Markets Brief: China cuts tariffs, Egypt to receive Israeli gas, Nile dam talks

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China announces that it will lower tariffs on more than 850 products as the country looks to boost imports amid a slowing economy and a trade war with the United States. Egypt will begin importing natural gas from Israel by mid-January 2020 following Israeli authorities’ approval earlier in December. Meanwhile, the three countries affected by the giant Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, come closer to securing an agreement on how to operate the hydroelectric dam.

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China announced that it will be lowering tariffs on a range of products from frozen pork and avocado to certain types of semiconductors next year as the country seeks to boost imports as its economy slows down amid a trade war with the United States.

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Rasheed Petroleum Investment Company has signed a joint venture agreement worth $53 million with French company Optimum Tracker to design and manufacture advanced solar panels.

Egypt is set to start importing natural gas from Israel by mid-January 2020, with an eye to gradually reach 7 billion cubic meters per year by 2022. The news follows Israel’s approval of offshore gas reserve exports to Egypt earlier in December.

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have come closer to aligning their views on filling the reservoir of and operating the giant hydroelectric dam that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, the Sudanese irrigation minister said. Egypt has been worried that the giant dam will restrict scarce Nile water supplies upon which the country is almost entirely dependent.

Lebanese agro-industrialists have been hit hard by the country’s restrictive monetary policies, dollar shortages, and unofficial capital controls amid an ongoing economic and political crisis.

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