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The Egyptian government has announced that it intends to cut gas and electricity subsidies to some 40 companies in energy intensive industries over the next three years.
The Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry estimates that energy intensive industries receive some 75% of subsidies to gas and 61% of subsidies to electricity. As in other countries that subsidize energy, rising energy costs have taken a toll on Egypt's budget. The Minister for Trade and Industry told the Reuters news agency that reducing energy subsidies to certain energy intensive industry would save some £15 billion over three years.
The move has been welcomed by manufacturers in competing countries. "Everybody's goods will be coming in on a level playing field without one party weighing down on another. It will be good for fair trading," said Steven Smith, chairman of the Kenya Manufacturers Association, as reported in the Business Daily newspaper.