Stop the gunmen
Worried that piracy could scare ships away from the Suez Canal, Egypt has been holding emergency talks with nations bordering the Red Sea on how to stop brazen Somali gunmen from hijacking oil tankers and other vessels. Egypt’s economy relies on more than $5 billion a year in fees collected from vessels passing through the Suez Canal.
For free trade
The US Chamber of Commerce (USCC), the world’s largest not-for-profit business federation, expressed support for signing a free trade agreement between Egypt and the United States, expressing regret it has not been signed so far. USCC Vice Chairman Daniel Christ stressed the strategic relations between Egypt and the United States and praised the level of joint cooperation over the past three decades.
Liquefying Russian gas
Egypt and Gazprom are in talks to liquefy Russian gas in Egypt for shipment to Europe, Hamdi Abdel-Aziz, a spokesman for the Egyptian Oil Ministry recently said. Egypt is offering “excellent liquefying facilities” as part of a plan to make itself into a major LNG hub. “Russian gas may be pumped into the Arab Gas Pipeline in reverse,” Abdelaziz said. The Arab Gas Pipeline runs from Egypt through Jordan to Lebanon and Syria and has a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year. The proposal involves linking the Arab Gas Pipeline to pipelines in Turkey.
Intellectual Property rights
Buoyed by its improving piracy ratings and successful efforts to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Cairo has hosted the second regional conference on “Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in the Digital Age…Procedures and Practices”. The two-day conference saw leading experts and practitioners from more than 10 countries exchange views and expertise to better deal with challenges related to enforcement, copyright protection, counterfeiting, managing IP assets, and maximising IP values.
Telecom Egypt was the Official Technology Partner to PosTech 2008, the three-day global postal technology conference held in Sharm El-Sheikh earlier this month. The move recognised the convergence taking place in the mail and telecom industries. Telecom Egypt and Egypt Post have already partnered to build the telecommunication infrastructure of Egypt Post. The IP network was designed, built and operated over the mega infrastructure of Telecom Egypt to connect 2900 post offices within Egypt. With over 300 senior delegates, an array of international speakers and a high-profile list of sponsors, the recent conference addressed the key issues technology raises in the postal industry.
Egypt based mobile operator Orascom Telecom has agreed to sell its OrasInvest arm to Abu Dhabi Investment for $180 million. OrasInvest, which was established in 1998, builds and maintains mobile phone transmission towers and switches and runs packaging, delivery, and collection services for Orascom, which as part of the agreement, will continue to use OrasInvest’s services. The transaction will generate a capital gain of $175 million. Naguib Sawiris, chairman and chief executive at Orascom Telecom, said: “As announced at the beginning of the year, OTH is looking at disposing of its non-GSM businesses and the sale of OrasInvest represents the first step in this direction. In this rapidly changing environment, the sale of OrasInvest to the Abu Dhabi Investment Company allows us to outsource non-core assets and activities, while continuing to benefit from the goods and services provided.”
Killed by mistake
Mistaking a poultry seller in Aswan, Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razeq, for a drug dealer, the police shot him to death last Sunday. On hearing of Abdel-Razeq’s death, some 2000 protesters surrounded the hospital where his body was taken and pelted it with stones, smashing windows. Riot police clashed with the demonstrators, firing tear-gas to disperse them. Four protesters were injured in the clashes. Aswan prosecutor has summoned the policemen for questioning.
30 November 2008