EconSource: Egypt on Mission to Quench $21 Billion Energy Thirst

Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

Egypt’s power demand is expected to grow 6 percent per annum over the next seven years, but the country needs to invest heavily in the sector to meet rising demand. It will certainly be a tall order. The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) estimates that the country needs $21 billion in power infrastructure investment over the next seven years to catch up with soaring domestic demand for power. [Zawya DJ]

Tunisia cannot cope with any massive influx of refugees who might seek to enter the country from strife-torn neighboring Libya and will close its border if necessary, Foreign Minister Mongi Hamdi  said Wednesday. Hamdi did not give a total for the number of people who have entered the country, however, he did speak of a daily figure of “5,000 to 6,000 in recent days”. [AFP]

Yemen has spent $22 billion (around YER 5 trillion) over the last decade to subsidies oil derivatives, according to a new Ministry of Finance study. The report estimates the state spent a huge amount as fuel subsidy program, and in 2014 it has so far spent approximately $3 billion, which is 20 percent of the total state expenditure. [QNA]

Arab countries can implement any number of reforms, but unless they can grant economic freedoms to their citizens, they will continue to face high unemployment, lethargic economic growth and social unrest, according to Canada’s Fraser Institute. The think tank believes “economic freedom” is the answer that can resolve a vast majority of the region’s chronic issues. [Zawya DJ]

Also of Interest:
Egypt to buy 102,000 tons of diesel fuel in September | Egypt Independent
Fitch: Fresh IMF agreement will support further Moroccan reform | FitchRatings
HM King Mohammed VI calls for ‘balanced’ Morocco-EU partnership | MAP
EU warned that Algeria is ‘unreliable’ gas supplier | MEED [sub.-based]