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Thursday, 27 October 2022

THIS MORNING: It’s gonna be a beautiful weekend + Why we should take a leaf out of Thailand’s book

Good morning, friends, and welcome to a reasonably calm news day as we prepare to slide into the weekend.

And what a weekend it will be: Look for daytime highs of 29°C and an overnight low of 18°C both days. Skies will be clear with a few clouds — sounds like perfect fall weather to us.

THE BIG STORY here at home: The Madbouly government is getting serious about cushioning the poor and working poor from the impact of high inflation, announcing yesterday a series of additional “social protection” measures. We have more on this in this morning’s news well, below.


MORE ON OUR FIVE-STEP PLAN TO DRIVE EXPORT GROWTH AND LURE FDI– Thailand has <70% of our population, >10x our exports — and still it wants to grow. Thailand’s Board of Investment has approved a new five-year investment promotion strategy, the hallmarks of which are focus and innovation.

Focus: Thailand is doubling down on its three big target industries (automotive assembly and car parts manufacturing; electrical appliances and electronics; agriculture and food processing)…

Innovation: The investment promotion authority is also looking to drum up interest in “green and smart Industries, talent development, as well as creativity and innovation,” according to a statement. It’s also broadening its mandate to off more practical on-the-ground help to businesses that want to invest in Thailand.

Another lesson for us here in Egypt: By staying focused and offering tailored pitches to big-name companies, Thailand has own investment in the EV and EV parts industries from both BYD and Foxconn this year.

COUNTDOWN TO COP (10 days to go)-

Big powers try to set the tone ahead of COP: As the Sharm El Sheikh climate summit draws ever nearer, some of the world’s most influential voices on climate change are trying to set the agenda in the press.

US climate envoy John Kerry is insisting the US is not against compensating poorer countries for climate loss and damage, the Independent reports. There’s been a focus in recent days on developed countries’ attempts to wriggle out of discussing loss and damage in concrete financial terms in Sharm El Sheikh, as Enterprise Climate noted earlier this week. Kerry said putting liability for the impacts of climate change on wealthier nations would be a “problem for everybody” but that the US would not obstruct talks.

Egypt and UAE get tub-tubs from Kerry for their climate work: The two countries’ efforts towards the green energy transition show “bold leadership,” The National quotes Kerry as saying.

It’s now or never: The world needs to once again put climate change front and center or suffer the consequences, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told BBC. “There has been a tendency to put climate change on the back burner … If we are not able to reverse the present trend, we will be doomed,” he said. He also called on China and the US to put their differences aside and work together during COP, adding that “nobody has the right to sacrifice international action on climate change for any reason.”

REMINDER- KSA will send a message on climate mid-COP when it hosts its Saudi Green Initiative in Sharm. Saudi media began talking up the initiative yesterday.

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THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

No one story is driving the conversation in the international business press, though you can practically hear the scribes abroad salivating over the notion of a tech stock meltdown as one giant after another turns in lackluster earnings (or lackluster guidance). On that trend specifically, see:

Two big stories gathering steam:

  • Elon walked into Twitter HQ carrying a (literal) sink as he looks set to close his USD 44 bn acquisition of company in the coming days. (Wall Street Journal | Financial Times)
  • There are 12 days until voters in the United States head to the polls for midterm elections, and Dems are really starting to worry they’re going to lose the House and Senate. (Politico | Axios)

^^ The reports follow disappointing showings from both Microsoft and Google this week, as we noted yesterday.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #1- We all hate the metaverse. Microsoft is struggling with the metaverse — and top Apple exec Greg Joswiak says it “is a word I’ll never use.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES #2- Ford and VW have shut down a self-driving vehicle group after six years of work, with a top exec saying that “creating an L4 robotaxi that can operate in a dense urban environment” is “harder than putting a man on the moon.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES(?) #3- The Bank of Canada is nearing the end of its monetary tightening cycle, with governor Tiff Macklem saying “we’re getting closer” after the BoC raised its key interest rate 50 bps to 3.75% — a smaller bump than economists expected. Would that the US Fed takes note.

HAPPENING TODAY-

Egypt and the UAE’s three-day gathering to mark 50 years of bilateral ties continues today. The event wraps tomorrow.

German development agency GIZ Egypt will host an expo for medicinal and aromatic plants at Fayoum’s Helnan Auberge hotel today and tomorrow, according to a statement. Over 70 exhibitors will be in attendance. Register for the event here.

All eyes are on the ECB today: The European Central Bank is widely expected to go for its second consecutive jumbo-sized 75 bps rate hike when it meets today, as the eurozone continues to battle persistently high inflation, CNBC reports. This would mark its third — and likely not last — rate hike this year, with many economists predicting a follow-up hike of 50 bps in December, at which time the eurozone will likely have entered a recession.

MARKET WATCH-

US oil exports reach record highs — despite shortages at home. The US is exporting record amounts of oil, helping fill the supply gap left by Russia but leaving its East Coast struggling to meet demand, Bloomberg writes . Last week the US exported a record 11.4 mn barrels a day of crude and petroleum, up a daily 2 mn barrels from the week before, despite calls from President Joe Biden to limit exports in efforts to curb rising prices. Shippers can earn more exporting to global markets than restocking domestic supply, the business information service reports.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

An IMF delegation will land in Cairo in the first week of November to continue loan talks, Jihad Azour, the IMF’s director for the Middle East and Central Asia, said earlier this week.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia will ink a number of green energy-centered agreements next month during Electricity and Renewable Energy Minister Mohamed Shaker’s visit to the KSA, according to a cabinet statement. Two of the agreements will be with ACWA Power, one regarding green hydrogen production in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and the other for a 10 GW wind farm, the statement added.

Law firms Matouk Bassiouny and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer will hold a webinar on 2 November that will spotlight COP27’s potential impact on businesses globally. Register for the webinar here.

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

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