The United States Treasury Secretary, Mr. William Simon, said that oil prices might be lower?
The United States Treasury Secretary, Mr. William Simon, said that oil prices might be lower this year if production continues at its present level He was speaking in Cairo on Sunday (14 July) where he is having talks with Egyptian leaders on economic and financial aid to Egypt.
Mr. Simon arrived on Saturday night at the head of a high-level delegation of financial, economic and agricultural experts. Egypt is the first stop on a two-week tour which will take the delegation to four countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Israel. The delegation will then go on to visit three countries in Europe.
Mr. Simon gave his forecast on oil prices when he was speaking to newsmen in between a series of meetings on Sunday with leading Egyptian officials. He said it was reasonable to say the price would decline "somewhat" if there were no cuts in output by the major producers. However, he did not foresee any dramatic reduction in oil prices. They would certainly not fall to where they had been late last year.
Among the ministers he had talks with during the day were Egypt's First Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Abdel-Aziz Hegazi, the Finance Minister, Mr. Mohammed Abdel-Fattah Ibrahim, and the Petroleum Minister, Mr. Ahmed Hilal.
Although no formal agenda had been announced for the discussions, they were also expected to cover the question of outstanding claims by American businesses which have been nationalised by the Egyptian Government. Mr. Simon is also interested in determining just how far Egypt is willing to change its economy from central planning to a free market.
During his talks with the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Dr. Hegazi told him that Egypt was giving priority to the development of its agriculture to achieve self-sufficiency within three years. He said that the expenditure on defence, the population increase, and the increasing price of cereals and other commodities, represented a burden which available Egyptian economic resources could not meet.
SYNOPSIS: The United States Treasury Secretary, Mr. William Simon, arrived in Cairo on Saturday night at the head of a high-level delegation of financial, economic and agricultural experts. Reporters at the airport asked him who he expected to meet during his visit.
The next day, Sunday, Mr. Simon had his first session of talks with the Egyptian First Deputy Prime Minister, D.r Abdel-Aziz Hegazi. These discussions were expected to deal with the question of outstanding claims by American business in Egypt which have been nationalised. Mr. Simon told newmen later that he thought oil prices might fall a little later this year.
If there were no cuts by the major oil producers, said Mr. Simon, it was reasonable to expect prices to fall, but not dramaticall.