EconSource: Egypt’s president passes series of laws on eve of economic conference
Egypt’s president approved a package of amendments to investment laws on Thursday, aimed at enticing foreign investors on the eve of the Economic Development Conference. The amendments package trims corporate taxes to 22.5 percent, from as high as 30 percent previously, and facilitates settling disputes with investors. Sales taxes were dropped to 5 percent from 10 percent and customs duties on equipment used for production were set at 2 percent. Non-tax incentives were provided to investors in labor-intensive industries. Tarek Tawfik, a businessman and deputy chairman of Egypt’s Federation of Industries said the new measures also allow the president to give away land for development for limited periods. Sisi also ratified an amended criminal law, extending the statute of limitations for bribery and embezzlement.

[AP, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 3/12/2015]

Iran promises a year’s worth of oil to Yemen’s Houthis

A Houthi delegation returning from a two-week visit to Tehran, announced that Iran pledged to provide Yemen with support in the sectors of energy, electricity, transportation, water and sewage.  Iranian officials expressed readiness to provide Yemen with oil for one year and to build a 165-megawatt power plant in the energy-starved country. The agreement also envisaged cooperation to expand and develop the Red Sea port of al-Hudaydah. The announcement is expected to further increase fears among Yemen’s Gulf neighbors that Iran is looking to expand its influence over the region. [MEE, World Bulletin, Saba (Arabic), 3/13/2015]

Favorable conditions boost Jordan’s budget

The head of the Jordanian Lower House Financial Committee announced that “unexpected developments” helped trim Jordan’s public debt by nearly JD 700 million by the end of 2014. Falling global oil prices since June last year saved the Treasury over JD 300 million and the state budget received a boost of around JD 371 million in revenues. Public debt was also projected to exceed JD 21 billion but the developments to state finances kept it at around JD 20 billion. Reportedly, IMF officials are comfortable with the financial situation in Jordan and view the 2015 State Budget Law, recently endorsed by parliament, as a positive development. [The Jordan Times, 3/13/2015]

Libya’s GNC accuses rival of trying to sell oil independently through Es Sider port

Libya’s rival parliament has accused forces loyal to the country’s official government of trying to arrange a crude oil sale from outside the Tripoli-based state oil firm NOC. Deputy Speaker Saleh al-Makhzoum said his Tripoli-based General National Congress would complain to UN Special Envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon about a tanker trying to dock at Es Sider port. Ali al-Hassi, spokesman for a security force controlling Es Sider and loyal to Libya’s internationally recognized Tobruk-based House of Representatives, denied it had tried to bypass Tripoli in selling oil. Ship tracking data showed the Panama-flagged tanker was currently sailing past Crete, Greece. [Reuters, 3/12/2015]

Also of interest:
Economic indicators of Egypt’s economy ahead of conference | AP
Reform is working for Egypt’s economy: opinion | WSJ
Live updates: Egypt’s economic conference officially opens in Sharm El-Sheikh | Ahram Online
This is Tunisia’s moment | Al Jazeera America
Saudi Arabia seeks to minimize oil price impact | MENAFN