Trade Exchange bet. Egypt, Sudan reaches $320.5M in 7 months

FILE - ExportsEgypt to have electricity interconnection with Sudan CAIRO - 24 April 2018: Deputy Electricity Minister Osama Asran and First Undersecretary of the Ministry Mohammed Mossa Omran headed to Sudan on Monday to agree upon the terms of the electricity interconnection project between the two countries. CAIRO - 22 October 2018: Trade exchange between Egypt and Sudan hit $320.48 million during the period from January to July 2018, according to the latest report of the state-owned statistic body.The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics noted in its report that trade balance during the seven months came in favor of Egypt by $72.68 million.The report clarified that Egypt’s exports to Sudan recorded $196.58 million, while imports reached $123.9 million.Trade exchange between Egypt and Sudan represents 4 or 5 percent of the trade volume between Egypt and the world.In January and February 2018, trade exchange between both states rose 18.9 percent, recording $104.1 million, compared to $84.4 million during the same months of 2017. February allocated $61.8 million of the total amount, compared to $43.7 million in February 2017.Egypt’s exports to Sudan during the first two months of 2018 increased 3.3 percent to $70.6 million, compared to $73 million during the same months of the previous year, while the imports surged 193.8 percent to $33.5 million, up from $11.4 million.From 2010 to 2016, trade exchange between both countries amounted to $3.86 billion, marking its highest value in 2010 at $629 million, and its lowest in 2012 at $473 million.During these seven year, trade balance came in Egypt’s favor by $3.18 billion, hitting its highest value in 2010 at $545 million, and its lowest in 2014 at $280 million.The main Egyptian exports to Sudan are food commodities, including meat and sesame; plastic and chemical products. Cotton is the most important item among Egypt’s imports from the Sudanese market.There are several projects that are conducted between the two states including the electricity interconnection project, where Egypt will supply about 300 megawatts in Sudan over the next two months, adding 600 megawatts at a later stage, to finally reach 3,000 megawatts.There are also the strategic projects for land reclamation, including 100,000 feddans in the state of Blue Nile, in addition to the Egyptian project for the production of meat in Sudan on an area of 40,000 feddans in the state of White Nile.The Egyptian-Sudanese shipping company has a project linking between the ports of Aswan and Halfa, for the transport of goods, individuals and tourism.On Thursday, Oct.25, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will visit Khartoum to attend the 24th summit with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir to sign several agreements and memoranda.

Source:Egypt Today

October 22, 2018 11:26 UTC

Two Koreas, U.N. forces agree to remove weapons at border

FILE PHOTO: A North Korean soldier patrols at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 18, 2018. Picture taken on April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-JiSEOUL - 22 October 2018: North and South Korea and the U.N. Command agreed on Monday to withdraw firearms and guard posts in the demilitarized zone village of Panmunjom this week, Seoul’s defense ministry said, the latest move in a fast-improving relationship.The three sides held their second round of talks at Panmunjom to discuss ways to demilitarize the border in line with a recent inter-Korean pact reached at last month’s summit in Pyongyang.The U.S.-led UNC, which has overseen affairs in the DMZ since the end of hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War, was not immediately available for comment, but it said on Friday it supports the two Koreas’ efforts to implement their military deal.The announcement comes amid U.S. concerns that the inter-Korean military initiative could undermine defense readiness and comes without substantial progress on North Korea’s promised denuclearization.The neighbors are looking to withdraw 11 guard posts within a 1-km (0.6-mile) radius of the Military Demarcation Line on their border by the end of the year.They also plan to pull out all firearms from a Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom and cut to 35 each the numbers of personnel stationed there and share information on surveillance equipment.At Monday’s meeting, the three sides agreed to remove firearms and guard posts from the JSA by Thursday, and carry out a joint inspection over the following two days, the ministry said.The two Koreas have been removing landmines around the area as part of the agreement and they confirmed the completion of the demining operation at the talks with the UNC.“We discussed the timeline of the pullout of firearms and guard posts, as well as ways to adjust the number of guard personnel and conduct joint inspections,” the ministry said in a statement.The agreement also includes a halt in “all hostile acts” and a no-fly zone around the border.North and South Korea are technically still at war because the 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, but relations have improved considerably in the last year.After his third summit in Pyongyang, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the North was ready to invite international experts to watch the dismantling of a key missile site and would close the main Yongbyon nuclear complex if Washington took reciprocal actions.Those actions could include putting a formal end to the 1950-53 war, opening of a U.S. liaison office in North Korea, humanitarian aid and an exchange of economic experts, Moon said.But Washington demands North Korea takes irreversible steps to scrap its arsenal, such as a full disclosure of nuclear facilities and material.

Source:Egypt Today

October 22, 2018 10:52 UTC

U.S. lottery jackpots climb to $2.2B combined after no winners

FILE PHOTO: Customers line up to buy Mega Millions tickets at a newsstand in midtown Manhattan in New York, U.S., October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File PhotoFor $2 a ticket, you have chance to be among the richest people in the world if you beat the longshot odds of 1 in 303 million to win the Mega Millions lottery jackpot of $1.6 billion Tuesday night.The sum reached a world record for lottery jackpots after there were no winners claimed a $1 billion prize on Friday.It is so much money that if you had it all in $100 bills, you could make a stack about as high as the World Trade Center in New York city, the lottery’s website said.“Mega Millions has already entered historic territory, but it’s truly astounding to think that now the jackpot has reached an all-time world record,” Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions Group, said in a statement.But you are more likely to get killed by a shark than win, with odds of a shark attack at 1 in 3.7 million, according the Tucson, Arizona-based International Wildlife Museum.After taxes, the cash value of the Mega Millions prize will be an estimated $904 million, which is greater than the gross domestic product of countries including South Africa, Columbia and Switzerland, according to 2017 figures from the World Bank.Wednesday’s Powerball lottery prize stands at an estimated $620 million, making it the fifth largest jackpot in U.S. history, officials said, after no one got all six numbers in Saturday’s drawing.The lump sum cash payout is estimated at $354.3 million.The current Mega Millions jackpot beats the previous record, a $1.586 billion jackpot for a Powerball drawing in 2016, said Seth Elkin, a spokesman for Mega Millions.If there is more than one winner, the jackpot would be shared, as happened when the previous Mega Millions record of $656 million was drawn in March 2012 and was divided between winners in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland, a lottery official said.

Source:Egypt Today

October 22, 2018 10:07 UTC

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