Egypt's Non-oil Sector Edges Closer to Growth in June

A general view shows Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt July 13, 2020. (Reuters)
A general view shows Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt July 13, 2020. (Reuters)
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Egypt's Non-oil Sector Edges Closer to Growth in June

A general view shows Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt July 13, 2020. (Reuters)
A general view shows Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt July 13, 2020. (Reuters)

Egypt's non-oil private sector showed more signs of improvement in June, a survey showed on Thursday.

The S&P Global Purchasing Managers' Index for Egypt climbed to 49.9 in June from 49.6 in May. While remaining below the 50.0 threshold separating growth from contraction, it showed the North African nation was nearing recovery after being in contraction territory for 43 consecutive months, Reuters reported.

"Egyptian non-oil companies saw an increase in sales volumes in June for the first time since August 2021," S&P Global said.

The survey was published a day after a reshuffled cabinet was sworn in, tasked with bringing inflation under control and boosting investment.

The new orders sub-index registered 50.2 points - the highest since August 2021. The manufacturing and services sectors showed the most promising signs, which companies said was linked to a recovery in market conditions. Construction activity contracted, however.

Employment remained broadly stable in June, as some companies reported they were hiring more to meet the rising demand, while others did not replace retired workers or laid off staff.

S&P economist David Owen said businesses appear to be "heading on the road to recovery".

"If we see further rises in sales and purchases in the second half of this year, firms should have the motivation and need to expand their output," Owen said.

An uneasy calm hung over the Kenyan capital on Thursday.

"While June saw the fastest rise in input prices for three months, firms generally commented that this was due to a high degree of volatility in market prices rather than an accelerating inflation trend," S&P Global said.



New Legislation Facilitates Investment in Saudi Tourism Sector

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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New Legislation Facilitates Investment in Saudi Tourism Sector

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib said, in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, that work is underway on new regulations and legislation that will facilitate the investment process in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is witnessing a major transformation in the tourism sector after it enacted and developed a number of regulations and launched mega projects that allowed the country to attract more than 100 million visitors last year, the target initially set for 2030.
During a press conference on Wednesday at the Abu Faraj heritage palaces in Al-Aziza, west of the city of Abha in the southern Aseer region, Al-Khatib revealed the ministry’s moves to provide appropriate long-term funding at a competitive cost in order to encourage investment in the Saudi tourism system.
In his remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, the minister pointed to the most prominent achievements in the sector, revealing that the Kingdom received 60 million visitors during the first half of 2024, with spending amounting to SAR 143 billion ($38.1 billion), recording about 10 percent growth in the number of tourists and spending.
He added that by the end of the first half of this year, the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product had reached 5 percent, and was moving steadily toward achieving 10 percent, which is equivalent to SAR 600-700 billion of tourism income.
Moreover, Al-Khatib also spoke about the launch of the Bachelor of International Hospitality Management program, a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, King Khalid University, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
He noted that a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Tourism and the Colleges of Excellence Company, with the aim of developing human capabilities and expanding international specialized technical colleges and strategic partnership institutes in the field of tourism and hospitality.
Al-Khateeb said 10,000 training opportunities both inside and outside the Kingdom would be allocated to those working in the Aseer region’s tourism sector.
The National Tourism Strategy aims to reach over 150 million local and international tourists by 2030. In 2023, it reached 109 million.
The minister added: “The Tourism Development Fund plays an important role in providing financing, allocating SAR 7.4 billion to enable over 100 tourism projects around the Kingdom with a value exceeding SAR 35 billion.”
He pointed out that the fund financed 10 major projects in the Aseer region, ranging from international hotels to multi-use projects with a value exceeding one billion riyals. International hotel brands included: InterContinental Residence in Abha, DoubleTree in Khamis Mushait Governorate, and Khayal Walk Boulevard.