Egypt In-Focus — Wheat reserves will last 7 months; TotalEnergies sells ADNOC 50% of fuel-distribution firm

Egypt In-Focus — Wheat reserves will last 7 months; TotalEnergies sells ADNOC 50% of fuel-distribution firm
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has prompted an wheat crisis (Shutterstock)
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Updated 29 July 2022

Egypt In-Focus — Wheat reserves will last 7 months; TotalEnergies sells ADNOC 50% of fuel-distribution firm

Egypt In-Focus — Wheat reserves will last 7 months; TotalEnergies sells ADNOC 50% of fuel-distribution firm

CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Supply has stated that wheat reserves in the north African country are sufficient for seven months. 

Economically, Egypt and the International Monetary Fund are discussing remaining points in negotiations over a new extended fund facility, with talks making good progress, the finance minister said. 

Economy 

Egypt and the International Monetary Fund are discussing remaining points in negotiations over a new extended fund facility, Reuters reported citing the Finance Minister Mohamed Maait.

Maait added: “The talks are ongoing, they made very, very good progress, we are discussing the remaining points.”

Wheat reserves

Egypt’s Minister of Supply has stated that wheat reserves in the north African country are sufficient for seven months, Alarabiya reported.

Ali El-Moselhi also indicated that the sugar stock will also last over seven months, noting that this will be followed by the start of the harvest season of the beet and cane crops.

This comes as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has disrupted grain shipments and led to a rapid increase in primary commodities’ prices, which caused a financial crisis for the world’s largest importer of wheat.

TotalEnergies 

TotalEnergies has sold a 50 percent stake in its fuel-distribution business in Egypt to the retailing unit of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. in a $186 million deal, plus additional payments of as much as $17.3 million if certain conditions are met.

TotalEnergies’ business in the north African country has 240 fuel retail stations, as well as wholesale fuel, aviation fuel and lubricants operations, according to Bloomberg.


Saudi Arabia launches second edition of Tawteen program to create 170,000 jobs

Saudi Arabia launches second edition of Tawteen program to create 170,000 jobs
Updated 18 sec ago

Saudi Arabia launches second edition of Tawteen program to create 170,000 jobs

Saudi Arabia launches second edition of Tawteen program to create 170,000 jobs

RIYADH: More than 170,000 new jobs are set to be created in Saudi Arabia thanks to the launch of the second edition of a government scheme to boost employment in the Kingdom.

The Tawteen program, organized by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, will create 25,000 jobs in the industry sector, along with providing 20,000 employment opportunities in the health, transport and logistics services, and real estate and construction sectors. 

This second edition of the initiative will create 30,000 jobs in the tourism sector alone, as Saudi Arabia is pushing hard to make the Kingdom a global tourist destination by 2030. 

According to Saudi Arabia’s National Tourism Strategy, the Kingdom eyes creating one million jobs in the sector, along with attracting 100 million visitors annually by 2030. 

This edition of the Tawteen program also eyes creating 15,000 jobs in the trade sector and other 40,000 employment openings in other miscellaneous sectors. 

The Tawteen program is an initiative of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to support and boost the direction of increasing local content spending, along with creating job opportunities for Saudis. 

Saudization, known as the Saudi nationalization scheme, or Nitaqat, is considered a crucial step toward economic success, as the Kingdom is now steadily diversifying its economy which has been dependent on oil for several decades. 

According to a recent report launched by the National Labor Observatory, Saudi Arabia was ranked first in the labor force growth rate among the Group of 20 countries during the period 2012 — 2021. 

Even though Saudization has been going on since 1985, the process was accelerated after the launch of Vision 2030 in 2016 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

As Saudization progresses in the Kingdom, the job market in the nation is also evolving rapidly, as a report from the Central Department of Statistics and Information suggested that the unemployment rate in the Kingdom decreased to 5.80 percent in the second quarter of 2022 from 6 percent in the first quarter of 2022. 

Earlier in September, while speaking at the Local Content Forum, Saudi Transport Minister Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said that the Kingdom is working to localize 18 professions over the next year. 

He also added that the transportation sector in Saudi Arabia is working to increase the proportion of Saudi nationals in all its services.

“The transportation system is working to increase the proportion of localization in all its services. We are close to the percentage of full localization for the profession of co-pilot, and soon the full localization of pilots will be achieved,” said Al-Jasser.


Tonga latest nation to back Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid

Tonga latest nation to back Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid
Updated 15 min 16 sec ago

Tonga latest nation to back Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid

Tonga latest nation to back Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid

RIYADH: Tonga has become the latest country to declare its support for Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the World Expo in 2030. 

The Polynesian country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu made the declaration during a meeting with the Kingdom’s Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia submitted its bid for the World Expo 2030 in October last year, in a letter sent by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the Bureau International des Expositions, the international organizing body for the global event since 1931. 

The Kingdom has already earned significant support for its bid from more than 60 countries and organizations around the world, including China, France, Turkiye, Greece, Armenia, Cuba, dozens of other African nations, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. 

If Saudi Arabia is selected to host the event, authorities plan to turn Riyadh and the rest of the country into a world-class venue for global culture, connectivity and climate action.

The Kingdom 's capital is competing against Busan in South Korea, Rome in Italy, and Odesa in Ukraine for Expo 2030, with a ballot to be held by the BIE in November 2023, on the principle of one country, one vote.

In a statement after her meeting, ‘Utoikamanu — also Tonga’s tourism minister — acknowledged the leadership Saudi Arabia has shown over the last few years to boost its tourism industry and the ambitious plan to attract 100 million visitors by 2030. 

“During my visit it is obvious that the Saudi Government is committed to boosting sustainable tourism,” she said, adding: “The investments in smart, environmentally sound infrastructure place Saudi Arabia as a global leader in responsible development and growth.” 

Tonga and Saudi Arabia established diplomatic relations in 2020, and the Kingdom’s tourism minister was one of the first foreign dignitaries to visit the country this year, following two years of border closures. 

Al Khateeb acknowledged that even if the relations between Tonga and Saudi Arabia are recent, the reciprocal high-level visits signal the commitment by both sides to strengthen the friendly relations that have developed between the two Kingdoms. 

‘Utoikamanu used her trip to Saudi Arabia to attend the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit which took place in Riyadh. 

The summit welcomed 57 tourism ministers, 250 CEOs, 8,000 registered participants and 3,000 in-person participants.


Oil Updates — Crude dips; US urges caution on low-quoted Russian oil prices 

Oil Updates — Crude dips; US urges caution on low-quoted Russian oil prices 
Updated 01 December 2022

Oil Updates — Crude dips; US urges caution on low-quoted Russian oil prices 

Oil Updates — Crude dips; US urges caution on low-quoted Russian oil prices 

RIYADH: Oil prices dipped in Asia trade on Thursday as uncertainty lingered ahead of Sunday’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and its allies, known as OPEC+, though easing COVID-19 curbs at the world’s top crude importer China capped price declines. 

Brent crude futures fell 25 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $86.72 per barrel by 0430 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures eased 17 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $80.38. 

US urges caution on low-quoted Russian oil prices as EU debates price cap 

The Biden administration broke its silence on Wednesday on EU deliberations over a $65-70 per barrel Russian oil price cap on Wednesday, warning far-lower prices cited for some Russian Urals crude shipments should be approached with caution. 

A US official told Reuters that recently quoted Urals prices in the $52-a-barrel range do not represent broader pricing in a very opaque market. 

The US Treasury has remained silent over the past week as EU diplomats have struggled to reach a consensus on a price cap level initially proposed in the $65-70 a barrel range. 

Some countries including Poland, Lithuania and Estonia have pushed for a far lower $30-a-barrel price limit, arguing this is closer to Russia’s cost of production and that the West needs to squeeze Moscow’s revenues harder. 

But the US official’s comments, which signal growing concern over the EU deliberations, come just five days before an embargo on Russian crude imports is set to be phased in. 

Lower quoted market prices could erode support for a cap in the $60-70 range. The US official cited concerns over using prices that represent a subset of Russian oil sales. 

Economic headwinds set to push oil below $100 in 2023: Poll 

Brent oil prices will hold above the $100 level for the rest of 2022 as an impending EU ban on Russian oil sparks uncertainty over supply, but will tick lower next year as economic concerns prevail, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday. 

A survey of 38 economists and analysts forecast benchmark Brent crude would average $100.50 a barrel this year, and $93.65 in 2023, slightly lower than October’s $101.10 and $95.74 consensus, respectively. 

US crude was forecast to average $95.56 a barrel in 2022 and $87.80 next year. 

(With input from Reuters) 

 


Egypt signs $1.1 billion renewable energy deal with AMEA Power

Egypt signs $1.1 billion renewable energy deal with AMEA Power
Updated 01 December 2022

Egypt signs $1.1 billion renewable energy deal with AMEA Power

Egypt signs $1.1 billion renewable energy deal with AMEA Power

DUBAI: Egypt has sealed an agreement with AMEA Power a $1.1 billion agreement for a solar project and a wind farm with a combined capacity of about 1 gigawatt (GW).

The Emirati renewable energy company will build, own and operate a 500-megawatt solar facility in Aswan governorate of Egypt and a 500MW wind farm at the Red Sea governorate. The wind farm will be developed in partnership with Sumitomo Corporation, who will own 40 percent equity in the project. The solar plant, meanwhile, is being financed by International Finance Corporation, Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The projects will boost the renewable energy ambitions of Egypt, along with supporting economic and social development within the region, a report from state news agency WAM said.

Cairo is aiming to source electricity from renewable energy platforms by as much as 42 percent by 2035.

Construction of both projects will commence this month, with completion of the solar plant expected after 18 months and of the wind farm after 30 months.


Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement

Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement
Updated 01 December 2022

Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement

Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry and Saudi General Authority for Military Industries signed an agreement with Spain’s Navantia company to acquire and build a number of multi-mission combat ships for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

The Kingdom’s Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Salman and Spain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism María Reyes Maroto attended the agreement’s signing ceremony.

Prince Khaled said on Twitter that this agreement falls within Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision to strengthen the capabilities of the Saudi defense ministry.

“This MOU represents the latest effort to fulfill the vision of HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister to localize our military industry and empower and strengthen the capabilities of the ministry of defense, which will help provide security for our country and region,” he said.

The agreement aims to raise the level of readiness of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces to enhance maritime security in the region, protect the Kingdom’s vital and strategic interests, and support defense ministry’s  operational and tactical goals.

According to the agreement, Navantia will localize up to 100% of naval shipbuilding, integration of combat systems, and ship maintenance, in line with Saudi Vision 2030 objectives.

It also focuses on integrating combat systems into new ships, engineering and designing systems and hardware, and developing software.

Testing, systems verification, prototyping, simulation, as well as logistical support and training program design will also be within the scope of the agreement.