The Egyptian economy is expected to recover by 2021 © Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images
The Egyptian economy is expected to recover by 2021 © Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi launches $4.1bn local content programme

Abu Dhabi has opened $4.1bn worth of government tenders to local businesses to strengthen local supply chains as the coronavirus pandemic weighs on the emirate’s economy.

The “Abu Dhabi Local Content” programme is set to include 1,244 tenders to “boost productivity and strengthen supply chains”, the Abu Dhabi Media Office said in a tweet.

Other measures the emirates has taken to mitigate the effects of the pandemic include reductions on business service fees across 94 services, which the UAE Ministry of Economy announced on 12 April. 

The reductions cover services related to innovation, business activities, investment, production, trade, import and export activities, and audits.

The ministry said fees could be reduced by up to 98% in some cases, adding it is an important step being made to support the business and companies sector in the UAE.

Meanwhile, Emirates airline is seeking billions of dollars in loans on top of Dubai’s state bailout as the effects of Covid-19 ground many of its aircraft.

The company is seeking funding in addition to the undisclosed amount of financial aid it has received from the government and from local and international banks, Gulf Business reported.

Separately, the Egyptian minister of planning and economic development Hala El-Saeed said the country’s economy will recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak by the second half of the fiscal year 2020/2021, Zawya has reported.

El-Saeed said during the first half of the fiscal year 2019/2020, Egypt’s GDP growth was 5.6%, compared to 5.4% in the same period the previous year.

The Egyptian government has cut its growth predictions for 2019/2020 to 5.1% from 5.6%.

Additionally, food importers in Lebanon are struggling to book new cargoes as the pandemic threatens global supply chains, prompting fears of price hikes.

According to Reuters, some suppliers are delaying shipments or even refusing new orders to Lebanon.

The country relies heavily on imports and is already in the midst of a financial crisis which has cut the value of the currency by half and sent prices soaring.

Supply disruptions risk further inflating prices of consumer goods, which have already nearly doubled in the past six months.

In Jordan, work on six major construction projects has resumed as the kingdom faced calls to allow construction projects to restart following lockdown, said The Jordan Times.

“Work resumed today on six major construction projects, including the Bus Rapid Transit and the desert road,” said president of the Contracting Association Ahmad Yacoubi. 

According to Yacoubi, the resumed projects “are considered strategic and do not utilise many workers since most of the projects depend on heavy machinery”.

“The cycle of work started slowly and cautiously while taking into consideration strict health regulations and safety measures,” he added.

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