'Egypt fertile ground for investments due to unprecedented progress,' Qatar ambassador tells finance minister

Doaa A.Moneim , Sunday 31 Oct 2021

Qatar’s ambassador in Cairo said that his country considers Egypt a fertile ground for investment in light of the unprecedented progress and the positive improvements the country is going through in all fields; particularly in the investment climate.


Ambassador Salem bin Mubarak Al-Shafi made the comments during his meeting with Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait at the ministry's headquarters on Saturday.

Qatari investments in Egypt significantly increased in FY2019/2020 by 77.8 percent to record $679.4 million, up from $382.2 million in FY2018/2019, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Trade exchange between the two countries also went up by 11.8 percent in 2020, compared to 2019, to post $22.7 million.

Al-Shafi assumed his position as Qatar's new ambassador to Egypt in August after Cairo ended a four-year diplomatic and travel boycott of Doha under the Al-Ula reconciliation agreement, which was signed in January of this year.

Officials from both countries have been holding consultation meetings since to explore ways of bolstering bilateral relations. 

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani agreed in a meeting in Baghdad in August to continue consultation to boost bilateral relations during the coming period.

The Qatari diplomat asserted his country's willingness to rejuvenate cooperation ties between Egypt and Qatar in all spheres in order to achieve mutual development for both countries, stressing the existence of the political will to that end.

For his part, Maait stressed Egypt’s government has managed to create a healthy environment for foreign and local investments in different areas and provided promising investment opportunities in national and developmental mega projects.

Egypt’s government plans to raise the private sector’s contribution to the country’s economic activity to 50 percent over the coming three years, Maait said.

He also noted that the government fosters the private sector to expand its venture and productive activities as a key engine of Egypt’s economic growth.

Under its Vision 2030, Egypt seeks to boost the private sector’s contribution to the GDP and attract further foreign investments.

According to the latest figures, private sectors investments represented 52.5 percent of Egypt’s total investments in FY2018/2019.

Maait told Al-Shafi that the government acts to enlarge the initial public offering (IPO) programme through listing more state-owned companies over the coming months for the sake of expanding their broad-based ownership and leaving an ample room for the private sector to invest in.

Maait stated that the government’s economic reforms have improved the country's economic indicators and achieved the developmental and fiscal objectives during FY2020/2021.

Accordingly, Egypt posted an initial surplus of 1.4 percent of the GDP, decreased the budget’s overall deficit to 7.4 percent, and achieved a 3.3 percent in real GDP growth, Maait expounded.

On that basis, global finance and credit rating institutions reassured their confidence in Egypt’s economy’s solidness and its ability to counter both internal and external shocks, the minister added.

Maait also reviewed with the Qatari ambassador his ministry's efforts to upgrade Egypt’s customs and tax systems in order to streamline the procedures in both systems for the investors, lay the foundation of tax justice in the business community, and engage the informal business in the formal economy.

Maait pointed out that the application of the advanced cargo information (ACI) system in Egypt’s seaports would significantly reduce customs clearance measures, facilitate trade flow, and lure investment.

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