EconSource: Major British Trade Delegation in Egypt
British companies are paying one of the most high-profile visits to Egypt by a Western trade delegation since the 2011 uprising. The delegation is seeking assurances that Egypt will eliminate complex investment laws and stamps of approval required from dozens of government agencies. Investment Minister Ashraf Salman said he is optimistic a draft investment law will be implemented in March, creating a one-stop shop.

[Reuters, 1/13/2015]

Libyan government looks at new eastern free trade zone

The government is looking at the idea of creating a free trade zone in the Gulf of Bomba, between Tobruk and Derna. The creation of free trade zones in the east of the country has been circulating and generally approved by succeeding governments since the revolution. Currently, the only functioning free trade zone in the country is that at Misrata. Another one at Zuwara is still in the project stage. [Libya Herald, 1/14/2015]

WFP offers $87 million to support education in Yemen

Yemen’s minister of education and the acting president of the World Food Programme (WFP) signed a $ 87 million agreement for the education support project. The project targets 275,000 students in its first year by giving light meals to 160,000 students during the school day in the poorest areas and providing food aid for 115,000 school girls. [SABA, 1/14/2015]

Tunisian activists launch “Where is Paypal” Campaign

A movement has emerged calling on the Tunisian government to lift its heavy regulations on Paypal. Restrictions on Paypal have been in place because the Tunisian Central Bank is concerned that it could threaten its tight trade policy. The Tunisian Dinar, a closed currency, is not allowed to be taken out of the country and faces rigid limits on convertibility. While government welcomes foreigners to spend in Tunisia, it discourages Tunisians from spending abroad in an effort to keep money circulating within the country’s borders and support domestic industry. [Tunisia live, 1/13/2015]

Also of Interest:
Oil extends losses as World Bank cuts growth forecast | Ahram Online
Libyan economy could grow by 21.9 percent, if oil exports resume | Libya Herald (subscription)
Tobruk makes more spending approvals | Libya Monitor (subscription)
Tunisia is world’s second largest olive oil producer | TAP (subscription)
Egypt bourse gains 2.5 percent as trading in ETFs begins | Ahram Online
Iraq submits a tender for the purchase of 30,000 tons of rice | Zawya
FocusEconomics launches Middle East & North Africa Consensus Report | CPI financial