Germany’s Mercedes-Benz plans assembly plant in Egypt

A giant logo of Stuttgart-based luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is displayed outside the customer center in Sindelfingen, southwestern Germany. (File photo/AFP)
Updated 18 January 2019
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Germany’s Mercedes-Benz plans assembly plant in Egypt

BERLIN: German automaker Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Cars unit says it is developing plans to open an assembly plant in Egypt.
Mercedes-Benz said in a statement Friday that the passenger car plant would be built by a local business partner and the project is being developed “in close collaboration” with Egypt’s government. It said board member Markus Schaefer recently held “successful discussions” with Egypt’s president and prime minister.
Schaefer described Egypt as “an attractive and competitive location for production and supporting logistics” and said having an assembly plant there would enable Mercedes-Benz to expand its market position.
The company said it is also offering expertise on modern mobility concepts, electric cars and autonomous driving as Egypt develops a new capital and other infrastructure projects, but detailed agreements haven’t yet been reached on that.


India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

Updated 19 April 2019
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India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

  • Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries
  • India said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency”

NEW DELHI: India has suspended trade across its disputed Kashmir border with Pakistan, alleging that weapons and drugs are being smuggled across the route, as tensions simmer between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries and brought the two countries to the brink of war with cross-border air strikes.
On Thursday, India’s government, which is in the middle of a tough national election, said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency.”
It also said many of those trading across the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir into zones under Indian and Pakistani control, had links to militant organizations.
The home ministry said trade would be suspended until a stricter inspection mechanism is in place.
The cross-border trade is based on a barter system, with traders exchanging goods including chillies, cumin, mango and dried fruit.
It began in 2008 as a way to improve strained relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, who have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region.
The Indian Express newspaper said Friday that 35 trucks carrying fruit traveling from the Indian side of the border had been stopped after the government order.
Trade on the border has been suspended before, including in 2015, when India accused a Pakistani driver of drug trafficking.
The latest move comes after India withdrew “Most Favoured Nation Status” — covering trade links — from Pakistan after the February attack, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group.
Islamabad has denied any involvement in the attack.
India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made national security a key plank of his re-election campaign, pointing to the recent flare-up of violence as he battles the center-left opposition Congress party.
He is seeking a second term from the country’s 900 million voters in the mammoth election which kicked off on April 11 and runs till May 19. The results will be out on May 23.