EconSource: EU Decides to Increase Tunisia Annual Olive Oil Export Quota

The European Union (EU) on Monday agreed to help Tunisia boost its economy by raising quotas on how much olive oil it can sell in EU markets. The EU will raise Tunisia’s annual olive oil export quota to 25,000 tonnes. In a joint press conference in Brussels with Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said it was in Europe’s interest to assist Tunisia and its democratically elected government. “We support reforms and we want to form a real partnership so that Tunisia remains a model for the future in the region,” Mogherini said. [AP, TAP, 7/20/2015]

Egypt’s trade deficit grows 52.7 percent in April
Egypt’s trade balance deficit reached EGP 24.6 billion in April, marking a 52.7 percent increase compared to EGP 16.11 billion in the same period last year, the state-run body CAPMAS reported on Tuesday. State exports were valued at EGP 14 billion in April, declining from EGP 17.26 billion in April 2014, due to a drop in the price of certain goods, including crude oil and petroleum products. Meanwhile, the value of imports rose by 15.67 percent. [Ahram Online, 7/21/2015]

Gulf states lend Sudan $2 billion to boost foreign reserves
Sudan received about $2 billion of concessional loans from Gulf Arab nations in the past three months, a Finance Ministry official said. “We have agreed with the Gulf states on more foreign capital inflows into the country, which will help in lifting foreign reserves” and assist in funding imports including fuel, State Minister for Finance Abdel-Rahman Dirar said. He did not identify which countries provided the funds, saying that they would be repaid in “coming years.” Sudan’s foreign exchange reserves currently stand at $1.4 billion. In March, Sudan joined Gulf nations in Saudi Arabia’s campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen, contributing aircraft and signaling its willingness to send ground troops. Analysts said Sudan’s involvement showed a shift of allegiances toward Gulf Arab countries that could bring economic rewards. [Bloomberg, 7/20/2015]

Iraq MPs set to approve anti-money laundering law
Iraq is stepping up efforts to curb money laundering and terrorism financing. Iraq’s parliament is expected to endorse a new law that aims to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, government economic adviser Mazhar Mohammad Saleh said. He added that the draft law, which was approved by the cabinet in June, would be more inclusive than a 2004 law and would cover tax evasion, smuggling of antiquities and cash, and corruption. “The new law will draw additional policies, legislations and procedures to chase and trace money and smugglers through a national council,” he said. He added that between 3 and 5 percent of Iraq’s gross domestic product has been lost to smuggling over the past ten years as a result of money laundering. [Zawya, 7/21/2015]

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