Egypt’s parliament approves FY 2019/20 budget targeting 7.2% deficit

An attendant fills the tank of a car at a petrol station in Cairo, Egypt. (Reuters)
Updated 24 June 2019

Egypt’s parliament approves FY 2019/20 budget targeting 7.2% deficit

  • The new budget sees a debt-to-GDP ratio of 89% by the end of June 2020, from a projected 86% in the 2018/19 fiscal year
  • The budget allocates 52.963 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.18 billion) for fuel subsidies, down from 89.75 billion pounds this fiscal year

CAIRO: Egypt’s parliament approved the government’s 2019/2020 budget on Monday, targeting a 7.2% deficit for the year and 6% GDP growth.
That compared with expactations of a budget deficit of 8.4% of gross domestic product and 5.6% GDP growth in the 2018/19 fiscal year that ends on June 30.
The new budget sees a debt-to-GDP ratio of 89% by the end of June 2020, from a projected 86% in the 2018/19 fiscal year.
The budget allocates 52.963 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.18 billion) for fuel subsidies, down from 89.75 billion pounds this fiscal year.
In a letter to the IMF in January, Egypt said it would remove subsidies on most energy products by June 15 as part of a three-year, $12 billion loan program with the lender.
The subsidies have yet to be lifted and the government has not said when it will raise fuel prices.


UAE-based companies turn to Bangladesh to build their ships

Updated 14 October 2019

UAE-based companies turn to Bangladesh to build their ships

  • Vessels worth $160 million were exported by the South Asian country last year

DHAKA: At present, Bangladeshi ships are being exported to around 12 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe.

“Made in Bangladesh ships have a huge potential in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Germany and some African countries. Now, our focus is to have more orders from different international buyers and Bangladesh government is also formulating the policies for this export oriented industries,” Dr. Abdullahel Bari, president of the Association of Export Oriented Shipbuilding Industries of Bangladesh (AEOSIB) told Arab News.

Bari, who is also the chairman of Ananda shipyard, said that the country has more than 100 shipyards which produce different kind of ships for the local and international markets. Of them, 12 large shipyards have the capacity to meet the demand of the international market. He said that Bangladesh will have a “golden period” in the next five years in the ship-building sector with both the government and private sector investors keen on exploring new opportunities.

“If everything goes according to the plan, our export earnings from shipbuilding will exceed the benchmark of $1 billion per year within the next five years,” Bari said.

He added that, as a Muslim nation, Bangladesh enjoys goodwill in the Middle East especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“To bag the opportunities in the Gulf countries, from now onwards, we should have more active participation in different marine fares in Saudi Arabia and UAE,” Dr. Bari said.

FASTFACTS

• At present, Bangladeshi ships are being exported to around 12 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe.

• Ananda Shipyard began exploring the European market by exporting a multi-purpose cargo vessel to the Germany.

• Bangladesh’s export earnings will exceed the benchmark of $1 billion per year within the next five years.

UAE-based shipping company Al Rashid shipping is already in talks with Bangladeshi shipbuilders to source its ships, with Western Marine Shipyard Limited (WMS) – one of the leading shipbuilders in the country – securing orders for the construction of two oil tankers worth $6.8 million. 

“With government support, shipbuilding could play an important role in export diversification. The main challenge for this sector is arranging working capital for projects. If banks and financial institutions come forward in supporting this sector, we can secure more orders from local and foreign buyers,” Saiful Islam, WMS Chairman, said. The shipbuilding company is expecting more orders from the UAE market after the successful delivery of these oil tankers.

“According to our capacity, Bangladeshi shipbuilders can only concentrate on building medium-sized vessels which is within 15,000 Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) capacity and various utility vessels like OPV, TUGS, offshore vessels, survey vessels, inland container vessels, multi purpose cargo vessels, survey vessels, landing crafts, ro-ro ferries, passenger ships,” Captain Sohail Hasan, managing director of WMS told Arab News.

In 2017, Western Marine also exported one Landing Craft namely “Ajman Trans” to the same company making it the 43rd ship to be exported from Bangladesh.