Sisi seeks to ensure availability of basic commodities, petroleum products in local market

Ahram Online , Sunday 27 Mar 2022

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with government officials on Sunday, directing them to ensure the availability of basic commodities and petroleum products ahead of Ramadan.

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President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and ministry officials on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the Bassam Radi)

According to a statement by the Egyptian presidency, the president convened a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, Minister of Trade and Industry Nevin Gamea, in addition to Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla to follow up on the executive steps taken to provide basic commodities in the local market.

The meeting reviewed the evidence showing these measures have had a positive impact in stabilising the average price of basic and strategic commodities in the local market in light of the global economic crisis, the statement said.

As part of the periodic and continuous monitoring of the availability of basic commodities, the president directed the government to increase strategic reserves during the coming period, especially with the approach of the holy month of Ramadan.

El-Sisi also directed the government to strengthen their efforts to control markets and tighten control over outlets, with the aim of meeting the population’s need for affordable commodities ahead of the holy month, the statement added.

Egypt formed a crisis committee to confront the impacts of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis similar to the one that was formed when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country in 2020, with the aim of ensuring that food commodities are available in the local market throughout Ramadan.

Petroleum Products

In a separate statement, the spokesman of the Egyptian presidency said that El-Sisi held another meeting with El-Molla on the same day to follow up the developments in the petroleum sector nationwide, especially in the field of exploration and production of oil and natural gas.

The president urged continuing development to achieve the optimum economic benefits from Egypt’s oil and natural gas resources, as well as the completion of various industrial projects in the petroleum sector. This would reduce imports and provide high-quality petroleum products, as well as maximise the added value of crude oil and meet the needs of the local market, the statement added.

In this context, El-Molla presented the latest developments in exploration and production activities in the Mediterranean and the eastern and western deserts, as well as developments in regional cooperation in the country's efforts to transform into a regional energy hub.

The petroleum minister also reviewed the developments of a number of projects that aim to secure the energy needs of the local market, reduce the import gap and contribute to the state’s efforts to increase economic growth rates and achieve comprehensive development, according to the spokesman.

The Russian-Ukrainian war – which has caused global prices of oil and gas to rise – has led European countries to other energy resources in order to decrease dependency on Russian gas.

After achieving self-sufficiency in natural gas in 2018, Egypt has planned to use its position on Europe’s doorstep to become a major supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the continent, which is transitioning away from other fossil fuels. This is based on Egypt’s huge gas discoveries and production, which is expected to rise to 7.5 million tonnes by the end of the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

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