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Egypt, UN discuss activating $1.2B strategic agreement

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CAIRO – 16 April 2019: Egypt and the United Nations (UN) discussed supporting a number of development projects and activating the framework strategic agreement between both entities till 2022, worth $1.2 billion.

The meeting was held between Egypt’s Minister of Investment
Sahar Nasr and UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohamedon the sidelines of the 2019 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum) at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The discussed development projects included supporting development in Sinai and Upper Egypt, supporting and developing a water and sanitation systems, developing the education system, health, women’s empowerment and social responsibility, according to the Investment Ministry’s statement.

The UN deputy secretary general praised Egypt’s economic reform program, stating that this program contributed to improving the economic performance which resulted in the positive indicators of the last period.

Mohamed highlighted the pivotal role Egypt plays on the regional and international levels in light of its presidency of the African Union, which helps in discussing several cooperation opportunities between Egypt and the UN. These opportunities include supporting development projects in Egypt, the UN’s role in financing private sector projects to achieve development objectives and deepen the economic relations through joint investments and intra-trade.

She clarified that the United Nations considers Egypt a pioneer in economic reforms, especially in the African continent, where Egypt comes first in the rate of increase of foreign direct investment.

The meeting discussed the role of the United Nations and international institutions in financing projects, and the participation of the private sector in achieving development goals.

For her part, the minister emphasized the government’s interest in boosting the role of the private sector in a number of public development projects, shedding light on the major legislative reforms that are set to enhance the investment climate.

Nasr pointed out that, besides the economic reform, the social aspect has been taken into consideration and support has been provided for the neediest groups. “The government is continuously working to support the neediest classes through direct and indirect support programs.”

Nasr stressed that the UN programs and framework should focus on the poorest and neediest areas in Egypt, referring to the importance of partnership with the United Nations, which comes at an important and strategic time.

The minister also met with Administrator of the United Nations Development Program Achim Steiner, where it was agreed to support Egypt’s program during President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s presidency of the African Union. Also,strengthening and deepening the strategic partnership between the African Union and the United Nations Development Program, especially in the field of development in the African continent and the promotion of integration projects and regional integration, was agreed upon.

The two sides also agreed to cooperate in the field of entrepreneurship, as the fund works to support development projects and encourage investments that contribute to the achievement of development goals in areas such as poverty reduction, job creation and renewable energy.

Steiner stressed the keenness of UNDP to strengthen cooperation with Egypt to establish development in the African continent, to achieve economic integration and regional integration, and to advance the African common action.

The minister asserted Egypt’s keenness to establish partnerships with various United Nations organizations to contribute to attracting investments to the African continent, stressing the importance of setting a priority to increase support for the private sector to participate in development, and stimulate the growth of emerging companies in the continent.

– Egypt Today

Economy

SA Chamber’s data shows business confidence waned in May

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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s business sentiment and conditions deteriorated in May, data from the South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) and Standard Bank showed.

Sacci’s business confidence index waned from 93.7 points in April to 93 points in May on the rand’s depreciation against the major currencies with the decline of the JSE all-share index, poor vehicle sales and depressed retail sales weighing further on sentiment.

Sacci chief executive Alan Mukoki said although business confidence was not at an ideal level, there was a positive mood coupled with hopes that President Cyril Ramaphosa would drive a positive growth of the economy.

“There are still uncertainties about physical electricity supply, and this factor alone has the highest and immediate impact on business, consumer and investor confidence. This, among several other factors, needs urgent attention,” Mukoki said.

“Public sector financial challenges at all levels of government as well as some state-owned enterprises also call for urgent remedies by the new administration.”

The local bourse endured a torrid month shedding more than 4 percent, with Naspers responsible for a quarter of the loss as it slumped 10 percent last month due to its biggest subsidiary, Tencent, plummeting 14 percent in local currency-terms as Chinese markets bore the brunt of trade-war escalations between the worlds two biggest economies.

Dave Mohr from Old Mutual Multi-Managers, in an investment note, said that May was a gloomy month for the JSE.

“In rand, the JSE All Share Index lost 4.8 percent in the month, which reduced 2019 returns to 7.1 percent. This is still ahead of cash, but over one year local cash has beaten equities,” Mohr said.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa yesterday said new vehicle sales fell 5.7 percent on a yearly basis in May with 40 506 units sold compared to the 42 950 vehicles sold in May last year. Export sales were also down for the first time this year, declining 8.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the Standard Bank Purchasing Managers Index, which gauges private sector activity, slid back into contraction territory in May, following a slight expansion in April. The index declined from 50.3 the prior month to 49.3.

Standard Bank said businesses were hampered by a faster drop in new orders and a fourth successive fall in export sales, leading them to reduce output and cut back on purchases.

David Owen, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the index, said firms however remained hopeful that the new government would bring some much-needed stability to the markets.

Also Read Three Reasons Why Ghana Is Winning In Tech | Martin Best

“Future sentiment rose to the highest for 13 months, showing that there is still confidence in the South African economy.

“Nevertheless, recent PMI readings show that the government faces a difficult struggle to reignite growth this year,” Owen said.

The South African Revenue Service said last week that South Africa’s trade balance unexpectedly swung to a deficit in April, recording a gap of R3.4 billion against market expectations of a R1.6bn surplus.

BUSINESS REPORT

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Economy

German Businesses to Partner with Angola in Economic Diversification

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Source: African Energy Chamber

This is one of the best platforms for German investment, cutting-edge technology and service providers to engage in Africa’s second-largest oil producing market

BERLIN, Germany, May 27, 2019 – The Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) proudly endorses the Angola Oil & Gas Conference 2019, organized by Africa Oil & Power and taking place in Luanda on June 4-6, 2019. This is one of the best platforms for German investment, cutting-edge technology and service providers to engage in Africa’s second-largest oil producing market.

Since swearing into office, President João Lourenço has galvanized his country’s oil and gas sector, business opportunities and foreign investment with its transformational government reforms. The move supports the government’s quest of diversifying the economy via the development of export-oriented industries and other commodities that will benefit all Angolans and increase the ability of employers to further generate more opportunities for citizens, investors and the African region at large.

Sebastian Wagner, CEO of DMWA Resources and Co-Founder of the Germany Africa Business Forum, said: “President João Laurenço’s focus on creating an enabling environment for investors is resonating with German entrepreneurs and institutional investors. He has matched the rhetoric with substance through reforms. Germany’s business and economic interests in energy especially gas is served when Germans invest in Angola’s economic diversification drive and also technology transfer. Germans will play a strong role in the midstream, downstream, power and petrochemical projects in Angola.”

With a resurgent economy, Angola is one of the most lucrative business locations in Africa. With its upcoming Marginal Fields Bidding Round, ongoing licensing of several blocks from this year onwards, and numerous opportunities across the gas value-chain, Angola has become one of the most attractive markets for oil investors.

“We are very focused when it comes to supporting government and the oil industry in accomplishing the right reforms that will help German companies succeed in Angola. German businesses can work with Angola in the power sector, petrochemicals, oil and gas infrastructure,” stated Sergio Pugliese, President of the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) in Angola. “German businesses can have a huge impact through their ability to grow and create jobs, to address a lack of enabling infrastructure and to increase efficiency,” added Sergio Pugliese.

During the visit of the former President José Eduardo dos Santos in Berlin, the Federal State of Germany and the Republic of Angola signed a bilateral commercial agreement, strengthening German-Angolan relations, which resulted in initiatives such as the educational cooperation between the Goethe Institut and the German Ministry of Economics.

The Germany Africa Business Forum advocates for German companies, entrepreneurs and Influencers to sojourn with us, on the chartered road to the Angola Oil & Gas Conference 2019 in Luanda. “Manufacturing, technology and increased power generation will be part of Angola’s economic resurgence. German businesses have a strong role to play in this and we welcome them at Angola Oil & Gas 2019,” said Guillaume Doane, CEO of Africa Oil & Power.

For registration and more information: https://bit.ly/2ze4oDZ

African Energy Chamber

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Economy

Jordanian, Egyptian, Iraqi meeting to discuss economic cooperation

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President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi receives his Jordanian counterpart King Abdullah II – Press Photo

AMMAN – 9 May 2019: A Jordanian-Egyptian-Iraqi meeting discussed in Amman on Thursday preparation of plans and mechanisms to implement what was agreed upon during the three-way summit held recently in Cairo between King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

The meeting, which brought together Minister of Industry and Trade, Tarek Al-Hammouri, Iraqi Minister of Industry and Minerals Saleh Al-Jubouri and Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar, reviewed the mechanisms of enhancing economic integration and cooperation, including the promotion and development of cooperation in industrial fields and joint industrial zones.

It also discussed cooperation in the sectors of energy and infrastructure, reconstruction as well as increasing trade exchange.

The ministers agreed to facilitate trade and increase the volume of trade between the three countries, enhance integration and cooperation in the field of energy (oil pipeline, electric linkage), achieve industrial integration among the three countries, and develop joint industrial zones.

Al-Hammouri said the meeting comes to build on the trilateral summit of the leaders of our countries and to institutionalize joint cooperation and coordination efforts. “The meeting represents an important opportunity to translate the special relations between the three countries into fruitful and constructive cooperation in the economic, trade and investment fields,” he added.

For his part, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar said that the meeting reflects the interest of our countries to follow up on the results of the tripartite summit held in Cairo, calling for building strategic partnership relations between Jordan, Egypt and Iraq in the economic and trade fields.

Iraqi Minister of Industry and Minerals Saleh Al-Jubouri also stressed the importance of the meeting to following up on the results of the three-way summit held recently in Cairo and working together to implement items that have been agreed upon.

Egypt Today

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