Mona El-Nahhas , Tuesday 28 Feb 2023


Four-way $2 billion deal

EGYPT, the UAE, Jordan, and Bahrain signed agreements on nine joint industrial projects worth more than $2 billion. The projects cover agriculture, medicine, minerals, chemicals, and electric vehicles.

The deals were concluded on Sunday 12 February during the third meeting of the higher committee of integrated industrial partnership for sustainable economic development comprising the four countries. The committee also received 35 proposals for new projects.

The agreements are expected to increase the gross domestic product in each country by more than $1.6 billion, creating 13,000 direct and indirect job opportunities.


Qatar investments to increase

QATAR will increase the volume of its investments in Egypt in the coming period, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani told Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli during a meeting in Doha on Monday. Madbouli led a high-level delegation for an official visit to Qatar.

Egyptian ministers of planning, health, finance, trade and industry accompanied Madbouli, along with heads of the Suez Canal Economic Authority and the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones. During the visit, Madbouli discussed with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Khaled bin Khalifa Al-Thani means of increasing the volume of trade between the two countries. The prime ministers agreed to set up a visit for a delegation of Qatari businessmen to Egypt’s free zones as well as to the Suez Canal economic zone.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) said on Monday that the value of trade between Egypt and Qatar increased to $80.1 million in the first 11 months of 2022, compared to $45.5 million in 2021, recording an increase of 76.2 per cent.


New satellite launched

EGYPT’s remote sensing satellite Horus 1 was successfully launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China into a sun-synchronous Low Earth Orbit (LEO) on Friday. According to head of the Egyptian Space Agency Sherif Sedki, the launch enhances Egypt’s pivotal role in the Arab world and Africa.

Sedki said satellites had become an important tool in the country’s growth, providing Egypt and other Arab and African countries with high-resolution images that help in their sustainable development, with a significant return to Egypt in the form of new resources of income.

Sedki said Horus 1 helps analyse agricultural soil, determines the best types of crops and hence improves agricultural productivity. The satellite monitors all water sources, helps predict natural disasters and checks for encroachments on state-owned land.

“We are establishing a centre for assembling, integrating and testing satellites which will begin with a number of remote sensing satellites built with the full participation of Egyptian and Chinese engineering teams,” Sedki said, adding that the goal is to localise satellite manufacturing technology and meet all of the Egyptian space programmes requirements.


Pre-marriage medical tests are on

PREMARITAL examinations went into effect in Egypt on Sunday amid inquiries flooding social media regarding the procedure. Tests are part of the new personal status law that the state has arranged. The Health Ministry said in a statement that the 10 tests required include AIDS, Virus C and Virus B, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, hemoglobin level in blood, blood type, RH factor blood test, and Mediterranean anemia.

Health Ministry Spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar said that while the tests are compulsory for completing marriage contracts, they will not prevent a marriage if positive results are recorded. They aim to educate those infected, methods of treatment and the possibility of affecting newborns. After completing the tests, spouses will sign the results in the presence of an authorised person.

Abdel-Ghaffar said that the tests are conducted in 303 Health Ministry centres nationwide and results are released within 14 days.

Centres include advisory rooms that offer medical consultation and advice for prospective couples. Abdel-Ghaffar pointed out that a health database will be created for couples and certificates will be secured through QR codes.

Certificates are valid for six months the day after screening. They will cost LE220 for each applicant. Fabricating a medical certificate is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years and the penalty for using a forged certificate is up to three years in jail.

A committee chaired by a judge will review the automated examination results sent by the Health Ministry before allowing a Muslim or Coptic marriage official to complete the marriage contract.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 2 March, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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