Metropolitan Egypt for Consulting has contracted with Infinity Energy Systems to collect financing worth EGP 10m to establish a solar energy plant in Aswan, according to Khaled Nagaty, chairperson of Metropolitan. Infinity has recently completed the establishment of a new company to build a 50MW solar power plant with a capital of EGP 16m. According to Nagaty, the collection of financing needed for clients was discussed and agreed on with Infinity, making Metropolitan Egypt the financing consultant for similar companies. Solving financing troubles is one of the main problems these companies are facing. According to Yasser Kamal, credit supervisor at Metropolitan Egypt, the company aims to finance Infinity from foreign investment funds specialised in financing solar and renewable energy projects.
On Saturday, Egyptian and Emirati armed forces continued the joint military exercise “Zayed 2”, in which both countries’ ground, aerial, and naval forces participated. The joint military exercise is part of the Egyptian army’s annual training plan, according to a statement by the army spokesperson. Additionally, both sides’ air force participated in an air show during the military drill, the statement added. The joint military exercise between Egypt and the UAE started on 12 March, when forces from the Egyptian infantry, navy, and air force went to Bahrain and the UAE to participate in a joint military exercise between the three countries. “Rapid intervention and special operations forces will participate effectively in the joint military exercise, which will include a number of military activities and experts’ exchange of information regarding naval and aerial fighting,” the statement read.
Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry returns to Cairo after concluding meetings of the coalition against Islamic State (IS) in Washington. During his visit, Shoukry attended the coalition meetings and met with US security figures and prominent intellectuals on the sidelines of the coalition. He also attended United Nations (UN) Security Council meetings. The coalition, which was the core of Shoukry’s visit, aimed at finding new solutions and ideas for fighting IS. During the coalition meetings, Shoukry explained Egypt’s views on terrorism and confirmed the necessity of adopting a comprehensive intellectual, organisational, and security approach to deal with the various dimensions of terrorism.
The Ministry of Interior released a statement on Friday in which it declared that it arrested 13 Muslim Brotherhood members, allegedly affiliated with the group’s military wing, while they were holding a meeting in an educational centre in Alexandria. According to the statement, the police raid against the centre in Alexandria came after security forces received information that they were planning to hold meetings for the sake of restructuring the brotherhood’s military wing. Kamal, 61, a senior leader of the brotherhood was killed at his residence at the beginning of October, during a raid conducted by interior ministry forces. Kamal was accompanied by a teacher named Yasser Shehata, who was also killed in the incident. Recently, the ministry executed numerous raids against what it called stationing points for brotherhood gatherings, where it either arrested or engaged in heavy shootings with the targeted members that caused many deaths among those targeted.
He added that the conference aims at creating a unified vision for the sector in Egypt, Africa, and the Middle East. Samir said that Darwish will hold a speech during the opening session of the conference on how investment is attracted to the health sector in Egypt and on the role of the Suez Canal economic zone in attracting investments. The conference will also shed light on the performance of the Egyptian economy in the recent period and in the future. It will also shed light on entrepreneurs and innovators in the industry, in addition to how to manage assets of health care, medical tourism, and modern management. The third day will see the broad presence of the financial sector, along with discussions on the merging operations and acquisitions in the health care sector, investment funds in the sector, and expansion and financial planning operations.
Members of the Press Syndicate asserted on Saturday that they will appeal before the Cassation Court against the verdict issued by a Cairo misdemeanours court, sentencing syndicate leaders to a suspended one-year prison term. “We will appeal the verdict at the Cassation Court,” El-Balshy told reporters at the syndicate following the verdict on Saturday. “We were defending the cause of press freedom and this syndicate,” he added. We should be very aware of this campaign against press freedom, and reject it,” Badr told reporters Saturday. Commenting on the verdict, Abdel Hafiz said, “we used to think that freedoms hit rock bottom under the Mubarak regime, but apparently things got much worse.
Egypt’s Investment and International Cooperation minister Sahar Nasr said that net foreign direct investment in Egypt during the fiscal year 2015-2016 amounted to $6.8 billion, compared to $6.4 billion in the fiscal year 2014-2015, due to the increase in the net inflow of incoming investments to establish companies and increase in company capital, which amounted to $4.5 billion dollars. She added that the net foreign direct investment reached $4.3 billion during the first half of the fiscal year 2016-2017, compared to $3.1 billion during the corresponding period of fiscal year 2015-2016. Finance Minister Amr el-Garhy said on Monday that Egypt is expecting foreign direct investment to increase to $13-15 billion in the 2017-18 fiscal year, after a currency flotation in November revived investors' interest in the country.
The Ministry of Finance allocated EGP 16bn to the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) to buy 4 million tonnes of local wheat at a price ranging between EGP 555 and EGP 775 per ardeb (5.62 US bushels), according to Minister of Supply and Internal Trading Aly Meselhi. In a related context, Meselhi said that there are 55.5 million ration cards with confirmed data, along with 6 million cards with unconfirmed data. He noted that the six million cards represent 19 million beneficiaries, pointing out that the ministry has filtered 301,000 cards since the initiative was launched earlier this month. He noted that Egypt cannot cultivate over 1.1 million feddans (1.142 million acres) of rice, due to the current water problems. In another context, he said that Egypt consumes 3.3 million tonnes of sugar, while it produces 2.2 million tonnes.
Anonymous militants blew up on Saturday morning an Al-Azhar educational building in North Sinai’s Al-Arish, by using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), local media outlets reported. According to a local journalist in North Sinai who preferred to keep his identity anonymous, numerous IEDs were planted in the building by militants believed to be members of the IS-affiliated group “Sinai Province”. The militants targeted the building because it was used by the army and police to monitor and track the whereabouts of militants. The building was blown up remotely, and the subsequent explosion completely annihilated the building, the journalist added. They targeted the building to prevent security forces from using it as a stationing point to monitor the militants’ movements,” he explained.
Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation announced on Saturday the resumption of imports of meat and poultry products from Brazil. The ministry said in a statement that the resumption of importing these products would be from the slaughterhouses approved by Egypt’s General Organization for Veterinary Services (GOVS). The statement stressed that these slaughterhouses must be approved by Egypt’s GOVS. The ministry had announced its decision to delay imports of meat and poultry products from Brazil after the Brazilian authorities suspended 33 government officials from work in a wide-scale crackdown on charges of selling rotten processed meat and poultry. Three meat plants were also closed on the same charges; and 18 other factories that export products to Egypt were placed under supervision.
Moving three places from last year, Norway now ranks as the world’s happiest country, while the Central African Republic is the world’s least happy country at the 155th spot, according to the “World Happiness Report 2017”. On the other hand, Egypt took the 104th place, jumping 16 places from its previous ranking in the 2016 report and the 9th spot in Africa, while Algeria ranked first in the continent. The World Happiness Report measures the social foundations of happiness and subjective wellbeing, based on three main aspects. First is “Life Evaluation”, which gives a reflective assessment on a person’s life or some specific aspect of it. The last criterion is “Eudaimonia”, which is a sense of meaning and purpose in life or good psychological functioning.
Egypt has managed to attract net foreign direct investments (FDI) of $4.3bn during the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017 by the end of December, compared to $3.1bn during the same period in FY 2015/2016, said Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation. On Saturday, Nasr has laid the foundation stone for the investment services branch in Qena in order to facilitate the procedures for investors in Qena and several governorates nearby. There are five offices affiliated to the General Authority for Investment (GAFI), and nine representative offices that provide investment services in several governorates. Nasr said that establishing new branches for the investment services complex is underway. According to Nasr, Egypt ranked 29th in the foreign direct investment (FDI) index among 58 other countries.
According to Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil, Egyptian exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey achieved a major breakthrough in 2016, registering $1.443bn, up from $1. Also, Egyptian imports from Turkey decreased by 12.9% from $3.125bn in 2015 to $2.733bn in 2016, reducing the trade deficit by $619m to reach $1.290bn in 2016, compared with $1.909bn in 2015—a 33% decline. In the UAE’s case, Egyptian exports increased by 125% in 2016 to reach $2.4bn from $1bn in 2015. The report has pinpointed that the witnessed increase during 2016 in Egyptian exports to the both Turkey and the UAE was the result of the promotional efforts for commercial representation offices to introduce Egyptian products to the Turkish and Emirati consumers. In the near term, Egypt targets boosting cotton yarns, medical supplies, tyres, and agricultural waste exports to Turkey, said Antar.
Leaders of the European Union met in Rome on Saturday to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the bloc's founding treaty and demonstrate that the EU can survive the impending departure of major power Britain. The unity of Europe is not a bureaucratic model. It has also amplified the petty frictions among the more than two dozen national governments and obliged leaders' aides to water down a grand birthday declaration of unity. At the Vatican on Friday, Pope Francis told EU leaders that their Union had achieved much in 60 years but that Europe faced a "vacuum of values". Report by Jan Strupczewski and Isla Binnie (Rome); Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Crispian Balmer; Reuters
The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has ordered UBER to stop all its affiliate ads as they were found to violate the common feelings and taste of the community; the company was ordered to immediately remove advertisements from the streets and major squares. He added that immediately after the ads were monitored, the CPA called the company and notified it to stop the campaign. The company pledged to stop all ads in the campaign, and withdrew its billboards from the streets and squares. Yaqoub said that the CPA responds to the type of advertising that uses words or contains content promoting activities or products in violation of the traditions and common tastes of society; and lacks respect for ethical values. He stressed the need to codify the mechanisms of presentation and production of advertising materials, to address any breach.