Trade exchange between Egypt, Italy up to 3.6 billion euros in 8 months

Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea said that the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Italy increased by 43% to reach 3.6 billion euros during the first eight months of the current year, compared to 2.5 billion euros during the same period in 2020.


This was announced during a plenary meeting with Italian Ambassador in Cairo Michele Quaroni to discuss means of boosting economic and trade cooperation between the two countries in the coming stage.


The meeting was also attended by Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation Martino Melli and Minister of Trade Plenipotentiary and Head of Commercial Representation office Yehia el-Wathiq Billah.


During their meeting, Gamea said that Egypt’s exports to the Italian market upped by 15.8% to record 1.215 billion euros during the current year.


She further noted that Italy is one of Egypt’s most prominent investment partners at the European Union and international levels.


The volume of Italian investments in Egypt is estimated at 2.7 billion dollars, she said.


She added nearly 1,200 Italian companies are operating in the Egyptian market in the fields of industry, agriculture, tourism, construction, information technology and financial services.

Source: State Information Service Egypt

Planning min.: NAC is economic, technological leap in Egyptian State’s history

Planning Minister Hala el Saeed said on Friday the New Administrative Capital (NAC) is an urban, economic and technological leap in the history of the Egyptian State.

The NAC is a national project with global technological standards, noting it is one of the most important smart cities in the Middle East region, the minister said.


Saeed was speaking during her inspection tour of the new headquarters of the Planning Ministry at the NAC ahead of the moving of civil servants in the coming period in line with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s directives.


With the beginning of the new year, 10% of the Planning Ministry’s employees will be moved to the New Administrative Capital, to be followed by another 10% of the ministry’s staff on March 1, 20% on April 1, 20% on May 1, and 40% by June, the minister noted.


The new seven-storey building of the ministry consists of 281 rooms, 18 meeting rooms and a conference hall accommodates up to 50 persons.


Source: State Information Service Egypt

Int’l cooperation min. lauds ACA’s role in fighting corruption

International Cooperation Minister Rania el-Mashat lauded on Friday the pivotal role of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) in fighting all forms of corruption over the past years in line with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s directives.


Speaking during a celebration, organized by the National Anti-Corruption Academy, to mark the International Anti-corruption Day observed on December 9, Mashat said combating corruption is one of the major issues that need more attention to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build trust between the governments and peoples.


Mashat referred to the academy’s vital role in spreading concepts of integrity, transparency and human resource development, through training and awareness-raising activities and conducting scientific research at the national, regional and international levels.


The development achievements would not be accomplished without the monitoring role of the relevant bodies, topped by ACA, within the framework of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, she noted.


Source: State Information Service Egypt

Egypt, Saudi Arabia discuss cooperation in DX, capacity building

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat received Friday Saudi Vice Minister of Communications and Information Technology Haytham AlOhali to discuss enhancing cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in ICTs, especially digital transformation, and capacity building.


They discussed cooperating to launch a hackathon in Egypt to bring Egyptian youth, including programmers, developers, and content writers, together to heavily engage in enriching digital Arabic content. This is within the framework of the Digital Giving Initiative, the first-of-its-kind voluntary initiative specialized in digital content. The initiative is aimed at raising public awareness of and enriching digital Arabic content.


During the meeting, Talaat highlighted the areas of cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in ICT, including cooperation in Artificial Intelligence (AI), telecommunications regulation, and putting the mutual recognition of electronic signature into force between the two countries to facilitate investment and business.


Talaat referred to the capacity building initiatives that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) launched and said that MCIT established Egypt University of Informatics (EUI) at the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital. EUI is the first specialized university in ICT and related fields in Africa and the Middle East, he said, inviting Saudi youth to study at EUI, which offers world-class education.


Talaat shed light on the efforts of the National Academy of Information Technology for Persons with Disabilities (NAID), which MCIT established to build the capacities of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in technology and help create an inclusive society using assistive technologies. He stressed the importance of harnessing digital technology to serve PwDs.


For his part, Ohali underlined that ICT plays a vital role in the development and that the pandemic helped reflect that role. AlOhali referred to the development of digital government in Saudi Arabia and praised the renaissance seen in the ICT sector in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia.


The Saudi Vice ICT Minister praised the Egyptian experiences in supporting entrepreneurship and building digital capabilities, especially those related to honing freelancing skills through the Future Work is Digital (FWD) initiative. He also commended the efforts made by the Information Technology Institute (ITI) and the National Telecommunication Institute (NTI), the training arms of MCIT. AlOhali showed special interest in NTI Fiber Optics Training Program.


AlOhali presented the objectives of the Digital Giving Initiative to create a community the digital Arabic content that would benefit 22 million people and engage 280,000 volunteers. He said that the Egyptian youth are the second largest user of the initiative.


The meeting was attended by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) CEO Amr Mahfouz, ITI Chairwoman Heba Saleh and NTI Director Iman Ashour.


From the Saudi side, the meeting was attended by the Assistant Deputy Minister for Future Skills and Digital Knowledge Faris AlSaqabi; Chief Of Staff, Vice-Minister Office Ahmed Altuwayjiri; and General Manager of International Cooperation at the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) Akram Badawi.


AlOhali and his accompanying delegation visited ITIDA, ITI and NTI premises. They held meetings to discuss enhancing cooperation.


It is worth noting that AlOhali is visiting Egypt to attend the 42nd Session of the Executive Council of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), held in Cairo on December 6-9, and hosted by the Ministry of Higher Education. During the session, the establishment agreement for the Digital Giving Initiative was signed by Saudi Arabia and ICESCO as the regional partner of the initiative.


Source: State Information Service Egypt

Calls Grow Worldwide for COVID Booster Shots


Health officials in the United States, Israel and other nations have for months been pushing for COVID-19 booster shots among older populations, and those calls are now growing worldwide. The issue was discussed at an extraordinary meeting at World Health Organization in Geneva convened by SAGE, the 15-member Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on vaccination.


Current data show that vaccines against COVID-19 provide a robust level of protection against severe forms of disease. However, emerging evidence indicates vaccines begin to lose their effectiveness about six months after they have been administered. This puts older adults and people with underlying conditions at particular risk.


Chair of SAGE, Alejandro Cravioto, says the group of experts agrees a booster shot would provide a greater level of protection for people at risk. However, he notes vaccines are in short supply in many parts of the world. He says the wide administration of booster doses risks exacerbating inequities in vaccine access.


He notes most current infections are among unvaccinated people, the majority of whom live in poor, developing countries. He says SAGE believes they should receive these life-saving vaccines instead of further doses being provided to people who already are fully inoculated against the coronavirus.


“For the time being, we continue to support — one, the need for equity in the distribution and allocation of vaccines and, two, the use of third doses only on those that we have previously recommended. Those that have received inactivated vaccines and those that are immuno-compromised, which are the two groups that we feel should be protected further by a third dose of the primary process,” he said.


Cravioto said meeting participants also discussed the feasibility of mixing and matching different vaccines, such as those developed by Pfizer and Moderna to achieve full immunity against COVID.


“WHO supports a flexible approach to homologous or a single platform versus a heterologous mix and match schedules. We still believe that the best approach is to use the same vaccine for the two primary doses,” Cravioto said.


For national immunization programs, however, he said a different vaccine can be used for an additional third dose. This, if the vaccine used for the two primary shots is in short supply and unavailable.


Source: Voice of America

Egypt, Cyprus discuss cooperation in natural gas projects

Petroleum Minister Tarek el Molla discussed Wednesday with Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry Natasa Pilides and Chevron’s President for the Middle East, Africa and South America Clay Neff means of boosting cooperation, especially in the natural gas domain in Cyprus.



During several meetings el Molla held on the sidelines of his participation in the 23rd World Petroleum Congress that was held in the US, the minister conferred expediating the procedures of linking Cyprus Aphrodite gas field with Egypt’s liquefaction stations, in preparation for re-exporting it to European markets.



During his meeting with CEO of Chevron Corporation Michael Wirth, Molla discussed the company’s activities in Egypt, and its plans for intensifying its explorations in its concession areas in western the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.



For his side, Wirth said Chevron’s plans for operating in Egypt comes following the country’s successes in the oil and gas sector.


Source: State Information Service Egypt