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  • Content

    Economy

    Massive development project planned for The Suez Canal Energy

    Renewable Resource Atlas Launched in Saudi Arabia

    Energy

    Power sector developments in Kuwait

    Economy

    New oil and gas discoveries in Lebanese wa-

    ters

    Danish Foreign Services

    Trade office in Erbil, Iraq

    This issue’s spotlight:

    The Crown Prince and the Minister of Devel- opment of Denmark visit a sustainable Abu Dhabi

    Meet a commercial advisor in Denmark

    Event calendar

    THE TRADE COUNCIL’S

    NEWSLETTER FOR THE MENA REGION February 2014

    Welcome to the Regional Newsletter

    Dear Reader, Welcome to the first issue in 2014 of The Trade Council’s Regional Newsletter for the MENA countries. We are pleased that you are taking the time to read our newsletter, where we aim to highlight some of the news and sectors that could be of interest for your personal and business related purposes. This edition of the Regional Newsletter will provide you with infor- mation on a severe expansion of the fiscal policy in Egypt involving an exploitation of the Suez Canal and its business opportunities. Moreover, we elaborate on the energy sector in Saudi Arabia and Ku- wait. These energy sectors are extensively focused on renewable energy as an instrument to encourage foreign investments within their respec- tive regions. Another country encouraging international investments is Lebanon, which is undergoing a shift from service into industry becoming an oil producing player in the international field of oil drilling. The Danish foreign services abroad have been undergoing radical mod- ernization reforms causing the closure of several representations, how- ever, this has also created the opportunity to set up new trade offices: In this edition you can read about our new initiative in Erbil, Iraq. The Newsletter Spotlight covers the visit from HRH Crown Prince Freder- ik and the Minister of Development from Denmark, who were signing a mutual memorandum of understanding for renewable energy and sus- tainability at WFES in Abu Dhabi. We hope that the MENA Newsletter will enlighten your knowledge about the Middle East, and we will be looking forward to a future coop- eration with you.

    Astrid Svitzer Ching Nielsen Head of Commercial Section E-mail: asthan@um.dk

    http://fae.um.dk/en/the-trade-council/mena-regional-newsletter/ http://fae.um.dk/en/the-trade-council/mena-regional-newsletter/

  • 2

    Economy

    Massive development project planned for The Suez Canal

    In an attempt to make Egypt live up to its former nickname “The Arab tiger on the Nile”, the Egyptian interim gov-

    ernment is pursuing an expansionary fiscal policy. A key element in this strategy that aims to regain the pre-2011

    growth rates and to promote social and economic equality,

    are two economic stimulus packages worth USD 4.4 bn. and

    USD 4.3 bn. Respectively, presented and partially imple-

    mented by the Egyptian Government. Part of the second

    stimulus package is an investment into a massive develop-

    ment project in the Suez Canal and surrounding areas - USD

    287 mil. has, this far, been allocated for preliminary studies

    and infrastructure.

    The 193-kilometre long Suez Canal, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, is a unique East-West ship-

    ping route, and 8 % of the world’s total shipping freight passes through here every year. A number the Egyptian au-

    thorities are keen to increase this. A tender has, therefore, been made with 14 international joint ventures qualified

    for the project. Forthcoming, a committee is going more thoroughly over the propositions, and the winner is going to

    be announced in October 2014, with work set to begin on the project in 2015. The project on the Suez Canal itself

    includes the development of four seaports in the three canal-bordering provinces – Suez, Ismailia and Port Said – as

    well as a seaport in Al-Arish, the capital of the North Sinai governorate.

    With the Suez Canal already being a focal point for international trade, a position only set to increase with the com-

    ing expansion, the Egyptian authorities are looking to develop the surrounding area with a number of large scale

    projects. This includes a “Technology Valley” in Ismailia, which is going to host several technology projects, as well as

    a new industrial zone west of the Gulf of Suez. The idea is to make clusters of companies working in the same indus-

    tries, thereby creating positive spill-over effects – as seen, for instance, in the “Silicon Valley”, California.

    For further information, please contact: The Commercial Section at the Embassy of Denmark in Cairo Engy Basiouny - Head of the Commercial Section, engmet@um.dk Marwa El Tawil - Commercial Adviser, martaw@um.dk Phone: +20 2 2739 6500

    Container ships passing through the Suez Canal

    mailto:engmet@um.dk mailto:martaw@um.dk

  • 3

    Economy

    Renewable Resource Atlas Launched in Saudi Arabia

    In line with its ambitious renewable energy plans Saudi Arabia has taken a vital step by launching a renewable re-

    source atlas on 18th December 2013. The launch was attended by several academic entities, utility companies, indus-

    try players and policy makers and, furthermore, by relevant Saudi ministers.

    Prior to this launch, international companies in-

    terested in the Saudi energy market had to de-

    pend on data gathered mainly through satellite

    observations and not on-the-ground stations.

    However, this proved to be inefficient as the rate

    of accuracy was inconsistent and unreliable not

    meeting the standards demanded by developers.

    In order to overcome this situation, King Abdullah

    City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE)

    decided to put together a reliable and accurate

    renewable resource dataset reflecting the country’s solar radiation spectrum, humidity and wind speeds in addition

    to dust and atmospheric conditions. Due to the planning efforts and strategic design efforts the results of Saudi Ara-

    bia’s Renewable Resource and Environmental Measurement and Monitoring (RRMM) project are now accessible via

    the K.A. CARE website.

    Furthermore, the atlas includes maps for Saudi Arabia’s electrical grid, roads, environmentally protected areas, pop-

    ulation densities, elevations and slopes. Solar resource data will be collected at annual, monthly and daily average

    levels and will be accessible publicly.

    The Saudi national project is expected to attract national and international companies that are willing to engage in

    initiatives for this type of investment. These initiatives are completely new to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    For further information, please contact: The Commercial Section at the Royal Danish Embassy in Riyadh Safiye Kücükkaraca – Commercial Advisor Phone: +966 (0)11 488 0101 / e-mail: safkuc@um.dk

    mailto:safkuc@um.dk

  • 4

    Energy

    Power sector developments in Kuwait

    The laws of Kuwait have helped private power and water schemes by making it

    obligatory for all power schemes larger than 500MW to be developed as inde-

    pendent water and power projects (IWPPs). Smaller power projects continue

    to be carried out as lump sum turnkey projects for the Ministry of Electricity &

    Water.

    Following the passing of a parliamentary bill, allowing increased privatization in the power sector, there is reason to

    think that Kuwait's energy sector may have turned a crucial corner. For the first time, private companies can hold a

    stake in Kuwait's power sector and facilitate the channeling of foreign capital and expertise into the sector.

    Kuwait's government aims to produce 10 % of its power from renewable sources by 2020, according to Eyad Ali al-

    Falah, Assistant Under Secretary for Technical Services at the Ministry of Electricity & Water. The country is to collect

    data on sunshine and wind speeds in order to secure its target for clean energy. As part of the five-year development

    plan, the government is aiming to increase its power generation capacity to support growth in the manufacturing,

    tourism and home building sectors, as well as freeing more oil for export.

    The country's water distribution network will receive an overhaul following news that Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity

    and Water awarded a USD 11.8 mil. contract to upgrade the network. Through the modernization project, the gov-

    ernment is aiming to improve efficiency and cut costs in order to fulfil its development plans.

    Another planned power linkup between grids in all GCC countries has noted down Kuwait and Qatar align their pow-

    er networks and successfully test the synchronized network in preparation for the first stage of the GCC power grid

    plan. This extensive commitment is crucial for Kuwait in order to reach its further goals.

    In line with its vision Kuwait is fully committed to boost the clean energy production – and moreover the country

    aims to save its crude for export by launching a programme to install 2GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030,

    amounting to 15% of the country's electricity supply.

    For further information, please contact