EconSource: Egypt to Sign Four Agreements with Italy

During his visit to Italy for the Expo Milano 2015, Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab announced that Egypt will sign four agreements with Italy in the electricity, oil and petroleum, and industrial sectors. The commercial exchange between Egypt and Italy is expected to witness “remarkable growth” in the coming few years, Basil Rahmy, a member of the Italian-Egyptian Business (IEB) Council, said. He said the agreements help to boost Italian confidence in Egypt’s investment climate. The head of the council’s Italian side, Marcello Sala, said that it seeks to establish a number of projects in Egypt, including the construction of a new integrated railway network and a waterway between Egypt and Italy. Meanwhile, Italian export credit agency SACE is currently assessing projects worth EUR 4.9 billion euros for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large businesses in Egypt. [Cairo Post, 7/24/2015]

Egypt fund in talks with World Bank over $25.5 million
Egypt’s Social Fund for Development (SFD) is negotiating with the World Bank Group for a fund worth $25.5 million (EGP 200 million) to finance micro enterprises.  SFD Head of Micro Enterprises Sector Nevine Badreldin said that SFD used EGP 670 million during the first half of 2015 to finance micro-sized projects. SFD seeks to raise EGP 1.2 billion pounds worth of total finances for the micro enterprises sector by the end of 2015, Badreldin added. [Amwal Al Ghad, 7/23/2015]

Iraq announces the export of more than 3 million bpd of oil
Iraq’s oil ministry has announced the quantity of crude oil exported and revenue generated for the month of June. Total oil exports reached 95.6 barrels, while total revenue earned was over $5 billion. Ministry Spokesman Assem Jihad said the rate of daily exports of crude rose, reaching approximately three million barrels per day (bpd). He added that the ministry has made an effort to increase its exports of crude oil to achieve additional revenues for the federal budget. [Shafaq News, 7/24/2015]

UAE petrol price rise fuels debate over living costs
After the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said Wednesday it would end years of fuel subsidies, experts and residents expressed mixed views on how the increase in petrol prices will affect living costs. Analysts expect the petrol prices to shoot up from 0.47 cents a liter to a little under 80 cents. The first round of unsubsidized prices will be published next Tuesday. While many business leaders have lauded the increase, civilians have exhibited a mixed response to the deregulation due to the prospect of rising living costs. A perk to the deregulation will mean cheaper diesel, resulting in “lower operating costs for a wide number of vital sectors like industry, shipping and cargo among many others,” said the UAE energy minister Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj al-Mazroui. [Al Arabiya, 7/23/2015]

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Egypt targets economic growth of nearly 5 percent in first quarter | Al Bawaba
Egypt recovers $1.5bn in tax evasion cases | Ahram Online
Worries on VAT in Egypt (analysis) | Ahram Weekly
Iraq marks a relative rise in the monthly and annual inflation | Shafaq News
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