Energy subsidies will disappear by 2016, says minister

Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Hatem Saleh said Tuesday that energy subsidies for industrial firms would disappear over the next three years.

“There are 100 intensive-energy consuming factories that use 70 percent of the subsidies, while 95 percent of the industrial output comes from low-energy consuming factories,” he explained. “We will focus on labor-intensive industries.”

Speaking at an Egyptian-Swiss Businessmen Association symposium, Saleh also said electricity-saving technology and initiatives will become more common, promoting the use of energy-saving light bulbs manufactured locally.

He also said negotiations are underway with the finance minister to increase the budget of the Export Development Fund to boost economic drivers. “And we will form another fund to support tourism beginning of the new fiscal year,” he said.

He added that the government is keen on removing obstacles to investors and manufacturers. “We have allocated 5.4 million square meters for industrial projects,” he said.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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