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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

New textile production complex and Amr Adib’s ingenious solution to Egypt’s debt woes

The talking heads busied themselves with a range of topics, with no single issue dominating the conversation on the airwaves last night.

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi spoke to Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil about the planned 3.1 mn sqm textile production complex, which is the fruit of a partnership between 25 Chinese textile companies that export to Egypt and a holding company bringing together businessmen who import Chinese products. The feasibility studies on the complex are still underway, and that it will mostly be funded through foreign investments (we have more on the project in the Speed Round, below) (watch, runtime: 5:21).

Chairman of Beshay Steel Kamal Beshay also phoned in to tell Lamees about his company’s new USD 2 bn factory in Sadat City, which President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated yesterday. The factory, whose construction began in 2008 but was delayed due to power shortages, will produce railway rails and reinforcement steel that will be sold domestically and exported (watch, runtime: 7:36).

Lamees also sat down with Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali about her ministry’s efforts to combat drug addiction in Egypt, particularly among drivers. Of around 50,000 truck drivers tested for drug abuse, 24% were found to be addicts, according to Wali. The ministry enrolled these drivers to rehabilitation programs and managed to push the figure down to 17%. The Cairo Metro Company and the National Railway Authority are also set to carry out drug tests on train conductors, Wali said (watch, runtime: 23:08).

Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin hosted newly appointed Deputy Health Minister Tarek Tawfik, who delved into his strategy to curb population growth in Egypt, which he said is currently growing at a rate of 2.6 mn individuals per year. The ministry is planning to raise awareness of family planning, particularly women in rural villages with little knowledge of contraception methods, through outreach campaigns (watch, runtime: 21:20).

Economic mastermind Amr Adib, meanwhile, presented his ingenious strategy to repay Egypt’s piling public debts, which currently is around USD 800 per capita. The Kol Youm host suggested that the Tax Authority should collect USD 800 from each “financially capable” citizen whose income exceeds a certain threshold, which would allow the state to repay at least a quarter of the country’s debts (watch, runtime: 5:57). We urge Adib to leave the economic stuff to his better half.

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