Forum: Egypt's Construction Sector Records 5% Growth Rates in Q1 - Minister
Published 2014-11-25 10:35:52| Amwal Al Ghad English
Egyptian Planning Minister Ashraf Al-Araby asserted that building and construction sectors are the most important that will witness a great boom within the upcoming period as result of the announcement of several national projects, the investment rates of these sectors increased and the economic indexes revealed that the two sectors grow by 4.9% within the first quarter of this year from the previous year. The Minister added in a keynote speech second session at 'Builders of Egypt' Conference Cairo on Tuesday that the ongoing government is keen on supporting the Construction companies to contribute in completing the expected projects and implementing new projects throughout paying around EGP2.5 billion during the last fiscal year as arrears for the companies. It is expected that the economic growth rates will increase 3.5% to 3.8% as result of the high growth rates of the manufacturing operations and construction of the Suez Canal, which contribute in boosting rates of building and construction sectors, Al-Araby noted. Moreover, the Minister asserted that the unemployment rates declined to 13.1% in the first quarter of 2014/2015 in compared to 13.3% during the last quarter of 2013/2014, noting that the country has a great challenge to overcome unemployment rates.
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The German economy grew slightly in the third quarter, the Federal Statistics Office said Tuesday, keeping pressure on policy makers to go ahead with measures to provide stimulus. In adjusted terms, Germany's gross domestic product rose 0.1% in the third quarter after a 0.1% contraction in the second quarter, the statistics office Destatis said, confirming its preliminary figures published Nov. 14. The revision of second-quarter GDP to a 0.1% contraction followed a preliminary reading showing a 0.2% shrinkage. The statistics office said GDP grew 1.2% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, also unchanged from the first reading. Domestic demand cut 0.2 percentage points from the quarterly figures, while net trade added 0.2 percentage points. The GDP figure was helped by private consumption, which increased 0.7% on the quarter, while government consumption grew 0.6% compared with the second quarter. Gross capital formation declined by 3.6% and exports were up 1.9%, Destatis said. The data followed a mixed bag of German indicators for the third quarter. The picture was also mixed in Europe, with less growth in the eurozone's core counties and more dynamics in countries that were hit hard by the debt crisis. This has added pressure on policy makers to push ahead with measures that stimulate the economy, although they are divided about how to do so. The European Commission is adamant that budget deficit cuts are needed but France is urging a policy that focuses on more investment and hence more growth and job creation.
The United States plans to buy arms for Sunni tribesmen in Iraq including AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds to help bolster the battle against Islamic State militants in Anbar province, according to a Pentagon document prepared for Congress. The plan to spend $24.1 million represents a small fraction of the larger, $1.6 billion spending request to Congress focusing on training and arming Iraqi and Kurdish forces. But the document underscored the importance the Pentagon places on the Sunni tribesmen to its overall strategy to diminish Islamic State, and cautioned Congress about the consequences of failing to assist them. "Not arming tribal fighters will continue to leave anti-ISIL tribes reluctant to actively counter ISIL," the document said, using another acronym for the group which has seized control of large parts of Syrian and Iraq and is gaining territory in Anbar despite three months of U.S.-led air strikes. A U.S. official said on Saturday that the document was posted this week. It said all U.S. support was directed "with, by and through" Iraq's government, suggesting any weapons would be supplied through Baghdad, in line with existing policy. It noted Iraqi security forces were not "not particularly welcome in Anbar and other majority Sunni areas," citing their poor combat performance and sectarian divisions. Iraq's army has been burdened by a legacy of sectarianism in Anbar, whose dominant Sunni population resented former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite majority government and were incensed when he ordered troops to clear a protest camp in Ramadi in December 2013. The ensuing Sunni tribal revolt prompted the entrance of Islamic State into Falluja and Ramadi, where U.S. troops had met fierce resistance from Sunni insurgents including al Qaeda during their occupation of Iraq after the 2003 invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein. The United States, which has deployed a small number of military advisors to Anbar province, hopes the Sunni tribesmen can later form part of a more formal Iraqi National Guard. The Pentagon document also detailed $1.24 billion to be spent on Iraqi forces and $354.8 million on Kurdish troops. "While the trend on the battlefield has been promising in stemming ISIL gains, Iraq lacks the training expertise and equipment to field the forces needed to liberate territory," the document said.
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