Search

 

Cablegate: Egyptian Parliamentarians Question Qiz Program

VZCZCXRO5067
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #1825 1651123
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141123Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5680
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS CAIRO 001825

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

USTR FOR SAUMS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD IS EG
SUBJECT: EGYPTIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS QUESTION QIZ PROGRAM

REF: A. 2006 CAIRO 7219
B. 2005 CAIRO 1013

Sensitive but Unclassified, not for Internet distribution.

1. (U) More than 140 members of Egypt's People's Assembly
recently petitioned the government to reevaluate the
Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) agreement, according to June
8 press accounts. The parliamentarians requested an analysis
of the economic performance of the agreement since 2004, when
it was signed by the GOE, Israel and the United States, but
did not state outright opposition to it. The 140
parliamentarians represent 30 percent of the seats in
parliament. Although their party affiliation was not
specified in the reports, opposition and independent MP's
hold only 107 seats in the Assembly, so at least 33 ruling
party MP's have apparently signed onto this initiative.

2. (SBU) Ali Awni, head of the QIZ unit in the Ministry of
Trade and Industry, told econoffs that he was not concerned
by the inquiry, which he described as routine. The QIZ
program has faced periodic opposition from members of
Parliament and receives increased attention during troubled
periods in Egyptian-Israeli relations, such as during the
violence between Israel and Lebanon in the summer of 2006
(ref A).

3. (U) While Muslim Brotherhood (MB) parliamentarians have
been particularly critical of the program, a policy platform
recently released by the MB included 26 pages of economic
policy pronouncements that were skeptical of "outside
economic influence," but made no specific mention of the QIZ
or trade with Israel (septel). The only public QIZ
demonstrations have been by workers calling for their
factories to be included in the program (ref B). The GOE
estimates that over 100,000 workers are now employed in QIZ
factories.

4. (U) Separately, the QIZ unit reported in May that overall
QIZ exports to the United States have surpassed USD $1
billion during the life of the program. The May meeting of
the GOE-GOI-USG committee that administers the program took
no action on a long-standing GOE request to lower the
required level of Israeli content in QIZ exports from 11.7 to
8 percent.
JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Rights Office On Syria: The “Monstrous Annihilation” Of Eastern Ghouta

Since the Syrian Government and their allies escalated their offensive against opposition-held Eastern Ghouta on 4 February, there have been more than 1,200 civilian casualties, including at least 346 killed and 878 injured, mostly in airstrikes hitting residential areas... Ninety-two of these civilian deaths allegedly occurred in just one 13-hour period on Monday. More>>

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:


Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:

Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO: