Gulf nations pledge $12.5bn aid, investment at Egypt's economic conference

Ahram Online , Friday 13 Mar 2015

The Egyptian Presidency, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi receives United Arab Emirates' ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum at the airport in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Friday, March 13, 2015 (Photo: AP)

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have each pledged $4 billion in aid and investment to Egypt in the opening session of Egypt's economic development conference on Friday. 

Out of the promised $12 billion, $4 billion will be in form of deposits in the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), half of which will be made by the UAE. 

The remaining $8 billion will be in form of investments and other initiatives, the details of which are yet to follow, said the Gulf leaders who spoke at Egypt’s economic development conference in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Oman announced at the conference that it would allocate $500 million for Egypt, half of which will be financial aid, and the other half in the form of investments.

Egypt received $23 billion in aid from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the 18 months that followed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in 2013. That included oil shipments, cash grants and deposits in Egypt's central bank.

The UAE has provided a major part of the financial support offered to Egypt so far, offering over $14 billion in aid to Egypt, according to the speech of Mohamed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.

The three oil-rich Gulf nations, which are deeply opposed to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group, have repeatedly expressed their interest in ensuring the stability and prosperity of Egypt under the regime of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Egypt's budget deficit hit 14 percent of GDP in 2012/13, then 12.8 percent - LE255.4 billion - in the fiscal year 2013/14. Egypt is targeting a budget deficit of 11 percent of GDP this year.

Foreign reserves have fallen by more than half during the past 4 years, from $36 billion on the eve of the January 2011 uprising, to $15.4 billion as of the end of February 2015.

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