 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623298 Company is negotiating with Electricity Ministry to provide 9MW to the plant

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The Egyptian Black Sand Company (EBSC) signed a contract with TAQA Petroleum Services Company to supply 1,300 cubic metres of gas per day to the black sand separation plant in Kafr Al-Sheikh.

Major general Ashraf Soltan, chairperson of the EBSC, said that the company contracted with TAQA to provide the gas necessary to run the separation plant and establish an external pipeline.

According to the feasibility study of the project, the total cost of gas delivery to the plant will reach EGP 19m. The project will be implemented over 8 to 12 months.

Soltan said that EBSC also presented a request to the Ministry of Electricity to provide a power capacity of 9MW to operate the factory furnaces, dredges, and equipment. The price offer is set to be sent out in 10 days.

The company is also in talks with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation to provide water to the plant. An agreement is expected to be reached by mid-May.

The EBSC signed a usufruct agreement with the Kafr Al-Sheikh governorate for 50,000 feddans (51,890 acres) of land, designated for the establishment of a black sand separation plant for 20 years at a cost of $35m.

The EBSC was founded in February 2013 with a capital of EGP 1bn. The board of directors includes a chairperson and eight members. The shareholders include five members of the National Service Products Organisation (NASPO) with a 61% share, as well as one member from the Nuclear Materials Authority of Egypt with a 15% share, one member from the National Investment Bank with 12%, one member from the Kafr Al-Sheikh governorate with 10%, and one member from the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority with 2%.

The extraction of economic minerals from the black sand in Borollos is a major project with huge expected revenues.

Sand is pulled up and processed to extract six minerals: ilmenite, magnetite, rutile, zircon, garnet, and monazite. These minerals are the basis for 100 types of basic, medium, and high technology industries, including ceramics, paints, high-quality water purification and treatment devices, advanced military industries, and transportation.

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Seklam aims for 25% more sales in 2017 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/seklam-aims-25-sales-2017/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/04/26/seklam-aims-25-sales-2017/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:00:04 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=623214 Company is seeking to open up new markets in Africa and Asia this year

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Seklam for Dairy Industries, a subsidiary of Al Mansour Group, aims to increase sales by 25% this year. General manager of the company, Alaa Al-Wakil, said that sales dropped by 25% in the first quarter of 2017.

However, he expected sales to improve by the end of the third quarter. Al-Wakil told Al-Borsa that the company is about to finish consuming all its production inputs imported before the flotation of the pound, with only 5-10% remaining.

He explained that the company imported input requirements enough for 4-12 months before the flotation, noting that most prices rose following the flotation, such as the price of milk powder, which hiked from $2,800 to $3,500 per tonne.

He pointed out that the year 2017 is the most difficult in the field of food industries due to the high prices, which led to a recession in the market and impacted the volume of sales.

He noted that the company raised salaries between EGP 1,200 and EGP 1,500 by 25% following the flotation.

Al-Wakil said that several factors led to the increase of final prices, such as the high cost of production inputs, as well as the fees paid at ports and for transportation, along with maintenance.

He explained that the food safety law will increase the quality of the Egyptian products and improve their reputation in foreign markets, adding that the majority of exports go to Arab countries. He pointed out that major companies compete through prices and quality, while smaller companies can only compete through prices.

As for the challenges facing the sector, Al-Wakil said that the cost of energy and other utilities, such as water, have increased over the past two years.

He added that the state supports the food industry by prioritising it in terms of importing raw materials. He stressed on the need to inject more hard cash into the banking system to cover imports of production inputs.

Moreover, Al-Wakil said that the African market is very promising, but entering African markets is a difficult challenge for Egyptian companies due to many reasons, such as the high cost of transportation and the difficulty of maintaining a cold chain in Africa.

He suggested that Egyptian companies can establish import companies in Africa and that the state can support them through signing agreements with various African authorities to protect these companies.

He pointed out that his company established two subsidiaries to distribute its products in Nigeria.

Al-Wakil said that Arab countries are the largest importers of Egyptian products, as Europe bans entry of Egyptian dairy products due to a lack of veterinary agreements.

He noted that his company invested EGP 100m in 2016, which was allocated for expanding the yoghurt factory in order to double capacity to 17,000 tonnes.

Furthermore, Al-Wakil said that the company intends to inject EGP 10-12m this year to buy equipment that can facilitate production at the yoghurt and juice factories.

He added that the company exports its products to a number of Arab and foreign countries, including Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, the United States, and Canada, and it aims to enter new markets in Africa and Asia in the coming period.

He explained that the African market is already an important destination for the company’s products, especially the markets of Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, and Somalia.

He noted, however, that the company halted exporting in 2015 and 2016, as it mainly relied on exporting to Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen, and the instability of the political and economic conditions in those countries forced them to halt exports.

As for the target markets in 2017, Al-Wakil said that the company aims to expand to the markets of Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, and Algeria.

He added that the company also intends to raise its exports size by 300% in 2017, noting that the company takes part in foreign food industry exhibitions, such as the Food Africa Expo, to learn more about the developments in the sector and look for potential investments in other countries.

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