Egypt expects to sign agreements worth up to $20 billion at a weekend investment summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, its investment minister said on Friday. The ministry of transportation aims to attract investments worth $4 billion through the proposal of nine projects.


Sisi says Brotherhood is ‘godfather of all terrorist organizations’
In his latest interview, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, described the Muslim Brotherhood as the “godfather of all terrorist organizations.” Sisi said, “The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization of extreme ideology.” He also called on the United States to support Egypt, and the popular will of Egyptians. He added, “We need the US to clearly understand that there is a strategic vacuum in this region,” and expressed concerns that Egypt is in danger of collapse. When asked if Egypt is buying arms from Russia, Sisi said, “About 50 percent of the existing military equipment in the Egyptian armed forces is already Russian equipment.” Commenting on the US-Iran nuclear negotiations, Sisi said, “We understand that President Obama is engaged in a lot of actions in order to tackle this issue. We should give him time. . . . Meanwhile, we have to understand the Israeli concern.” He added that he speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a lot,” saying that he wants “to reassure him that achieving peace [with the Palestinians] will be a historic deal for him and for Israel.” [Washington Post, 3/12/2015]

Egypt’s president passes series of laws on eve of economic conference
Egypt’s president approved a package of amendments to investment laws on Thursday, aimed at enticing foreign investors on the eve of the Economic Development Conference. The amendments package trims corporate taxes to 22.5 percent, from as high as 30 percent previously, and facilitates settling disputes with investors. Sales taxes were dropped to 5 percent from 10 percent, and customs duties on equipment used for production were set at 2 percent. There were non-tax incentives to investors in labor-intensive industries. TarekTawfik, a businessman and deputy chairman of Egypt’s Federation of Industries said the new measures also allow the president to give away land for development for limited periods. Sisi also ratified an amended criminal law, extending the statute of limitations for bribery and embezzlement. The statute of limitations for bribery starts the moment the state employee committing the crime is removed from post rather than right after the crime is committed. [AP, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 3/12/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party says it is committed to running in election | Reuters
  • Egypt unveils plans for ‘Capital Cairo’ project in economic conference | EGYNews (Arabic)


Cairo court adjourns verdict in graft case against Mubarak’s interior minister
A Cairo criminal court adjoined on Thursday its ruling against a Hosni Mubarak-era minister over graft charges until March 19 after new evidence in the case surfaced, judicial sources said. Former interior minister Habib al-Adly is charged with illicit gains amounting to 181 million Egyptian pounds by using his political influence to amass a fortune disproportionate to his sources of income. Adly’s lawyer successfully demanded that the court allow further hearing of defense in the case, claiming that new evidence exists which proves the defendants innocence. This is the last remaining trial Adly is facing. [Ahram Online, 3/12/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Prosecution releases GUC bus driver accused of hitting a student | Ahram Online


Egypt eyes deals worth $15-$20 billion at investment summit
Egypt expects to sign agreements worth up to $20 billion at a weekend investment summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, its investment minister said on Friday. The ministry of transportation aims to attract investments worth $4 billion through the proposal of nine projects. General Electric said it would invest $200 million in a manufacturing and training facility which it sees as part of an economic hub being built near the Suez Canal. It also said it had delivered thirty-four gas turbines to Egypt as part of a $1.9 billion power project. The African Development Bank Sector Operations Vice President Aly Abou-Sabaa said they are ready to dedicate to Egypt a lending program in the range of $300-$450 million in 2015. Bahrain announced Al Baraka Banking Group plans to invest in projects presented at the conference with 2 billion Egyptian pounds. Leading global figures in politics, business, and academia arrived in Sharm al-Sheikh on Friday for the opening of the summit, but representatives from Turkey, Iran and Israel were not in attendance. The three countries were not invited, whereas Qatari representatives were invited and are attending. Investment Minister Ashraf Salman said the positive effects of Egypt’s economic conference will start showing during the last quarter of the current fiscal year, while Finance Minister Hany Qadry Dimian said he will reveal the government’s monetary and economic policy during the conference. Follow live updates from the conference here. [Reuters, 3/13/2015]

Also of Interest

  • IFC: Egypt reforms positive but “a lot more work needs to be done” | Reuters
  • Ethiopian prime minister arrives in Sharm al-Sheikh for economic conference | Ahram Online
  • Sisi welcomes Saudi crown prince, Emirati delegation to Sharm conference | Ahram Online
  • Economic indicators of Egypt’s economy ahead of conference | AP
  • Egypt’s workers fear repeat of past woes in investment drive | AP
  • Minister says reforms will cover both economy and social justice |Egypt Independent
  • Minister says Egypt targeting 9 percent industrial growth rate | Egypt Independent
  • Jihadist-targeted Egypt courts foreign investors | AFP
  • International Expert: Improvement in credit rating of Egypt depends on the outcome of EEDC | Egypt Independent, DNE
  • Banks move toward legislation changes designed to boost investment | Egypt Independent
  • FECC working with the government to reform legislation and improve the environment for investors | Egypt Independent
  • Interview with EGX Chairman‏: Economic conference key to rebuild Egyptian economy, attract investment |Egypt Independent
  • GAFI signs free trade zone agreement with Ajman Free Zone says al-Hashemi | DNE


Report shows Sinai population still striving for basic rights as unrest continues
Sinai residents continue to voice disillusionment amid gross negligence by authorities and a worsening security and economic situation in the border region, a rights report has revealed. The draft report, obtained by Ahram Online, and compiled by a delegation from the state-funded National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) upon a five-day visit to the peninsula, showed that the evacuation of homes seemed to have further alienated a population with long-standing grievances. Hundreds of homes have been demolished and thousands of residents in the border peninsula evicted as Egyptian troops pressed on to build a buffer zone along the border with Gaza. Several locals beyond the buffer zones had to flee their homes in Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid to find a safe haven somewhere else. Some are now living in tin shacks and others having no access to drinking water or living staples, according to the report. Most of the displaced families share same grievances of “palpable government negligence, unavailability of nearby schools for their sons, lack of health services and the threat of being evicted from their new residences by property-owners,” the report shows. The report does not directly address the security situation in Sinai but it listed some recommendations to tackle local residents’ grievances. [Ahram Online, 3/12/2015]

Also of Interest

  • NGO slams state negligence of local economy actors ahead of summit | Egypt Independent
  • British-Egyptians call on UK government to ban Muslim Brotherhood | Ahram Online
  • More than 1,000 reporters cover Sharm conference | Shorouk (Arabic)


Minor explosions rock Maadi
Five improvised explosive devices (IEDs) went off in Cairo’s Maadi neighborhood on Thursday night and Friday morning. Two bombs exploded in the proximity of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) building, while another exploded in front of Grand Mall, and two more exploded in streets 105 and 106. No injuries or casualties have been reported. [DNE, 3/13/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Two policemen injured in attack by unknown assailants in Fayoum | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Fifteen suspected Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes members killed, nine arrested in Sinai | SIS


Kerry urges firms to invest in Egypt, no new military aid
US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered words of encouragement Friday for Egypt’s efforts to attract greater foreign investment, but no new military assistance as demanded by the country’s president. Kerry arrived in Sharm al-Sheikh on Friday morning to attend Egypt’s three-day economic conference. America’s top diplomat said investment was needed to restore confidence in Egypt and provide stability for the region. He said the United States, whose companies invested $2 billion in Egypt last year, stood ready to help. “The United States is eager, ready and willing to be a catalyst in Egypt’s economic development and we respect the efforts you’re already making and we want to help,” Kerry said. During his visit the secretary of state will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi later on Friday, as well as Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. [AP, Reuters, 3/12/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s irrigation minister in discussions with EU delegation over 1 million feddan project | Ahram Online
  • EU condemns North Sinai attacks | SIS, EU
  • Kerry, Sisi, Abdullah, and Abbas hold talks on sidelines of Sharm Conference |Ahram Online, EGYNews (Arabic)
  • 240 Egyptians return from Libya via Salloum in past 24 hours | EGYNews (Arabic)