Bahrain's EDB: Saudi Arabia is Our Biggest Economic Partner

King Fahd Causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (SPA)
King Fahd Causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (SPA)
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Bahrain's EDB: Saudi Arabia is Our Biggest Economic Partner

King Fahd Causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (SPA)
King Fahd Causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (SPA)

Saudi Arabia is Bahrain’s biggest economic partner, announced Ali al-Mudaifa, Executive Director - Investment Origination at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Mudaifa said he expects smart technology to reduce waiting times for trucks and increase trade exchange between the two countries.

Mudaifa explained that the use of smart technology in the clearance of transit shipments will effectively enhance the vitality of the logistical services sector between the two countries, and with the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

He indicated that the Authorized Economic Operator is a major leap for companies and institutions, which signals the significance of the economic cooperation that helped sustain the supply lines during the past year.

This important program will enhance the economic integration between the two kingdoms, according to the director, saying it supports the ongoing trade exchange between Manama and Riyadh.

The Economic Development Board asserted its aims to enhance cooperation and activate the memoranda of understanding signed with the Saudi authorities.

It lauded the efforts of the King Fahd Causeway Authority aiming to increase efficiency in clearing shipments in transit, minimizing waiting time, and reducing the customs clearance period from four hours to 20 minutes.

The King Fahd Causeway Authority inked an MoU with Saudi Arabia for Electronic Information Exchange (Tabadul) to implement and operate the Truck Management System project.

The Management System is the latest in a set of steps that have been taken to improve the movement of goods between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Last year, Bahrain Customs Authority automated data collection and added AI scanners that allowed shipment inspections before goods reached the border.

In 2020, the authority also signed an agreement of mutual recognition of the "Authorized Economic Operator" with Saudi Arabia, which came through a memorandum of understanding between the two countries to speed up customs clearance for companies classified under this program.

Recently, Bahrain International Airport inaugurated a new building and introduced new technologies in the Bahrain Logistics Zone, the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP), and the Khalifa Bin Salman Port.

The Kingdom has plans to build a second bridge with Saudi Arabia, which will provide additional capacity for cargo trucks, in addition to using the latest technology to boost export and improve customs operations.



Egypt Raises Domestic Fuel Prices by up to 15% before IMF Review

This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)
This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)
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Egypt Raises Domestic Fuel Prices by up to 15% before IMF Review

This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)
This picture taken on March 20, 2024 shows a view of the Cairo University bridge across the Nile river connecting Cairo (R) with its twin city of Giza (L). (AFP)

Egypt raised the prices of a wide range of fuel products on Thursday, the official gazette said, four days before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducts a third review of its expanded $8 billion loan program for the country.

The official gazette, citing the petroleum ministry, said petrol prices increased by up to 15% per litre, with 80 octane rising to 12.25 Egyptian pounds ($0.25), 92 octane to 13.75 pounds and 95 octane to 15 pounds.

Diesel, one of the most commonly used fuels, saw the biggest increase, rising to 11.50 Egyptian pounds ($0.24) from 10 pounds, according to Reuters.

This is the second time the government has raised fuel prices since the IMF expanded its loan program by $5 billion in March. Egypt has committed to slashing fuel subsidies as part of the agreement.

But Egyptians who spoke to Reuters, including taxi driver Sayed Abdo, complained that Thursday's move would mean an automatic increase in prices for daily goods.

"If you ride with me today and usually pay 10 Egyptian pounds, I will ask you for 15, because fuel prices are raised. That's normal, because when I go get food, what I used to buy with 10 Egyptian pounds becomes now for 15," he said.

"We don't know where we're headed with these prices."

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said prices of petroleum products will gradually increase until the end of 2025, adding that the government could no longer bear the burden of increasing consumption.

Egyptians have also endured blackouts, which Madbouly said had ended at the start of this week, as the country struggled to import sufficient natural gas to tackle the summer heat.

In April, the IMF estimated that Egypt will spend 331 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.85 billion) on fuel subsidies in 2024/25 and 245 billion in 2025/26.

The IMF's approval for the third review of the expanded loan program was originally expected on July 10, but was pushed back to July 29, with the lender attributing the delay to the finalisation of some policy details.

The IMF is expected to disburse $820 million to Egypt after concluding its review.