EconSource Headlines- February 14, 2014

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

The Ministry of Planning intends to submit a national economic plan for public dialogue as soon as it is completed, according to Minister Ashraf al-Araby. The plan is to be implemented over three years starting in April. Araby explained that the new plan encompasses seven areas in Sinai, Upper Egypt, Wadi Gedid, and the northern coast. [Youm7]
In an attempt to placate the anger of thousands of textile-sector workers the economic committee of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Hazem Al-Biblawi agreed to pay the last batch of bonuses to the workers at an estimated cost of EGP 157 million. Minister of Investment Osama Saleh also revealed plans to develop the spinning and weaving companies at a cost of up to EGP 6 billion during the next 33 months. Thousands of workers at five public-sector textiles companies started a strike on Monday asking for the payment of their bonuses and calling for the application of the minimum wage and the dismissal of the chairman of the Holding Company for Spinning and Weaving. [Al-Ahram]
During a meeting with Simon Grey, Director of operations for the Maghreb and MENA at the World Bank, Hakim Ben Hammouda, Tunisia’s Minister of Finance and Economy has invites the World Bank to collaborate with the Tunisian finance ministry, to come up with a new form of support for the country, in cooperation with other donors. Mr. Grey reaffirmed the commitment of the international institution to support Tunisia. He said the WB is determined to finalized the last phase of Tunisia’s program and begin negotiations for the next program. [LM, FRENCH]
Spending on software is set to continue rising sharply in the Middle East this year, but will be driven by government demand. Government-led initiatives in the region aiming to ensure the availability of services on mobile platforms are driving up spending in the sector. Overall demand in the Mideast is expected to rise by 12.2 percent in 2014 to $3.18 billion, compared with the 2.8 billion in 2013, while government investment will account for 7.7 percent. Internet penetration in the Middle East stands at 40 percent, higher than the world average of 34.3 percent. The countries with the highest internet access, according to figures released by the IPSOS research institute, are the wealthy Gulf states. [ANSAMed]
Also of Interest:
Egypt signs oil, gas exploration deals | DNE
Egypt seeks to exchange economic experience with Libya | Cairo Post
Egypt discontinues 90-octane gas due to ‘low demand’ | World Bulletin
IMF Managing Director met with King Abdullah II of Jordan | IMF
Moroccan government denies intention to increase the price of bread | MWN
Tunisia: Tariff reform is essential to stop informal trade | African Manager
Tunisia receives final tranche of $500 million Turkish loan | AA

Image: Photo: Nancy Messieh