Tagged: economics

Prime Minister agrees to eliminate substandard housing by 2019

Tunisia – Al-Chorouk

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed announced on Tuesday evening plans to eliminate all substandard housing by the year 2019, as well as provision of opportunities for all middle-income Tunisians to benefit from the ‘First House’ Programme, which will provide affordable loans for the purposes of acquiring suitable housing. Chahed explained that 200 million dinars have been made available to support this new government programme.

During his speech to mark the beginning of activities at the National Symposium on ‘Reform of the social protection system: from Understanding to Law’, Mr Chahed said the government is working on a comprehensive reform which will go beyond circumstantial or partial treatment to treat all of the various systems of societal guarantees. This reform would broaden the scope of coverage to include groups with vulnerable occupations, especially those working in the fishing sector and irregular employment sectors.

He also explained that an analysis of the social guarantee system and the increasing financial pressure on the Treasury, necessitated the government’s expediting complete reform of the system, in order to maintain its continuity and stability, and to protect it from bankruptcy. Mr Chahed indicated the importance of visualising these total reformations, so that the Ministry of Social Affairs can ensure the rights of the current and future generations to social protection.


Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article found here.

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Shtayyeh calls on Arab banks to create Palestine Investment Fund

Dead Sea – Al-Quds.com

President of the Palestine Economic Council for Development & Reconstruction (PECDAR), Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh, has called on Arab banks to create an investment fund for Palestine, the monies of which would support productive projects, especially those in sectors which generate jobs, or are run on a for-profit, rather than a charitable, basis. During his speech at the “Reality of the Palestinian Financial Sector: Opportunities and Challenges” conference, Dr Shtayyeh said “Palestine is daring and the Arabs are daring, let capital be daring also.” The conference, organised by the Union of Arab Banks, takes place at the Dead Sea in Jordan today and tomorrow.

Dr Shtayyeh stressed the role of the private sector in the gradual disengagement from colonial dependency imposed on us by the occupation. He indicated that there is an official preference for strengthening economic relations with the Arab world. The Palestinian economy could act as a winch for policy decisions, he said, and enable local products to take the place of the Israeli products in our markets, and bolster the positions of our people in Jerusalem.

Shtayyeh laid out a picture of the economic situation to Arab investors and banking representatives, analysing the disturbances in the structure of the Palestinian economy caused by the occupation, as a result of the control over resources and borders. He said that despite all the challenges, there have still been success stories, such as the success of the banking sector, noting that the size of deposits in Palestinian banks is approximately 12 billion dollars. He added that the amount of corporate funds traded on the Palestinian securities market is valued at almost 3.5 billion dollars, and that there are about 115 thousand stockholders in companies listed on the Palestinian stock exchange.

Dr Shtayyeh explained that Palestinian banks are working under exceptional circumstances as a result of the occupation, which necessitates exceptional treatment to address the obstacles which they face. He asked Arab banks to grant facilities for productive loans, and to make it a priority to encourage investors to develop projects which would create jobs. He continued by saying that the private sector must be the principal creator of employment, and that it is unhealthy for the Palestinian Authority to remain the largest employer of the Palestinian workforce.

A number of challenges lie ahead for the Palestinians, Shtayyeh told the conference. First is the extremist government in Israel, which does not want a solution, and which undermines the Palestinian state through a tight grip on Area C, the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem, and the Gaza blockade, and its further attempts at “settlement bleaching” and its striving to make settlement legal. As for the second challenge, according to Shtayyeh, that resides with the new American establishment, which has not yet fully expressed its foreign policy, despite all the negative press which it has received. The third challenge is the weakening of Arab nations, and the destructive conflicts which it is experiencing, while finally the fourth challenge is to end the division and if there is a will, to work towards a possible solution for the conflict.


Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article found here.

Investment Ministry Announces Promotional Efforts

EGYPT – Al-Mal News, 17 January 2017

The Ministry of Investment has said that it has commissioned Mohammed Khudair, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and the Free Zones, to convene meetings with foreign missions in order to promote investment opportunities in Egypt, amid the country’s efforts to improve the investment climate.

The ministry reported that Khudair had organised a series of meetings with the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), to arrange a visit to Tokyo in mid-February. There he would meet with Japanese investors who are interested in investing in Egypt, the Middle East, and Africa, inform them of developments in the climate in Egypt, and display the opportunities for investment.

Khodayr also met with the Ambassador of Portugal and head of the Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency to consult on implementation operations for a cooperation agreement between the two agencies. The preparation of a protocol for visiting a Portuguese delegation interested in the Egyptian market was also discussed. According to a statement from the Ministry of Investment, the head of the Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency affirmed the interest of Portuguese investors in the Egyptian market, especially in light of the bold reforms carried out by the Egyptian state as part of its plan for sustainable development.

The chief executive attended a seminar at the Indian embassy to see how that country is making efforts to improve its investment climate, and delivered a speech illustrating the most important steps in this regard, such as the important features in the new draft investment law. He also met with representatives of major Indian companies which have investments in Egypt, to listen and learn about their problems, and to inform them of the role of the Ministry of Investment and his agency in the context of overcoming obstacles to investment. The Indian Ambassador emphasised his pride in Egyptian-Indian relations, and was greatly pleased by the reform measures currently being taken by Egypt.

 


Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article found here.

‘Momani: Canadian Prime Minister’s visit is important for Jordan,’ Moheet (UAE), 23 January 2014

Jordan’s Minister of Media Affairs and official government spokesperson Mohammed Momani stressed the important of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s current trip to the kingdom. The two countries signed a free trade agreement that came into effect in 2012 and are looking to further strengthen bilateral relations and economic cooperation.

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‘Major Israeli investors: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict must end,’ Ma’an (Palestine), 21 January 2014

A group of 100 Israeli investors are headed to the Davos Economic Forum in an attempt to put pressure on the Israeli and American governments to reach an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The group says that the conflict causes great damage to the economy, and that opportunities, such as those raised by US Secretary of State John Kerry are fading, as the world loses patience with the conflict.

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Canadian ambassador in Cairo: We strongly support our friend Egypt, Dostor (Egypt), 10 December 2013

David Drake, Canada’s ambassador to Egypt, confirmed his country’s support for Egypt in many important economic sectors. Canadian support continues despite last summer’s military coup, the ensuing security crackdown, and multiple questions of human rights as Egypt experiences another transitional political period.

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Fuel crisis multiplies Gaza’s suffering, Al-Jazeera (Qatar), 15 November 2013

The implications of a worsening fuel crisis in the Gaza Strip are growing, as 12-hour power outages have become a daily occurrence in the bombarded strip. Egypt’s efforts to shut down smuggling tunnels into the strip, as well as the high price of Israeli fuel have both added to the crisis.

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