EconSource: Libya approves overdue budget

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

Libya’s parliament has approved the overdue 2014 budget worth $47 billion, drawing on reserves to offset a dramatic loss of oil revenue after almost a year of protests at major ports. The delay had been caused by lawmakers trying to trim spending as the budget deficit is expected to reach as much as LYD 30 billion. [Reuters, Libya Monitor]
John Kerry made his first visit to Egypt since November, accompanied by the news that an instalment of military aid had been delivered, the first since the freeze last October. Secretary Kerry said the US is committed to assisting Egypt’s economy develop and for “confronting shared threats of terrorism and extremists”.  [DNE, WSJ, DOS]
The Tunisia Chambers of Commerce and Industry said today it will sign a deal with the labor union and government to raise the wages of about 1.5 million workers in private sector by 6 percent, in a move that could ease social tensions ahead of elections this year. The last increase in pay in the private sector was in 2012. [Reuters]
Two years after new employment programs were announced in Morocco, they are finally ready for launch. The “Taatir” scheme for jobless graduates has entered its trial phase, according to Moroccan Employment Minister Abdeslam Seddiki. Some 10,000 unemployed people are set to benefit from the program by 2016, the minister said. More than 2,000 young people with degrees have already been trained as “academic managers”. [Magharebia]
Also of Interest:
US says it has released some $572 million in aid to Egypt | AFP
Egypt: 55 percent of new budget to allocate for social dimensions program | Cairo Post
Egypt targets $10 billion in FDI in 2015-2016: Minister | Ahram
Egyptian gas production rates decrease to 4.65 bcf per day | DNE
World Bank to fund $500 million natural gas project in Upper Egypt | Cairo Post
Employment: ETF, public sector preferred by young Jordanians | ANSAMed
Jordan: Public sector reforms struggling with mentality issues, but progress | Jordan Times  
Morocco’s Fin Min: Low bond interest rate sign of investors confidence | Asharq Alawsat
Restructuring of Tunisia’s financial sector is a priority for EBRD | TAP