Tuesday, 28 February 2023

AM — Egypt-Qatar sign double taxation treaty — but no breakthrough on investment



Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We have a diplomacy-heavy issue for you this morning, with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly leading a ministerial delegation to Qatar yesterday to push forward talks for fresh Qatari investment. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry became the first senior Egyptian diplomat to visit Syria and Turkey in more than a decade yesterday as Egypt continues to mend relations with its former foes in the region.

WATCH THIS SPACE- New consumer financing options could be in the works: Consumer finance players could soon be able to offer loans through cards that allow users to make ATM withdrawals, under amendments the Financial Regulatory Authority is considering proposing to the Consumer Finance Act, Al Borsa reports, citing unnamed government sources.

PSA- Don’t throw your winter clothes back in the closet just yet: Temperatures nationwide will remain balmy until Thursday when they’ll dip during the weekend, the Egyptian Meteorological Authority said yesterday. Cairo and the Nile Delta will see highs of 28-30°C until Thursday before falling to 26°C during the weekend. The evenings will see lows of 13-15°C in the capital.

And maybe keep a mask to hand if you’re heading out and about: The Environment Ministry is warning of elevated pollution levels until 1 March due to a rise in airborne sand and dust. The ministry urged senior citizens and people with respiratory issues to avoid spending too much time outside.


It’s Day 2 of Madbouly’s trip to Qatar: Talks between the PM and senior Qatari officials yesterday yielded a double taxation agreement that could help to facilitate more investment from Doha into Egypt. However, there was little indication of how acquisition talks are progressing with the Qatari wealth fund, which is yet to deliver on the USD 5 bn investment pledge it made last year. Talks over investment in Egypt’s ports and the potential acquisition of TE”s minority stake in Vodafone Egypt have reportedly stalled in recent weeks, with the two sides unable to agree on how much of the assets should be on offer.

^^ We have the full story in this morning’s news well, below.

On Day 2: Madbouly will meet with the Qatari Businessmen Association and the country’s chamber of commerce and industry to discuss potential investments in Egypt.

It’s the third and final day of the AUC Business Forum: The event features five roundtables on the changing role of business schools and how to remain relevant and impactful in society, with a lineup of scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and executives from Egypt and abroad. You can follow the forum as it unfolds on the AUC School of Business Facebook page.

A busy day at the House: The House is expected to give a final sign off today to legal changes to amend the expat car import scheme and exempt mobile phone components from the 5% development fee. We have all the details from yesterday’s session in the House in this morning’s Legislation Watch, below.

Also happening today:

  • Social Solidarity Minister Nevine El Qabbaj will face questions from MPs on pensions, social protection programs, and services offered to disabled people;
  • The Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee will discuss four bills drafted by MPs on fighting cybercrime;
  • The Manpower Committee will talk about the situation at the loss-making state company El Nasr Casting Company;
  • The Industry Committee will discuss the poor financial conditions of the glass industry and the Misr Iran Spinning and Weaving Company;
  • The SMEs Committee will discuss licensing of industrial land and streamlining the procedures for small-scale industries;
  • The African Affairs Committee will review government policy aimed at increasing Egyptian pharma exports to African markets.


Egypt-UN Partnership week is taking place ahead of the signing of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2023-2027.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- It’s a mixed picture on the global front pages this morning:

A post-Brexit Northern Ireland trade agreement struck by the UK and the EU yesterday is getting significant attention: The pact, sealed by UK PM Rishi Sunak and European commission President Ursula von der Leyen yesterday, is a major step forward to ending the years of uncertainty and increasingly acrimonious debate about the future of Northern Ireland, Sunak, who hailed the agreement as “the beginning of a new chapter” in UK-EU relations, now has the job of winning over the Conservative Party’s eurosceptic wing and get it through parliament. (Reuters | Bloomberg | Financial Times | New York Times)

White House downplays Energy Department covid assessment: The White House yesterday said there is no consensus among the government about how the covid-19 pandemic started, a day after the Energy Department endorsed the theory that the virus escaped from a Chinese lab, according to the Wall Street Journal. China earlier in the day accused the agency of politicizing the pandemic and trying to smear Beijing.

Also worth noting:

  • A fresh tremor in Turkey: A new 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit southeast Turkey, killing one and injuring 110 others. This is the latest in a series of shocks that have left more than 50k people dead in Syria and Turkey this month. (Reuters)
  • Another surprise visit in Kyiv: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was the latest politician to make an unannounced visit to Ukraine yesterday, arriving in the country’s capital to reiterate Washington’s support for its war effort against Russia. (Reuters)


We are delighted to share with you that the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum will be taking place on Monday, 15 May at the Four Seasons Hotel at Nile Plaza.

DO YOU WANT TO ATTEND? The first wave of invites is going out soon. If you’re a C-suite exec, exporter, investor, official, banker, or someone who should be part of the conversation, please TAP OR CLICK HERE to request a spot at this exclusive event.

What’s the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum? It is the latest in our series of must-attend, invitation-only gatherings for C-suite-level business leaders. The Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum will discuss the critical topics of exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Egypt.

We will be taking an in-depth look into some of the most vital industry topics, including:

  • How to effectively break into new export markets
  • How to leverage domestic trends in order to create export opportunities
  • What foreign investors are looking for
  • What the government's role should be

Why now? Exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) have never been more important to our economy — or our businesses — than in the wake of the float of the EGP. We think we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build an export-led economy that makes us a magnet for FDI, and all the benefits that will come with it for our nation.

Think of the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum as a hands-on lab for how to turn the devaluation of the EGP into something that will turbocharge your company and our economy.

Who’s on board? Some of the biggest names in business and finance are on board — are you? If you’d like to partner with us on the conference, ping a note to Moustafa Taalab, our head of commercial, here.


Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.


*** It’s Going Green day — your weekly briefing of all things green in Egypt: Enterprise’s green economy vertical focuses each Tuesday on the business of renewable energy and sustainable practices in Egypt, everything from solar and wind energy through to water, waste management, sustainable building practices and how you can make your business greener, whatever the sector.

In today’s issue: What do industry players want from our upcoming hydrogen strategy? The government’s long-awaited hydrogen strategy should be released in the coming weeks. We asked private-sector players and industry experts what they hope to see as they plan to establish green hydrogen plants in the local market.


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Egypt-Qatar sign double taxation agreement + Al Thani pledges investment ‘in the coming period”

Egypt + Qatar sign dual taxation elimination agreement to boost investment: Egypt and Qatar yesterday signed an agreement to eliminate double taxation and crack down on tax evasion, cabinet said in a statement yesterday. The treaty covers capital gains, income, corporate profits, interest and dividends, and was signed during Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly’s visit to Doha where he held talks with senior Qatari officials about investing in Egypt.

Emir pledges to increase investment: Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani vowed that Qatar will make new investments in Egypt during the “coming period” during a meeting with Madbouly. Meanwhile, Qatari Prime Minister Khalid Bin Khalifa Bin Abdulaziz Al Thani said that the double taxation agreement will help create a “tangible” impact on boosting and encouraging Qatari investments in Egypt. The countries discussed cooperation in several areas including construction, green hydrogen, pharma manufacturing, ports, and real estate.

Reminder: Qatar pledged last year to invest USD 5 bn to help tackle Egypt’s FX crunch following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but is yet to pull the trigger on any significant investments.

No news on Qatar acquisition talks: Madbouly’s trip to Doha came amid reports of stalled negotiations over two of the Qatar Investment Authority’s main targets: Vodafone Egypt and two state-owned container terminal operators. Asharq Business reported earlier this month that the two sides are not seeing eye-to-eye over Vodafone Egypt, with Qatar wanting to acquire the state’s full 45% stake and the government only putting 25% on the table. Likewise, the QIA has submitted an offer to acquire majority stakes in the Port Said and Damietta container terminal operators, a size that the Transport Ministry is reportedly reluctant to sell down.

The weakening EGP and valuations are causing issues: Sources reportedly told Bloomberg last week that the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are all keeping a close eye on the EGP ahead of signing off on the bns of USD of pledged investment, only a fraction of which has materialized. The decline of the EGP — which has nearly halved in value over the past year — is complicating valuations: Long-running talks with the Saudi wealth fund for the sale of state-owned United Bank were reported last week to be in jeopardy with the two sides unable to agree on how to value the lender following the depreciation of the EGP.

And commitment to reform: Bloomberg’s sources said that the three countries all want to see signs that Egypt is serious about reducing state involvement in the economy and improving the transparency of state companies before making further investments. Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said as much at Davos last month when he said that Riyadh will no longer provide unconditional aid to countries and will start insisting on reforms. Egypt committed under its USD 3 bn loan agreement with the IMF to reducing the economic involvement of state- and military-owned enterprises.

Egypt has been stepping up its efforts to lure Gulf investment: Planning Minister Hala El Said and Sovereign Fund of Egypt head Ayman Soliman toured the GCC earlier this month to market state-owned companies that the government is readying for privatization, while President El Sisi recently traveled to Dubai to hold talks with Emirati leaders during the World Government Summit.

Accompanying the PM in Doha: The finance, planning, health, and trade and industry ministers, as well as the heads of the Suez Canal Economic Zone and GAFI are part of the delegation. The visit will also see Egyptian officials meet with representatives from the Qatari Businessmen Association and the country’s chamber of commerce and industry, the cabinet said.

The news got attention in the foreign press: Reuters | Bloomberg.


Edita plans to acquire 100% of a mystery company

Edita wants 100% of an unnamed local food firm: The board of EGX-listed Edita Food Industries has agreed to submit an offer to acquire 100% of an unnamed, unlisted company in the local food industry, it said in a bourse filing (pdf) yesterday. The statement didn’t put a value on the transaction. Representatives of the company didn’t get back to our request for comment ahead of dispatch time.

What’s next: Edita will now look to appoint an independent financial advisor for the transaction, which is still pending regulatory approvals, the statement reads.

Edita has been looking into acquisitions for some time: The snack maker in September said it was in the final stages of acquiring an additional production line for its cake segment for around EGP 20 mn from an unnamed company. An earlier bid to acquire assets belonging to the Egyptian Belgian Company (EBC), best known for its Ole-branded food goods, fell through in January last year after the two companies were unable to agree on a valuation. EBC was later fully acquired by Saudi food conglomerate Savola in an EGP 622.4 mn transaction.

REFRESHER- Emirati investment firm Rimco Investments acquired a 3% stake in Edita for EGP 192 mn back in October. Edita is also in the process of a stock purchase program that will see it buy back 4.8% of its shares in a bid to support its share price. The snackfoods giant reported record net income and revenues in 3Q 2022 on the back of stronger sales and higher prices.

Market reax: Edita’s shares rose 0.3% yesterday to close at EGP 16.45 apiece on the EGX.


MPs give initial approval to extending expat car import scheme for 2 months

House gives initial nod to expat car import scheme extension: MPs have given preliminary approval to a proposal to extend the government’s expat car import scheme by two months amid low participation. The program was set to expire in mid-March but will now end on 12 May if the amendments are passed in a final vote in the general assembly.

REFRESHER– The scheme provides incentives to Egyptians living abroad to purchase cars overseas and import them into Egypt, and was designed by policymakers to bring more FX into the country. Under the rules, expats will receive full rebates on customs fees, VAT, and other taxes within five years of purchasing a vehicle, provided they pay them upfront in FX.

Why the extension? The government approved the extension to allow for a greater number of expats to sign up for the scheme and pay the dues in FX to the Finance Ministry, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Alaaeddin Fouad told MPs yesterday. Four months “is a short period of time that made it difficult for many expats, particularly those in the Gulf, to take advantage of the tax and customs exemptions offered…,” a report by the House Budget Committee read.

Weak demand: As of last week the scheme had brought in just USD 202 mn since its launch in November, a fraction of the Finance Ministry’s USD 2.5 bn target.

And that’s not all: The amendments give expats five years to bring their vehicles into the country instead of one year. The age of vehicles imported under the scheme should not exceed three years by the time of customs clearance under the changes.

Good news for expats in the Gulf? MPs approved a 70% discount on customs duty for expats living in countries not subject to mutual customs agreements, the Emigration Ministry said in a statement yesterday. They will now pay 30% of the customs duty under the scheme.

Already paid? You’ll be reimbursed the difference within six months, House Planning and Budget Committee Deputy Chairman Yasser Omar said in a televised interview last night (watch, runtime: 14:55).

Is any of this going to make a difference? Some MPs don’t think so. The scheme has never been an attractive proposition for expats and the latest amendments are unlikely to make a difference, Mostaqbal Watan MP Mahmoud Qassem said yesterday. “This bill will remain ink on paper even after we change it,” he said.

What’s next: The amendments are expected to be put up for a final vote in today’s session.

ALSO GETTING A NOD– MPs gave initial approval to legal amendments that would exempt mobile phone components from the 5% development fee. The move is designed to encourage the local manufacture of the components and lower the industry’s reliance on imported goods.

What’s next: The bill will likely return to the general assembly today for a final vote.


  • Rules governing foreign citizenship could be changing: The House legislative and defence committees received government-drafted amendments of a 1975 law that requires citizens to obtain the permission of the Interior Ministry before receiving foreign citizenship. The legislative changes are unknown.
  • Metro Line 4 financing: The House received two foreign agreements from the US and Japan on higher education and the implementation of the first phase of Cairo Metro Line 4.
  • Other foreign agreements referred to committees: Three foreign agreements on human rights, economic governance and the Montreal Protocol on the ozone layer were referred to House committees.


UAE fintech Tabby embarks on Egypt recruitment drive as it rethinks local operations

Tabby to triple its local workforce as it turns Egyptian operations into regional support hub: Emirati buy now, pay later firm Tabby will double down on recruitment in Egypt despite announcing last week that it will suspend its local operations due to economic headwinds. The company plans to at least triple its Egypt-based workforce within the next 12 months as it seeks to create a support hub here for its core markets, General Manager Ahmed Khalil told Enterprise yesterday. The company currently employs more than 30 people in Egypt and will expand this to at least 100 to support operations in its key markets — the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait — Khalil said.

When life gives you lemons: Tabby last week said it would pause its services in Egypt a mere six months after entering the country due to “recent macroeconomic developments.” The fallout from the war in Ukraine and rising interest rates have tipped the Egyptian economy into crisis over the past year, causing the EGP to lose almost half its value against the greenback and sending inflation to its highest level in five years.

A new office is in the works: Tabby plans to relocate its Egypt team from its current office in Downtown Cairo’s Greek Campus to bigger headquarters within the next couple of months in order to accommodate the new employees, Khalil told us, adding that the firm is still looking for a suitable location.

And bigger plans are ahead: The firm is also looking to expand its operations to other GCC economies soon, Khalil said.

Tabby sees Egypt as an attractive place to grow its workforce despite its retreat from the market. “Egypt is a good place to hire. We’re happy with the caliber we’re getting,” Khalil said. “We have great talent, language skills, and good education, and it makes economic sense compared to hiring in Saudi Arabia or the UAE, for example,” he told us.

A number of global companies are outsourcing more of their ops to Egypt: Tabby is joining the ranks of dozens of companies that have recently outsourced operations to Egypt. In December, 29 global firms — including IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Majid Al Futtaim — inked agreements with the Communications Ministry to increase investments in Egypt and outsource more of their operations.



It was a diplomacy-heavy night on the airwaves last night, with the nation’s talking heads dedicating significant airtime to Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s trips to Syria and Turkey, and Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly’s visit to Doha.

Everyone was talking about Shoukry’s visit to Damascus and Adana yesterday, with Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid phoning in to the shows to talk about the significance of the visits.

The main message behind the visit? Solidarity with “our brothers in Syria and Turkey” in the wake of the deadly earthquake, Abu Zeid told Ala Mas’ouleety, rejecting the suggestion that the meeting touched on Syria’s potential to return to the Arab League (watch, runtime: 11:35). Abu Zeid made similar statements on Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 6:12) and Masa’a DMC (watch, runtime: 3:44).

El Hekaya described the visit to Turkey as unprecedented between the once arch-foes, and highlighted a “hug” between Shoukry and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (watch, runtime: 3:25). “The earthquake has accelerated [reconciliation] efforts. Did you ever imagine Shoukry actually going there?” he said. Kelma Akhira also highlighted the visits (watch, runtime: 6:25).

^^ We have the full story in this morning’s Diplomacy section, below.

Madbouly’s visit to Qatar also got special attention: Kelma Akhira’s Lamis El Hadidi noted the ongoing talks between the Qatari sovereign wealth fund and Egypt for the potential USD 2 bn acquisition of 20-30% “or perhaps the whole 45% stake” in Vodafone Egypt owned by Telecom Egypt. (watch, runtime: 2:46). The Qatar Investment Authority also has its eyes on managing and operating ports at Sokhna and Safaga, she noted.

His touchdown in Doha yesterday is the first by an Egyptian PM in nearly a decade, Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 16:51). Political and economic issues dominated discussions during the visit which will conclude today, he added.

^^ We have the full story in this morning’s news well, above.

ALSO GETTING A MENTION- The extension of the expat car import scheme, which yesterday received preliminary approval from MPs (see this morning’s Legislation Watch, above, for more). House Planning and Budget Committee Deputy Chairman Yasser Omar made an appearance on Kelma Akhira to talk about the amendments (watch, runtime: 14:55).

AND- Amr Adib continued to focus on Zamalek FC’s post-Mortada Mansour future: Sports Ministry spokesperson Mohamed El Shazly said Mansour cannot return to chair the club given that his membership has been revoked following the final verdict (watch, runtime: 6:57).


Dominating the conversation on Egypt in the foreign press this morning: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s visits to Syria and Turkey yesterday. We have more in this morning’s Diplomacy section, below. (AP | Reuters | AFP | Financial Times | Bloomberg | The National)

Issa talks tourism targets: Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa sat down for an interview with Reuters to talk about the government’s target to increase tourism by up to 30% every year for the next five years. Issa laid out most of the details to the Senate back in January.

Private sector management could boost our heritage sites: The Madbouly government is reviewing the results of a pilot program that saw 10 private companies help manage 10 tourist sites — including the Giza Pyramids complex, central Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, and the soon-to-launch Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), Issa said.

Anger over sale of Sadat passport: The sale of late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s diplomatic passport at a US-based auction house has sparked anger among his family who say that the document is part of the country’s heritage, CNN reported. The passport was sold last week for USD 47.5k by Texas-based Heritage auctions. Rep. Karim Sadat, who is Sadat’s grandson, described the sale as "an insult that we, as a family and as representatives of the Egyptian people who love the late president, will not accept”. It remains unclear how the passport made its way to the auction house.

ALSO- It’s the Atlantic Council’s turn to analyze the recent tensions between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.


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Fawry + Botim collab to help Egyptians in UAE to make cross-border payments, pay bills: Local e-payments giant Fawry and Gulf voice-calling app Botim are partnering to allow Egyptian expats residing in the UAE to pay bills and send home remittances, according to a joint press release (pdf). Users will be able to make money transfers or pay invoices due in Egypt — including utility bills, school and university fees, and medical and social ins. — through the Botim app. Botim was acquired by Emirati firm Astra Tech last month.


Temry Chicken will build an EGP 150 mn poultry factory in Sharqiya Governorate, that will produce 300 tons of chicken per month, company head Mahmoud Al Anani was quoted as telling Al Mal. Construction will begin by the end of this year, with plans for the factory to start operations by the beginning of 2025, Al Anani said.


Farmers will now be able to get loans via e-Finance: State-owned tech company e-Finance has obtained the central bank’s approval to provide financing to farmers via the Agriculture Ministry’s smart farmers card, Al Borsa reported, citing statements by Chairman Ibrahim Sarhan. He said farmers will be able to receive loans guaranteed by their agricultural holdings through the card, which is issued by e-Finance on behalf of the Agricultural Bank of Egypt.

Integrating agriculture: The card allows farmers to receive subsidized fertilizers, access agricultural data, and make digital payments and purchases.


To space via China: Egypt has launched its Horus 1 satellite, which is equipped with a high-resolution camera, from a Chinese launch site, Egyptian Space Agency CEO Sherif Sedky said in a televised interview last week (watch runtime: 5:27).


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Abu Dhabi IPO WATCH: Adnoc’s natural gas arm will now offer close to a 5% stake in its IPO in Abu Dhabi after it covered its orderbook within hours last week. The Emirati energy company originally planned to sell 4% of its shares but is now on course to raise as much as USD 2.5 bn following huge investor demand, Bloomberg says.

ADVISORS- Our friends at EFG Hermes and HSBC are joint lead managers alongside Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

US M&A WATCH: Drugmaker Pfizer wants to acquire biotech firm Seagen in a transaction that would be worth over USD 30 bn, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Talks are still at an early stage, according to people in the know.





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The EGX30 fell 0.7% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.90 bn (4.4% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is up 17.1% YTD.

In the green: GB Auto (+3.6%), Rameda Pharma (+2.9%) and Credit Agricole Egypt (+2.1%).

In the red: Oriental Weavers (-2.9%), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (-2.7%) and CIB (-2.0%).

Asian markets are firmly in the green this morning after global stocks rebounded yesterday from last week’s losses. The Kospi and the Hang Seng were both up almost 1.0% while the Nikkei was 0.3% in the green ahead of dispatch time this morning. The rally is expected to continue in Europe and on Wall Street later today, according to the futures markets.


Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry became the first Egyptian diplomat to make official visits to Syria and Turkey in a decade yesterday after he flew to the two earthquake-hit countries for talks with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

In Damascus: Egypt will provide more aid to Syria and has already shipped 1.5k tons, Shoukry told reporters following meetings with Al Assad and Syrian Foreign Minister Faisel Mikdad, according to Reuters. “The goal of the visit is primarily humanitarian, and to pass on our solidarity – from the leadership, the government and the people of Egypt to the people of Syria,” he said.

A return to the Arab League? Shoukry’s trip comes a day after Egypt House Speaker Hanafi Gibali traveled to Damascus as part of a delegation of Arab officials to discuss bringing the country back inside the Arab League. Syria was booted out of the organization in 2011 in response to the government’s suppression of anti-Assad protesters.

In Adana: Shoukry traveled to the quake-hit southern Turkish province of Adana for talks with Cavusoglu. The two diplomats visited the port of Mersin, to witness the arrival of a shipment of Egyptian aid.

Tentative moves: The two countries have been inching towards normalizing relations in recent months following a series of exploratory talks. President El Sisi and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan shook hands during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and Turkish this month pledged to invest USD 500 mn in Egypt.

Normalizing ties: In a televised interview yesterday, Shoukry said that his visit to Syria and Turkey “reflects the interest for relations between Egypt and the two countries return to their normal status” (watch, runtime: 5:18).

El Sisi + Erdogan to meet again? “During our talks today, we exchanged views on mutual visits in the upcoming period. Our deputy foreign ministers met twice before, and it would be beneficial for them to meet again,” Reuters reports Cavusoglu as saying yesterday. “After our talks, our presidents can meet either in Turkey or Egypt.”

ALSO- El Sisi talks investment with Malaysian PM: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim discussed potential bilateral investment in sectors including energy, CIT, and cars during a video call yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement.


Riyadh comes to Ukraine’s aid to the tune of USD 410 mn: Saudi Arabia is making good on a pledge to send some USD 410 mn in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including a USD 300 mn grant to purchase oil products, Bloomberg reports. The agreements were signed during a surprise visit to Kyiv by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Sunday, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Also worth knowing this morning: Turkey is set to resume talks with Sweden and Finland on 9 March over the Nordic countries’ bids to join Nato. Sweden’s bid to join the military has faced resistance from Turkey, which has accused its government of having ties to Kurdish militant groups. (Reuters)


What do industry players want from our upcoming hydrogen strategy? The government’s long-awaited hydrogen strategy should be released within weeks. We asked private-sector players and industry experts what they hope to see as they plan to establish green hydrogen plants in the local market.

Hydrogen strategy? The national hydrogen strategy has been in the works since 2021 and will provide a regulatory framework for the local production of green hydrogen, covering the whole value chain — supply, demand, and infrastructure. It’s being formulated by the government with help from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It was set to be unveiled during the COP27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, but was delayed. Now we have it on good authority that the strategy is in its final stages and should be released before Ramadan.

We have a lot of green hydrogen projects in the pipeline: The state has inked framework agreements worth c. USD 83 bn for green hydrogen and ammonia plants, which would collectively produce up to 7.6 mn tons of green ammonia and 2.7 mn tons of hydrogen a year when fully operational. Prominent energy players involved in the projects include Masdar, Hassan Allam, Infinity, Fortescue Future Industries, Scatec, Fertiglobe, and Orascom Construction.

The one thing on everyone’s mind: Incentives. The state needs to look into what kind of incentives and aid green hydrogen players need in order to help attract investment, energy consultant Ali Habib told Enterprise. “I think our vision is not clear at the moment, especially with the current economic conditions. So we need policies and incentives to help attract investments,” he added. Osama Fawzy, founder of hydrogen market intelligence platform Hydrogen Intelligence, says incentives could include “tax breaks, custom breaks, [and giving] ammonia priority when it comes to port access.”

We need a green hydrogen regulatory body: It’s still unclear who will be responsible for green hydrogen production and the issuance of green hydrogen certificates in the country. Green hydrogen policy could be led by a number of bodies, including the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (Egyptera), the Gas Regulatory Authority (GASREG), or an entirely new entity, Habib said.

A one-stop hydrogen shop would help drum up investment: “I think what will help is to have some consolidation to make sure that all interests are aligned and create a one-stop-shop for hydrogen, so that interested investors would only need to talk to one entity that is empowered to be able to handle all the different aspects,” Khalid Hamza, EBRD director and head of Egypt told us. The clarity provided by a one-stop shop would also increase the speed of project implementation, he added.

Our first green hydrogen projects are already benefiting from efforts to streamline FDI: A USD 5.5 bn green ammonia plant to be built by a firm named Egypt Green Ammonia Company, and the 100 MW green hydrogen plant being developed by Scatec, Fertiglobe and Orascom Construction were among the first projects to receive the government’s new golden license. The one-stop license aims to streamline the process of setting up new industrial and infrastructure projects.

Infrastructure support should also be on the agenda: “A comprehensive hydrogen strategy should include infrastructure support for hydrogen players and a clear set of incentives to level the playing field and encourage investments,” Fertiglobe’s head of investments and projects, Tarek Hosny, told Enterprise. That could include common infrastructure for green hydrogen projects that would be shared among projects, helping companies save on costs. The first phase of Fertiglobe’s green hydrogen plant with Scatec and Orascom Construction began commissioning in November and is expected to become fully operational by 2025, Hosny said.

Companies could sell excess renewable energy: “If a green hydrogen player is producing its own renewable energy, it should have the freedom to sell off and capitalize on whatever excess electricity it may have,” Hosny said. Net metering and feed-in tariffs already allow households and businesses run on solar power to sell excess electricity generated back to the national grid.

Time is of the essence: “I think Egypt has all the attributes to become one of the key hydrogen markets but competition is high, so speed is one of the key aspects to either making or breaking our ambitions,” said the EBRD’s Hamza. Fertiglobe’s Hosny echoed his sentiments. “Time is of the essence because now you have the whole world racing to set up green hydrogen and ammonia facilities,” Hosny said, pointing to developments in the US, Canada, and Morocco.

REMEMBER- The Biden administration’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act will offer US green hydrogen producers a USD 3.00 tax credit per kilo of hydrogen for their first 10 years of operation, pushing production costs in the US into sub-zero territory in the short term.

Your top green economy stories for the week:

  • Three global auto firms could invest to assemble EVs in Egypt: Stellantis, Nissan and Al Mansour Automotive could invest a total of USD 145 mn to assemble traditional and electric vehicles in Egypt over the next three years.
  • Scatec + Norway-backed Europe electricity link? Scatec is proposing to establish an Egypt-Europe electricity interconnector that would ship renewable energy-generated power to Europe across the Mediterranean.
  • More green hydrogen incoming: Scatec, Mopco and the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company signed an agreement to cooperate on green hydrogen and ammonia production, the Oil Ministry said last week, without providing further information.
  • Dongfeng EVs are here: Chinese automotive firm Dongfeng has launched its E70 500 Pro electric car in Egypt.
  • EV manufacturing: Croatia’s Koncar and Saudi’s Al Massa are considering manufacturing EV chargers and electrical components for power transmission infrastructure in Egypt.
  • EnviroMin wants more climate investment: The Environment Ministry has set up a new unit tasked with attracting private investment into green projects. (Statement)



19 February-11 March (Sunday-Saturday): 2023 Africa U20 Cup of Nations, Egypt, various locations.

24-26 February (Friday-Sunday): The Egyptian Private Equity Association and the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association are hosting a three-day private capital funds masterclass.


March: 4Q2022 earnings season.

March: Gov’t to launch the National Governance Index.

March: Palestine-Israel talks in Sharm El Sheikh.

Beginning of March: Rice to be added to the EMX.

3 March (Friday): Journalists’ Syndicate midterm elections.

5 March (Sunday): Senate reconvenes.

5 March (Sunday) Nahda Economic Forum, Intercontinental Cairo Semiramis.

6 March (Monday): Telecom Egypt to announce its 2022 results.

6-9 March (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes One-on-One conference, Atlantis, Dubai.

7 March (Tuesday): Higher Education Ministry to unveil national strategy for higher education.

11-12 March (Saturday-Sunday): The second edition of Techne Summit in Cairo.

11-12 March (Saturday-Sunday): Techne Summit, National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

13 March (Monday): BEBA Egypt hosts discussion and dinner with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla.

21-22 March (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

23 March (Thursday): First day of Ramadan (TBC). Maghreb will be at 6:08pm CLT.

30 March (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.


April: GAFI to launch the country’s first integrated electronic platform to facilitate setting up a business.

1 April (Saturday): Deadline for banks to establish sustainability units.

10-16 April (Monday-Sunday): IMF / World Bank Spring Meetings, Marrakesh, Morocco.

16 April (Sunday): Coptic Easter

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

21 April (Friday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day.

27 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC).

30 April (Sunday): Deadline for self-employed to register for e-invoicing.

30 April (Sunday): End of Mediterranean, Nile Delta oil + gas exploration tender.

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2023 earnings season.


1 May (Monday): Labor Day.

2-3 May (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

4 May (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Labor Day (TBC).

4 May (Thursday): IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Cairo.

9-11 May (Tuesday-Thursday): First edition of the Arab Actuarial Conference, Cairo.

16-18 May (Tuesday-Thursday): Egypt will host its first conference on cybersecurity and defense intelligence systems (CDIS-Egypt).

18 May (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

20-21 May (Saturday-Sunday): eGlob Expo, St. Regis Almasa Hotel, Cairo.

22-26 May (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings in Sharm El Sheikh.


7-10 (Wednesday-Saturday): The second edition of Africa Health Excon.

10 June (Saturday): Thanaweya Amma examinations begin.

13-14 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

19-21 June (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Infrastructure and Water Expo debuts at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

22 June (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

28 June-2 July (Wednesday-Sunday): Eid El Adha (TBC).

30 June (Friday): June 30 Revolution Day.


18 July (Tuesday): Islamic New Year.

20 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Islamic New Year (TBC).

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day.

25-26 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

27 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Revolution Day.

Late July-14 August: 2Q2023 earnings season.


3 August (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.


19-20 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

21 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

26 September (Tuesday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).

28 September (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).


6 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day.

13 October- 20 October (Friday-Friday): The sixth edition of El Gouna Film Festival (GFF).

Late October-14 November: 3Q2023 earnings season.

31 October – 1 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.


2 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.


12-13 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

21 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.


2023: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

2023: Egypt will host the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in 2023.

1Q 2023: Egypt + Qatar to launch joint business forum.

1Q 2023: FRA to introduce new rules for short selling.

1Q 2023: Internal trade database to launch.

1Q 2023: The Madbouly government will choose which state-owned hotels will be merged into a new hotels company ahead of an offering to foreign and Gulf investors.

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