Back to the complete issue
Wednesday, 8 March 2017

What we’re tracking on 8 March 2017

Travel trade show ITB Berlin kicks off today and will go on until Sunday. The Egyptian delegation there is expected to hold a press conference at 3:30pm local time. Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed told Reuters on the eve of the conference that he expects the number of tourists visiting Egypt this year could come close to levels seen before its 2011 uprising, encouraged by investments in airport security and a cheaper EGP. He said that arrivals during the first two months of 2017 were "very, very good,” adding that receipts were also improving as visitors spent more and stayed longer on average. The data appears to back him up, as German market researcher GfK said last week that German holidaymakers’ bookings for trips to Egypt in the upcoming summer season were up 91% from last year, but were still 23% below pre-uprising levels. We also noted yesterday that Chinese tourists are staying longer, with overnight stays in Egypt increasing 158% year-on-year in January 2017. Egypt, however, continues to bank on Russian tourists arrival, as they made up 40% of tourists in 2015.

On a related note, Egypt was also named ‘Best Holiday Destination’ in 2017 by the Pacific Area Travel Writers’ Association, according to Al Shorouk. Rashed should be receiving the award during a ceremony in Berlin today.

Back to the Eastern front, an unnamed Russian foreign ministry official told Youm7 that an agreement on restoring Russian flights and airport security will come in May when the Egyptian-Russian Joint Committee meets. He added that there are no real impediments to Russian tourists coming back at this point. While normally we would take this with a grain of salt, the timing of the agreement coincides with other agreements expected to take place. Officials from the Electricity Ministry estimate that the USD 29 bn Daba’a nuclear power plant agreement will be signed in mid-2017. May is also when the Russians will sign for the Russian Industrial Zone.

A World Bank Group (WBG) delegation headed by Director of Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice Klaus Tilmes is reportedly in town and discussed the economic reform agenda with Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil on Tuesday, Al Ahram reports. Discussions focused on the ministry’s strategy to support and grow industry by providing incentives and cutting red tape. It is unclear as of yet whether this is THE World Bank which is expected to evaluate the reform agenda and resume talks on funding, or whether this delegation will solely be focused on trade and industry policy. Both Kabil and Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr have been engaged in talks over funding (on top of the second tranche of the USD 3 bn facility which has yet to arrive) during the past few months.

Also starting today is the fifth “India by the Nile” cultural festival, which will be held in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Port Said, and Ismailia until 27 April. The festival is described as “a celebration of the essence of India through classical music, dance, theatre, visual art, film, food and sports in a medium which perfectly amalgamates the contemporary with the classic.” Super star Amitabh Bachchan will also be in town this month and will be the guest of honor of Luxor’s 6th African Film Festival, the Indian ambassador said in a press conference.

Today is International Women’s Day, so let’s all take a moment today to celebrate women for their achievements and the strides they have taken over the years. Today’s Google Doodle has a few ideas to get the thinking ball rolling. Pharos Holding is also celebrating women in its own special way by canceling brokerage fees for women investors’ trades on the stock market for a week, starting from today, according to Al Mal. The award for unintentional sexism goes to Al Masry Youm, with its “pretty in pink” themed edition.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.