Construction to play prominent role in Irish economy
Both documents heavily feature plans for more invest...
Ireland’s National Planning Framework and National Development Plan was revealed on 16 February.
Both documents heavily feature plans for more investment into construction and infrastructure.
The nation has been neglecting the industry for 10 years, which has landed it at the bottom of the EU’s table, claims the Irish Times.
With the National Planning Framework being backed by legislature, the country may see investment from the government powering its economy.
However, there are concerns that Ireland’s construction industry is not large enough to support the ambitious plans.
EY/DKM consultants and SOLAS predicted in 2016 that the country would require an additional 112,000 employees in the sector by 2020 to meet housing and infrastructure demand.
Following this prediction, the ESRI has forecast an increase of housing output of 30%, rising to 35,000 newly constructed houses per year.
According to the Independent, Ireland is also anticipated to grow in terms of population – the nation is expected to rapidly expand by 150,000 people in 10 years’ time.
DKM expects that by 2026, the population over the age of 60 will reach 1.1mn – in this case, it is predicted that Ireland will require at least three new hospitals to manage the older generations in the country.
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.