Global trade body urges Egypt to abolish energy subsidies

Michele Ruta, economy expert at the research and statistics division of the International Trade Organization (ITO), has called on the Egyptian government to abolish subsidies on energy-related products, which he blamed for "adverse repercussions on trade."

Other experts, however, warned of severe price hikes in the event that subsidies were lifted.

At a symposium held on Monday by the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES) to mark the launch the ITO's 2010 report on natural resources, Michele attributed rising prices for energy projects to stepped-up competition on global markets.

He also pointed out that increased energy consumption would have an adverse impact on the local environment.

ECES Director Magda Kandil, for her part, called for the development of a strategy aimed at boosting energy exports and striking a balance between exports and rising local consumption.

Economy professor Karima Karim, however, warned that any reduction of energy subsidies would inevitably lead to rising food prices.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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