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Egypt to restructure transport companies to facilitate exports to Africa

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During the conference –Press photo

CAIRO – 2 July 2019: Ministry of Public Enterprise Sector affirmed the restructure of a number of subsidiary companies for maritime and land transport in order to facilitate and support exports to the African continent, whether Al-Nasr or Misr Companies.

This came during the Foreign Trade Bridges Conference for Central and Eastern African markets that was held Tuesday under the patronage of the prime minister, in the presence of Minister of Commerce and Industry Amr Nassar, Chairman of the Arab Organization for Industrialization Abdel Moneim al-Teras, hundreds of exporters and representatives of the private sector.

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The ministry called on the private sector to participate in the success of the project, especially since it is possible to obtain prices 20 percent lower when compared to the rest of the companies due to the organization and the size of trade.

It also referred to the launch of an application for exports.

Egypt’s exports to the African continent are expected to reach $4.7 billion in 2018, compared to$3.6 billion in 2017, with an increase of 30 percent, according to the Commercial Representative Office.

Egypt Today

Economy

Key economic issues to be addressed at WEF Africa in Cape Town

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CAPE TOWN – The World Economic Forum on Africa to be held in Cape Town will address a number of key issues facing the region’s inclusive development, the organisers said on Thursday.

WEF on Africa will take place in Cape Town, on September 4 – 6, under the theme “Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

The organisers said the meeting will be the first that the Forum has held in sub-Saharan Africa since 2017 when leaders from government, business, and civil society from around the world gathered in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

This year’s meeting falls in a year when 20 elections will take place across the region, and nearly 100 days since South African President Cyril Ramaphosa took office. While progress has been made politically in sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth is also expected to accelerate modestly in 2019 from 3.1 percent in 2018 to an average of 3.6 percent in 2019, according to the World Bank.

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According to the organisers, the Forum will address a number of key issues facing the region’s inclusive development, including supporting growth and integration through the African Continental Free Trade Area, creating high-quality employment opportunities and protecting workers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and employing drones to address health, infrastructure and other societal needs, among others.

“Africa’s successful development depends on building the right conditions for its new generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders. This means smart, agile institutions; an enabling environment for innovation that includes access to skills and capital; and a determined approach by policy-makers to level the playing field and implement policies that prioritise sustainable, inclusive growth over short-term imperatives,” said Elsie Kanza, head of the regional agenda, Africa, and member of the executive committee at the World Economic Forum.

PHOTO: weforum African News Agency (ANA) 

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Economy

Egypt working to fight inequality in nation’s economic development

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CAIRO – 18 July 2019: Planning Minister Hala el Saeid said Thursday the government is working to fight all forms of inequality, particularly in terms of economic development in rural and urban areas.

Saeid was addressing a conference organized by Egypt and the UN Development Program and World Food Program on the role of development companies to achieve equality in development.

She said that the immigration crisis and crimes in some areas are mainly blamed on the unequal levels of economic development, plus the security situation.

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The minister reviewed government programs to rationalize subsidy with the aim to address most-in-need brackets.

An integrated strategy has also been outlined to include the informal sector in the formal economy, she added.

Saeid stressed the need to exert utmost efforts to reach peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world.

Credit Egypt Today

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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.

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“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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