Egypt to see $1.3 billion in Italian investments: Foreign ministry

Ahram Online, Thursday 20 Mar 2014

Italian investments to target energy and infrastructure projects, says the foreign affairs ministry, following a meeting between Egyptian and Italian officials

Italy

Egypt expects to sign LE9.1 billion ($1.3 billion) worth of investment agreements with Italy, according to a statement issued by Egypt's foreign affairs ministry on Thursday.

The Italian investments in Egypt will target energy and infrastructure projects, and should be finalised in the next three weeks, said the statement.

The announcement comes after a meeting between Egypt’s ambassador to Italy, Amr Helmy, and the Italian deputy minister of economic development, Carlo Calenda, who reached an agreement on bringing Italian companies to Egypt for a tour of possible business ventures by the end of April.

Italy is Egypt's second-largest foreign-trading partner and its top trading partner in Europe, Helmy said in the ministry's statement.

Egypt's Central Bank's (CBE) provisional statistics for 2012/13 show that Italy contributed 5.9 percent to Egypt's total trade volume, preceded by the United States, Egypt's top trading partner, to the tune of LE14 billion ($2 billion).

Italy's direct investments in Egypt in the same period were a mere LE522 million ($75 million), according to the CBE.

The European Union has traditionally been Egypt's biggest contributor in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows.

Following the 2011 uprising, FDIs originating from the EU increased to LE66 billion ($9.5 billion), representing 80 percent of all capital inflows to Egypt in the financial year 2011/12.

But EU outflows to Egypt were almost halved the following year, down to LE34 billion ($4.9 billion), due to political and economic turbulence.

However, the EU remains the largest FDI contributor in Egypt, responsible for more than half of Egypt's inflows in the financial year 2012/13.

Arab countries represented 15 percent of Egypt's inflows in the same year.

Lately, Egypt has seen Coca-Cola raising its investments in Egypt by LE3.5 billion ($500 million), while Vodafone Global pledged LE8.4 billion ($1.2 billion) worth of new investments in Egypt by 2017.

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