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Cablegate: Egypt's Economy: December 22 Press Round-Up

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DE RUEHEG #2349 3561329
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221329Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4522
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS CAIRO 002349

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STATE FOR NEA/ELA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV EPET ETRD ENRG PGOV EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT'S ECONOMY: DECEMBER 22 PRESS ROUND-UP

1.(U) The following are notable economic news stories that appeared over the past week in the Egyptian press: --------------------------------------------- GOE to Offer Global Tender for Oil Production ---------------------------------------------

2.(U) A source in the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Company (EGPC) told Al Masry Al Youm newspaper that the company will offer a global public tender for oil production for 2011-2017. Al Masry Al Youm writes that the EGPC is planning to offer the tender because it badly needs to raise cash to pay its debts of at least LE 3 billion (US$547 million) to foreign oil and gas companies (Al Masry Al Youm, 12/15/09). ----------------------------------------- PM Nazif Speaks to Cairo Investment Forum -----------------------------------------

3.(U) In a speech to the Cairo Investment Forum, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif said that Egypt would not resort to protectionism to deal with the economic crisis, and would instead focus on attracting foreign investment. Nazif also called for government support for small and medium enterprises and new infrastructure projects (Al Mal, Al Alam Al Youm 12/15/09). --------------------------------------------- Shura Council Approves Nuclear Regulation Law ---------------------------------------------

4.(U) The Egyptian Shura Council approved a new draft law for the regulation of nuclear activities, which lays out the guidelines for the construction of nuclear power plants and provides for the establishment of a nuclear regulatory commission. The draft law will be sent to the People's Assembly and the President's office for approval before it is enacted (All newspapers, 12/14/09). -------------------------------------------- Turkey Plans to Increase Investment in Egypt --------------------------------------------

5.(U) Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid M. Rachid said that President Mubarak's meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul led to an agreement to enhance transportation between the two countries to facilitate trade. Rachid noted that Turkish investments in Egypt are over $2 billion, with 260 factories employing 40,000 workers. Mubarak and Gul announced plans to establish another 250 new Turkish factories in Egypt, and to increase Turkish investments in Egypt to $5 billion. (Al Ahram, Al Akhbar, 12/17/09). SCOBEY

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