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General
Mexico, a development opportunity for the chocolate market
In Mexico, the consumption of chocolate barely exceeds 750gr. per capita annually. Compared to the U.S., where the average consumption is 5kg. and the European countries, where it is around 10kg. this represents a development opportunity for this industry. According to Mars Wrigley Confectionery, the country has become one of the most important markets in the world, and the low consumption of chocolate among Mexicans represents an opportunity to grow in the category. In a statement, the company said that data from the National Association of Manufacturers of Chocolates, Candies and Similar reveal that in Mexico the market is valued at US $1.3 billion, which shows a visible development opportunity. Chocolate is a product that has a deep tradition in Mexican culinary history and due to its features has stood out for generating joy and accompanying special moments and festivities. Therefore, according to Mars Wrigley Confectionery, important dates such as: February 14th, May 10th and December holidays are optimal scenarios for the development of strategies to position seasonal products and surprise the consumer with a diversity of innovations.   Source:http://www.notimex.gob.mx/
Cultural & Creative
Mexico inaugurates its official eSports Federation
Mexico has taken a step towards the professionalization of eSports by funding its official eSports Federation. This federation is endorsed by the National Sports Commission (CONADE); therefore, eSports are being recognized as official sports in Mexico. The new Mexican eSports Federation (FEMES for its acronym in Spanish) will be in charge of creating a team to represent Mexico in some of the most important competitions in the world, and also to organize competitions and events in the country.   SOURCE: https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english/mexico-inaugurates-its-esports-federation
Logistics
Egypt’s govt to contract local and foreign private sector for railway projects
Deputy Transport Minister Amr Shaath said Tuesday that the ministry is moving to make joint investments with the Egyptian and foreign private sector regarding projects on railways, metro, and land ports. He added that Transport Minister Hisham Arafat stressed the necessity of private sector participation and investment inflow, especially after the government successfully improved the infrastructure in facilities such as railways. Shaath explained that there are large investment fields and opportunities in railway projects, after the amendment of the railway authority’s law allowing the participation of the private sector in the implementation of new lines and the operation of new services in the passenger and cargo sector. He pointed out that Egypt is attractive to investment in transport projects, especially with increasing rates of development and expansion of national projects throughout the country. In a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Shaath said that the ministry held a workshop with the World Bank to study the  private sector’s participation in transport projects. Shaath pointed to the successful implementation of the country’s largest project to improve railway efficiency and infrastructure at a cost of LE 12.5 billion. The results of the project will be presented next year, along with the purchase of 1,300 coaches at a cost of LE21 billion alongside 100 locomotives. According to Shaath, the government has already completed the largest and most difficult part of investment which is investing in infrastructure such as with a new project to electrify train signals in accordance with international standards, allowing the speed of trains to 140 kilometers per hour. They also increased the number of trips, follow-ups, secured the process and renewed tracks. The deputy minister pointed out that cooperation is being made with international finance banks for renovations on the first line of the metro and railway projects.   Source:https://ww.egyptindependent.com/
Energy
Sisi approves framework deal with China
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has issued a decree approving a framework agreement between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Investment on one hand and the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Trade on the other hand.  The agreement, signed in Beijing on September 2, 2015, aims at promoting economic development and cooperation in the field of productive energy.  The agreement also seeks to foster cooperation between Cairo and Beijing in the areas of trade and innovation.  The decree no. 229/2016 was published in the official gazette on Saturday.   Source: http://www.egypttoday.com/Article/3/63911/Sisi-approves-framework-deal-with-China
Energy
Ministry of Planning, Qalaa Holdings, Nile University sign protocol to boost renewable energy production
The Ministry of Planning, Monitoring, and Administrative Reform signed a tripartite cooperation protocol on Saturday with Qalaa Holding, and Nile University, to maximize the renewable energy sector, through cooperation between the public and private sector. The protocol was signed by Osama Madi, head of the Central Administration for Financial and Administrative Affairs, representing the Ministry of Planning, Heba La­bib, head of Innovation Sector, Nile University, Qalaa head of Marketing Communications, and CMO, Gha­da Hammouda in the presence of Nada Massoud, advisor to the min­ister of planning for economic affairs. The Minister of Planning, Monitor­ing, and Administrative Reform, Hala Al-Saeed, said that the signing of the protocol came within the framework of the ministry’s efforts to imple­ment the “Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030” goals to maximize the renewable energy sec­tor’s share in energy production, and achieve energy security, through the participation of the private sector. Furthermore, Hammouda emphasized the importance of cooperation between the public and private sec­tors in order to achieve sustainable development. Egypt aims to diversify its energymix by increasing reliance on renew­able energy, especially wind and solar energy, by increasing the contribution of solar energy from the current 8% to 16%, wind energy from the present 1% to 14%. Qalaa Holdings Chairperson and Founder, Ahmed Heikal, explained the size and diversity of the company’s in­vestments in the energy sector such as the Egyptian Refining Company with investments of $4.3bn, which is the largest project implemented in cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as the con­tribution of TAQA Arabia, one of its subsidiary companies in the construc­tion of a solar power plant capacity of 50MW in the Benban solar power complex in Aswan. Moreover, Hisham El-Khazindar, co-founder and managing director of Qalaa Holdings, said that the compa­ny’s management has taken a decision over the years to focus on a number of key sectors that are of strategic importance, rather than maintaining a portfolio of large projects represent­ing many sectors. El-Khazindar expressed his pride in participating in the preparation of the research study, which is expected to play a key role in the development of the renewable energy sector in Egypt during the coming period   Source:  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/19/ministry-of-planning-qalaa-holdings-nile-university-sign-protocol-to-boost-renewable-energy-production/
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