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Monday, 18 December 2017

Russia’s untenable security demands and a new Egyptian desalination technology

No single topic reigned supreme on the airwaves last night, with talking heads discussing everything from the civil aviation protocol with Russia to a new Egyptian desalination technology.

The civil aviation security protocol Egypt signed with Russia is a positive step, but there remain certain sticking points between the two sides on security measures at Egypt’s airports, Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy told Hona Al Assema’s Lamees Al Hadidi. Fathy said the past several months of negotiations have mainly been geared towards bridging the gap on the necessary security measures. Moscow had apparently requested biometric scanners for airport employees, which is a measure Cairo “is not convinced is necessary,” the minister said. He also said that private companies will be enlisted to oversee security at our airports (watch, runtime: 5:23).

Lamees also discussed at length the Supply Ministry’s (now amended) decree requiring prices to be printed on food packages. The final form of the decree requires retailers — the final stop of the supply chain — to clearly indicate the prices of the products being sold, said Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Secretary-General Alaa Ezz. He noted that the method of listing prices is not uniform, and depends on the size of the establishment and the nature of the products being sold.

The end goal for everyone is to ensure that consumers aren’t forced to play a guessing game, head of the food industries division at the Federation of Egyptian Industries Ashraf El Gazayerli said. He also denied that food manufacturers were colluding to keep prices high, an always-popular Nasserist canard (watch, runtime: 27:54).

Egypt is not on the precipice of a real estate bubble, Memaar El Morshedy Group Chairman Mohamed El Morshedy and Egyptian Federation for Construction and Building Contractors Secretary-General Hesham Serry told Lamees. Residential units are usually snapped up at a very high pace, with the exception of those that fall under the highest pricing bracket, El Morshedy said. Serry also pointed out that real estate has always been perceived as a good investment that maintains its value over the years (watch, runtime: 12:11).

Over on Kol Youm, Amr Adib shed light on a newer and cheaper type of water desalination technology. Adib spoke to Nabil El Maraghi, the engineer behind the technology, who said that the new system is mostly produced domestically at a 60% markdown. These treatment plants can also be used in desert areas to irrigate farms and bring water to livestock, El Maraghi said (watch, runtime: 10: 57).

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meeting with Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti is an indicator of improved Egyptian-Italian relations, Egypt’s ambassador in Rome Hisham Badr told Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary. Badr also noted that several Egyptian ministers — including Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Oil Minister Tarek El Molla — have visited Rome over the past few months, which confirms the improvements in our ties (watch, runtime: 2:56).

El Hosary also spoke to SICO Technology Chairman Mohamed Salem about the theft of 15,000 batteries manufactured for the recently unveiled Nile X smartphone (we have more in Telecoms + ICT, below). Salem confirmed that the company has arranged new battery shipments to keep up with demand on its phones (watch, runtime: 3:23).

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