Egypt s Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir
The trade minister, who did not specify who the first largest investor is, made his statement at the end of a visit to the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
During the visit, the trade minister discussed means of promoting investment and economic ties with Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Sultan Al-Saud, Minister of Trade Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi and other senior Saudi officials, according to a statement by the Egyptian ministry.
The meetings tackled mechanisms for launching Egyptian-Saudi industrial partnerships in a large number of productive sectors.
These partnerships would benefit from the great potential of both countries, including specialised industrial cities and the availability of manpower and production inputs, the statement said.
They would be able to provide for the needs of the Egyptian and Saudi markets as well as export to a large number of regional and global markets, it added.
In August, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, launched the Saudi Egyptian Investment Company (SEIC) to invest in promising Egyptian sectors and ensure enhancing access for the PIF and the Saudi private sector to the promising investment opportunities in Egypt.
Earlier in June, Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed investment agreements worth $7.7 billion, which were described at the time by the then-CEO of General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Mohamed Abdel-Wahab as "a qualitative leap in the investment relations between the two countries."
In Sunday's statement, Samir also highlighted that 41.3 percent growth in the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Saudi Arabia from $3.236 billion in 2020 to $4.5 billion in 2021.
The trade ministry’s data shows that Egypt was the seventh largest market for Saudi exports in 2021, with a total value of $2.478 billion.
The list of top Arab exporters to Egypt included Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, and Oman, with exports worth $6.4 billion, $2.4 billion, $2.2 billion, and $625.7 million, respectively, according to the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).
In the first nine months of 2022, Saudi Arabia ranked first among the top ten Arab countries importing from Egypt. It was followed by the UAE, Libya and Sudan whose imports from Egypt were estimated at a value of $1.8 billion, $1.3 billion, $874.6 million and $637.6 million, respectively.
The Egyptian-Saudi meetings also reviewed the possibility of exchanging the two countries experiences of allocating industrial lands, which is the responsibility of Egypt's Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones.