Egypt Independent: Egypt-Main news en New proposal to seek dollar deposits from Egyptian expats <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Egyptian MPs are due to consider a new proposal for injecting dollars into the economy, by which Egyptian citizens living abroad will be exempt from paying customs on their cars so long as they pay a certain amount of US dollars into their Egyptian bank accounts.<br /><br />The new proposal is to be brought before parliament later this week, according to Dr. Magdy Abdel Aziz, first undersecretary of the ministry of finance and the head of the Customs Authority.<br /><br />Abdel Aziz said the proposal would be discussed by MPs in the presence of several members of the Customs Authority.<br /><br />He revealed that it was Nabila Makram, the minister for immigration and Egyptian expatriate affairs, who came up with the suggestion, which is aimed at increasing the amount of foreign currency in Egypt while boosting the Central Bank&rsquo;s foreign reserves.<br /><br />One potential obstacle is that exempting cars from customs duty may not be possible for cars imported from certain countries, depending on the trade agreements Egypt has with that country, said Abdel Aziz.<br /><br />He said the matter would require further analysis to see what effect it might have on customs yield and traffic, among other things.<br /><br />&ldquo;This suggestion has options,&quot; he said. &quot;We could perhaps be looking at a partial exemption, among other things. Further study is needed in any case.&rdquo;</p> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:47:00 +0000 Egypt Independent,Al-Masry Al-Youm 2472974 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/10/27/94/minister_of_immigration_and_egyptian_expatriates_affairs_nabila_makram.jpg Tourism sector aiming for 1 million Chinese tourists within five years <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Nasser Abdel Aal, the former minister of tourism&rsquo;s consultant on Asia, has said that Egypt&#39;s tourism sector is aiming to achieve a target of 1 million Chinese tourists per year within the next five years.<br /><br />The number of Chinese tourists visiting Egypt each year has grown at an unprecedented rate, Abdel Aal told Al-Masry Al-Youm.<br /><br />A typical growth rate for tourists of a certain nationality to any country is about 3-4 percent annually, he said. But Egypt witnessed a 20-30 percent increase in Chinese visitors last year, suggesting a boom is in progress.<br /><br />Abdel Aal revealed that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Egypt so far in 2016 is around 170,000, which is 80-85 percent more than for the same period in 2015.<br /><br />He predicted that by the start of 2017, that number will have increased to around 200,000.<br /><br />However, so far, it is not clear whether the stated five-year target of 1 million Chinese visitors is an official government target, or merely a number favoured by industry figures.<br /><br />Egypt and China have been enjoying a smooth political relationship of late, including improved social relations, Abdel Aal said. He explained that China is an economic superpower with a great vision where economic growth is concerned, and that so far, the Chinese government has displayed a great willingness to work with Egypt.<br /><br />Chinese tourists spend an average of US$92 per day while in Egypt, said the consultant, and they are more interested in historic and cultural destinations, such as monuments and historic quarters in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Alexandria, cities that have seen reduced tourist numbers since 2009.<br /><br />Chinese tourists are also likely to boost business in the Red Sea region and Hurghada, with many interested in leisure pursuits, such as water sports and desert safaris. The average age of Chinese visitors is 35-40, meaning many are still seeking physically demanding holiday activities.<br /><br />At present, charter flights connect Egypt with four different Chinese cities, making the trip between the two countries relatively simple.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:02:00 +0000 Egypt Independent,Al-Masry Al-Youm 2472971 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/09/26/504802/chinese_tourist.jpg Three students killed, 10 injured in Fayoum tractor accident <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Three students were killed and 10 others injured when an agricultural tractor overturned on Qasr al-Basel Road in Fayoum.<br /><br />According to initial investigations, the incident occured due to speeding as the vehicle transported the students to school.<br /><br />The vehicle had no number plate and was driven by a laborer called Ramadan Abdallah, aged 17, according to investigators.<br /><br />The dead were transferred to a mortuary, while the injured were transferred to the general hospital with cuts and bruises.<br /><br />A criminal investigation has been launched into the incident.<br /><br /><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:25:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2472972 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/03/30/484151/211ba05ee3a69d6aade4b16df5af4937fc096111.jpg Death toll for Rashid boat disaster reaches 168: Beheira health official <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The death toll for last week&#39;s migrant boat disaster off the Beheira coast reached 168 on Sunday, according to Hamdy al-Tabbakh, deputy health minister for Beheira governorate.<br /><br />Four new bodies were found on Sunday, two of them discovered by fishermen. One of the victims was Sudanese, while three others, including a three-year old child, were Egyptians.<br /><br />Sailors were able to rescue 164 people, including four crew members, after the boat capsized last Wednesday. However, relatives of those on board the boat say 49 others are still missing.<br /><br />The disaster occurred in the Mediterranean Sea last Wednesday when a boat capsized with several hundred illegal migrants onboard. The passengers had paid human traffickers to take them across the sea to Italy from Beheira governorate.<br /><br />The bodies of the dead were taken to the Rashid General Hospital, but the hospital was soon overwhelmed, and officials began to transfer bodies to other hospitals, including some in neighboroing governorates. The relatives of some of the dead have been demanding the bodies of their loved ones for burial.<br /><br />On Sunday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made a statement promising to punish those responsible for the disaster, which is just the latest in a string of drowning incidents involving migrants and refugees crossing illegally to Europe.<br /><br />Egypt is working with Italy and other European nations to crack down on the human trafficking business, which is often linked to organized crime and terrorist groups.<br /><br /><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em><br /><br />&nbsp;</p> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 07:00:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2472952 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/09/22/504802/beheira_drownings.jpg