Egypt cabinet grants train catering management rights to private company

Ahram Online , Thursday 19 Jan 2023

Egypt’s Cabinet has agreed – in principle, pending review by the State Council – to grant the rights to manage catering services on the country's air-conditioned and sleeper trains to Abela Egypt, a private Egyptian catering company owned by business tycoon Naguib Sawiris.

Transport minister
Minister of Transport Kamel El-Wazir touring the buffet of one of the recently-imported trains by Spain s Talgo company (photo courtesy of Ministry of Transport)


Abela Egypt will also be granted management rights for some of the food booths on railway platforms, the cabinet said on Wednesday.

Abela Egypt already provides catering services on 13 sleeper cars and two club cars.

The cabinet statement said that the decision is part of the state’s efforts to enhance private sector engagement in economic activities, the statement said.

The Cabinet also stressed the need for criteria for setting fees for the company's services.

Egypt has received four passenger trains from Spanish company Talgo as per a 157-million-euro contract signed in 2019 to supply seven new air-conditioned trains, including one as a gift.

Egypt has been implementing a plan to renovate the entirety of the country’s railway system and replace all old carriages and tractors with either upgraded or new ones, as well as to operate its first high-speed electric railway.

The government has also been working to boost the participation of the private sector in economic activities.

Late in December, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi approved the final version of the State Ownership Policy Document, which outlines the state's presence in the economy and seeks to enhance the private sector's participation in public investments.

As per the document, the government may maintain or reduce its presence in a number of activities in various sectors, including the transport sector.

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