Arab investments in Egypt reach $50 billion: Minister

Bassem Abo Alabass, Thursday 5 Dec 2013

Investment forum wraps up in Cairo, as GCC countries pledge billions in new development projects

Egyptian Investment Minister Osama Saleh, (Photo: Al-Ahram).

An isolated five-star hotel in the north of Cairo was the scene for a two-day investment forum, with the Egyptian government playing host to several Gulf states in an effort to boost investment in its ailing economy.

The two-day forum, which ended Thursday, resulted in 66 new projects worth around $50 billion from Gulf investors, MENA reported.

The Egyptian investment minister, Osama Saleh, said that total cumulative Arab investments in Egypt to date have reached $50 billion, compared with roughly $47 billion in foreign investments.

Speaking to Ahram Online on Wednesday, Saleh predicted that economic and business legislation in Egypt will go through a phase of adjustments to remove obstacles and pave the way for investors.

He added that the Egyptian government in the transitional period has resolved 19 cases regarding troubled Arab investments and were working on the rest.

"The Gulf members at the conference stated that they face investment troubles in more than 17 countries worldwide, which means that Egypt is not the only state with foreign investment difficulties," Saleh pointed out.

A $200 million deal has been signed between Egypt's Social Fund for Development and the United Arab Emirates' Khalifa Fund to support the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), according to MENA.

Total Arab pledges to Egypt stand at around $14 billion, with funds from the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia  arriving in the forms of deposits, grants and petroleum aid.

Although Qatari delegates attended the forum, they kept a low profile among the other invited Gulf investors, who were easily recognizable according to their national dress.

Relations between Egypt and Qatar have deteriorated after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.


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