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Sunday, 16 January 2022

THIS EVENING: The search for new EV partners is on track + SCZone could get investment from Hungary

It’s a relatively quiet start to this new workweek, ladies and gents. However, we don’t expect the slowdown to persist beyond today.


#1- We’re getting closer to locally assembling EV microbuses: El Nasr Automotive subsidiary the Engineering Automotive Manufacturing Company is set to sign a cooperation agreement with South Korean auto parts maker Myoung Shin “by the end of the week,” to locally produce electric microbuses, Hapi Journal quotes Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik as saying.

#2- The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) is in talks with Hungary over a potential investment in a specialized industrial area in the zone, with a Hungarian delegation set to visit mid-February to continue talks, SCZone head Yehia Zaki told Bloomberg Asharq on the sidelines of the Suez Canal International Conference at Dubai’s Expo 2020 (watch, runtime: 3:47). The SCZone also plans to launch ship catering and marine services in the next few months during his speech at the conference, according to a Suez Canal Authority statement. Also in the pipeline: A target to complete work on widening and deepening the Suez Canal by July 2023, according to a separate statement.


The Senate is currently discussing the bill that would create a new Labor Act to regulate employment for private sector companies. If passed, the bill would dictate how employees can be dismissed, making it harder for private sector employers to fire staff for illnesses but allowing workers to lose their jobs if convicted of a felony. The bill would also set a minimum annual raise requirement equal to 3% of the amount covered by social ins., according to the text of the bill (pdf).

** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:

  • The Grand Egyptian Museum could open its doors to the public in 2H2022 to coincide with the centennial of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, Tourism Minister Khaled El Anany said.
  • Orcas raises USD 2.1 mn pre-series A round: Egyptian edtech startup Orcas raised USD 2.1 mn in a pre-series A round co-led by our friends at CIRA’s NFX Ventures, and Access Bridge Ventures.
  • Apicorp and IsDB launch USD 1 bn Infra Initiative: Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation and the Islamic Development Bank have launched a three-year, USD 1 bn initiative for private-sector focused infrastructure financing in countries including Egypt.


DJOKOVIC WATCH- Novax is officially out of the Australian Open: World number one tennis ​​champion Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia after its Federal Court upheld a decision to cancel his visa due to his being unvaccinated, Bloomberg reports. The ruling overrides a lower court ruling supporting Djokovic’s appeal against being deported from Australia, saying that he provided sufficient evidence to justify a medical exemption from getting the covid-19 vaccine, which rested on testing positive for covid-19 a few weeks ago and recovering since then. The final decision to deport Djokovic — over which he voiced his “extreme disappointment” — means he will be unable to defend his Australian Open championship title or land his 21st Grand Slam, which would set a new record and place him ahead of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, each of whom have 20 titles.

Also getting digital ink: Fresh threats from Russia in the ongoing face-off with Ukraine. Moscow could do more than invade Ukraine if President Vladimir Putin’s demands on ending Nato expansion and scaling down the US’ security presence in Europe are rejected. In “subtle threats,” Russia implied that it could move nuclear missiles closer to the US coast, “potentially igniting a confrontation with echoes of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis,” the New York Times says. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military authority claims that Russian-backed militants have been gathering more weapons as border tensions continue to rise, according to Bloomberg.


Consoleya will kick off its Startup Meet-up series this Tuesday with a talk from Founder and Principal of Newton International Management Ayman S. Ashour. The talk, titled Exits and Reset Dilemmas, will see Ashour discuss how to plan for your startup’s exit and the connections you’ll need along the way. Hossam Allam, founder of Cairo Angels and managing director of maintenance services at Hassan Allam Construction, will moderate the discussion. The event will take place from 6-9pm — you can register using this link.

National flag carrier EgyptAir will operate a flight from Casablanca to Cairo this Wednesday, 19 January, to bring home Egyptian expats stranded in Morocco following border closures.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is due in town this Thursday and Friday, 20-21 January on an official visit, during which he will meet President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- We’re in for moderate rainfall tomorrow, the Egyptian Meteorological Authority forecasts. Temperatures are also going to remain on the colder side, with a daytime high of 15°C and a nighttime low of 7°C, according to our favorite weather app.

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