Egypt's Samih Sawiris applauds draft law merging tourism, antiquities funds

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Mon, 08 Jun 2020 - 06:43 GMT

Egyptian businessman Samih Sawiris - FILE

Egyptian businessman Samih Sawiris - FILE

CAIRO – 8 June 2020: Business tycoon Samih Sawiris has praised the draft law on merging the funds for the sectors of tourism and antiquities, saying it would support the financial resources of the merged fund.

Sawiris told Egypt Today on Monday the merger would enhance integration between the two sectors, ultimately serving the interests of the relevant workforce and the companies and institutions in charge.

It would also promote tourism in Egypt at a global scale, a much-needed step in the aftermath of Covid-19 pandemic, added the chairman of the Board of Directors of Orascom Development Egypt.

The joint parliamentary committee formed of members of the media, culture and antiquities committees approved preliminarily the draft law with a few amendments on some terms and wordings on the funding sources. The draft law stipulates that the fund be a legal personality and affiliated with the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities.

The fund would also include the deputy of the minister, the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the head of the Egyptian Tourism Authority, the head of the Tourism Development Authority, the board director of the Egyptian Tourism Federation a number of experts in the fields of tourism, antiquities, investment, economy, law, and management.

In the December cabinet reshuffle, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Antiquities merged in one ministry led by Minister Khaled el-Enany, the former antiquities minister.

In April, Sawiris said in a T.V. interview on the phone that hotels must be gradually operated and opened again in line with amid precautionary measures.

The businessman expected that tourism in Egypt returns to its strength again during the months of October and November 2020, emphasizing the need to catch up with the coming winter season, rather than waiting until the end of the summer to start opening the hotels.

The operation of hotels will save workers from “starvation,” he said, adding that: "the lower classes cannot bear unemployment," while praising the government measures to secure the workers during the crisis.

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