Egypt, Spain renew 400-mln-euro financial cooperation protocol

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Dec 2021

Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced on Wednesday that the Egyptian and Spanish governments renewed a financial cooperation Protocol – worth nearly 400 million euros – during the co-inauguration of the Spanish-Egyptian Business Forum in Cairo, attended by Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez.

Egypt s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in the inauguration of the Egyptian Spanish Business Summit on Wednesday in Cairo (Photo: Egyptian Cabinet)

Madbouly said that the protocol should give large Spanish companies a strong push towards contributing to Egypt’s development efforts.

“The Egyptian government has a vision and a program for the upcoming three years, and the most important goal of this vision is to continue achieving high economic growth and to return to pro-coronavirus growth levels,” Madbouly said.

The Egyptian PM also praised the tireless efforts exerted by the Egyptian and Spanish sides in reaching a final settlement concerning Spanish gas company Unión Fenosa in December 2020.

“Solving this dispute is paving the way for achieving a qualitative leap in our economic relations,” Madbouly said

In December 2020, Italy’s Eni company signed agreements with Egypt and Spanish company Naturgy to restart operations at a natural gas plant in the port city of Damietta after resolving long-running disputes.

According to the agreements, operations at the liquefied plant resumed in the first quarter of 2021. The plant, which has a capacity of 7.56 billion cubic meters per year, has been idle since November 2012.

The plant was 80 percent owned by Union Fenosa Gas (UFG), a joint venture between Eni and Naturgy, with the remaining stake evenly split between the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).

According to the new agreement, the plant will now be 50 percent owned by Eni, 40 percent by EGAS and 10 percent by EGPC.

Madbouly also thanked the Spanish government for donating 1.58 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Egypt.

The Egyptian PM also listed the current and upcoming mega national projects like Decent Life, upgrading the country’s railways and localising the gas and electric vehicle industry.

Madbouly also expressed Egypt’s wish to boost bilateral relations in different fields and to work with Spanish companies in the transportation sector, highlighting the current cooperation with Talgo company on railways and trains and with Grifols on manufacturing and assembling plasma panels.

For his part, Spanish PM Sanchez said that Egypt is an important gateway to Africa and that the Spanish government looks forward to further cooperation.

Sanchez said that the renewal of the cooperation protocol between Egypt and Spain, which will be activated immediately, allows for financing public projects and SMEs.

Sanchez’s visit, the first by a Spanish PM to Egypt since 2010, is part of a Middle East tour that includes Turkey and Libya to discuss economic cooperation.

Sanchez arrived in Egypt on Tuesday at the head of a delegation of large Spanish construction and transport companies, as the Spanish government has an eye on contributing to Egypt’s development efforts in infrastructure and transportation, according to Spanish media.

The trade value between Spain and Egypt reached 1.96 billion euros in the first nine months of 2021 compared to 583 million euros in the same period in 2020, an increase of 23.8 percent, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

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