NEW YORK -- The sudden eruption of street protests in Egypt has tumbled the world stock market, as Egypt virtually cut itself off Friday from the rest of the world. Both cell phones and Internet are blocked.
Egypt, an American ally and a recipient of annual aid close to $1.5 billion, is the biggest country in the Arab world. The crisis there, triggered by the popular overthrow of the autocratic government of Tunisia, is endangering the region’s uneasy peace.
Politically speaking, the unrest in Egypt “has changed the White House agenda overnight,” reported NPR.
Financially, “stocks suffered their biggest one-day loss in nearly six months on Friday as anti-government rioting in Egypt prompted investors to flee to less risky assets to ride out the turmoil,” according toReuters.
Connecting the dots on Egypt with the technology world, the Next Silicon Valley reported that “Egypt is by no means a technology backwater.” The site referred to the press release issued last summer, in which Egypt laid out its plan to build reputation as innovation powerhouse. “This makes the latest developments in Egypt all the more disturbing. Situation is very volatile,” noted the Next Silicon Valley.
Most notably, Egypt is founder of the “Smart Village,” a modern business park outside Cairo. “Currently home to 120 entities including over 20 multi-national companies and 28,000 professionals, it is expected to host more than 500 companies and more than 100,000 employees by 2014,” the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of Egypt for Technology Policies noted last summer.
Other high-tech programs in Egypt include the nation’s Nanotechnology Center, launched in 2008. It was established as a partnership among IBM, Cairo University and Nile University, with support from Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency and the Science and Technology Development Fund.
So far I was pretty impressed with what the Egyptians has done, both the civillian and the army. I wish there will be a peaceful outcome of this uprising and this may mark the turning point for the entire middle east.
I would hazard a guess that this instability and probable change in government should cause international companies to re-think their global expansion and investment in many countries. If it can happen in Egypt which was not looked upon as unstable what about the rest of the smaller countries. It makes me appreciate what we have here in the US even more. Perhaps, companies that are watching events in the world will consider keeping or moving some manufacturing/design support/ etc BACK to US.
I hope the people of Egypt and other Middle Wastern nations can find a road to greater democracy that does not lead through violence but does arrive at a place of greater prosperity to the benefit of all people
On one hand US is supporting the uprise in Tunisia, they are not commenting much on Egypt's situation. Though in both countries, the nature of the upheaval is to gain freedom from dictators. That shows double standards. USA is more worried about loosing their ally in middle east.
One can argue over how much of an American ally Egypt has really been, but instability there leading to the toppling of the government will be a major setback to any social, political, or technological progress UNLESS the government which replaces the current one is inherently more open and inclusive and less dictatorial both politically and socially. People must be allowed to achieve their potential.
I fear, however, Egypt is but one domino in a series yet to fall - the wrong way.
They have just opened the blockage of communication according to CNN. Very unfortunate and Egypt will never be the same. They have lost Tourism at least for a while and more ruins await in coming years.
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