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Tuesday, 7 February 2023

THIS MORNING: PM to meet Croatian president today + Gov’t to publish green hydrogen strategy within a month

Good morning, friends, and happy hump day. We have a packed issue for you this morning, so let’s jump right in:

TAKE OUR JANUARY ENTERPRISE READER SURVEY and get a chance to break bread with us: Give us your thoughts on how 2022 panned out for your business and industry, and what you’re expecting in the year ahead in our Enterprise Reader Survey.

Want to have a meal with us? Leave your name, email, mobile number, and where you work in the box for “Is there anything else you want to tell us.” We’ll be inviting eight participating readers to a meal at one of our favorite restaurants.

EGP WATCH- The EGP continued to inch lower against the greenback yesterday, with the USD changing hands at 30.35, according to central bank figures. The currency hit the 30 mark at the end of January following a sharper devaluation that helped spur the return of foreign inflows and alleviate FX woes that had stalled imports. The EGP has lost almost half of its value over the past year and is down 17% since the beginning of January.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Cabinet will release its hydrogen strategy within a month, Prime Minister Madbouly said yesterday. The document is expected to provide a roadmap for how Egypt can develop a globally-competitive green hydrogen sector. An unnamed global consulting office has finished work on the strategy, he said.

REMEMBER– In the works since 2021, the government was expected to reveal the strategy at COP27 in November. Egypt has signed framework agreements with a number of international companies to establish green hydrogen and ammonia projects that could attract as much as USD 83 bn in investment if they were all to reach the implementation phase.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Preventing another 2016, 2020, 2022: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly has tasked the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center to work on strategies that could reduce our exposure to external risks in the coming years, according to a cabinet statement. The center will work with experts on regular reports to cabinet on how policymakers can strengthen the country’s food and energy security, bolster supply chains and prevent a repeat of the 2022-2023 FX liquidity crisis.

The state has in recent months signaled willingness to give private-sector players the chance to be heard on policy development. The challenge now is to turn it into concrete action that will make it easier to do business. It engaged in weeks of consultations last summer that fed into its privatization strategy and helped to produce the final state ownership policy document. It has also created a Supreme Council for Investment, to which a number of private sector leaders have been appointed, although few details have been made public. And the National Dialogue process is also expected to allow non-government actors to express views on a range of economic, social and political topics.


Bok, gospodine predsjedniče: Croatia’s President Zoran Milanovic will meet with PM Moustafa Madbouly and House Speaker Hanafi El Gebali this morning as he wraps up a two-day visit to Cairo, according to a statement by his office. We have coverage of Milanovic’s meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday in this morning’s Diplomacy section, below.

The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie’s (OIF) two-day economic prospecting forum in Cairo concludes today. Representatives of 100 companies from more than 20 french-speaking countries are gathering to explore ways to boost cooperation with Egyptian firms working in agriculture, renewable energy and the digital economy.

PSA- Enjoy your last week of (relatively easy) commutes: The mid-year break at public schools is winding down and universities are back in session on Saturday, 11 February for the second semester of the 2022-2023 academic year.


Inflation: The CBE and Capmas are expected to publish inflation data for January on Thursday.


President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will be in Dubai next week to attend the World Government Summit, which runs 13-15 February. Twenty heads of state will be in town for the Davos-like gathering, which will see policymakers from around the world discuss global trends, according to Emirati state news agency WAM.

Petro-show next week: Oil and gas industry figures from Egypt and the region will congregate at the Egypt International Exhibition Center for the Egypt Petroleum Show (Egyps) starting next Monday. The three-day conference runs 13-15 February.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- The devastating earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey in the early hours of yesterday morning is front-page news everywhere this morning. More than 4k people have now been pronounced dead after a 7.8 magnitude quake leveled thousands of buildings in southern Turkey and northern Syria. (AP | Reuters | FT | Bloomberg | NYT | Washington Post)

President El Sisi has offered to send aid while the Foreign Ministry said it was following up on the situation of Egyptians living in the two countries. Four Egyptian students were rescued in Iskenderun yesterday after being stuck under rubble for hours, Ahram Online reported.

No tsunami risks: Egypt’s National Research Institute for Astronomy and Geophysics has said there is no possibility of the quake triggering a tsunami in the Mediterranean, according to state-run MENA news agency. Italy issued a tsunami warning following the disaster but has since withdrawn it.



We’re excited to unveil our next C-level event: The Enterprise FDI + Exports Forum, where we will take a deep dive into two of the most critical topics affecting our community.

Exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) have never been more important to our economy — or our businesses — than in the wake of the float of the EGP. We think we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build an export-led economy that makes us a magnet for FDI and all the benefits that will come with it for our nation.

Want to join the conversation? Drop us a line on


Fuel price announcement when? We’re still waiting to hear what the government plans to do with fuel prices this quarter. Its fuel pricing committee was supposed to meet at the beginning of January to set prices for 1Q. The government has increased prices at the pump by 23-28% since April 2021, and decided on a rare fuel oil price hike last July.

Expect prices to rise: The government has committed to changing local fuel prices in line with movements in the global markets under the USD 3 bn loan agreement with the IMF.

The Senate is out of session for two weeks: Senators will reconvene on Sunday 19 February.

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


*** It’s Going Green day — your weekly briefing of all things green in Egypt: Enterprise’s green economy vertical focuses each Tuesday on the business of renewable energy and sustainable practices in Egypt, everything from solar and wind energy through to water, waste management, sustainable building practices and how you can make your business greener, whatever the sector.

In today’s issue: As Egypt looks to build out a local green hydrogen industry, what needs to happen to make it a viable export product for Europe?

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