File photo: Qatari and Egyptian flags
El-Wathiq Billah added that this substantial investment is part of Qatar's broader strategy, unveiled last March, to pump $5 billion into the Egyptian economy.
The announcement was made during the Egyptian-Qatari Economic Investment Forum, which commenced on Tuesday and saw the attendance of key figures including Egypt's Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir, his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Qassim, and various prominent figures.
El-Wathiq Billah highlighted the significant growth in trade exchange between the two countries, revealing a 47 percent increase in 2022, although specific trade values were not disclosed.
The volume of trade exchange between both countries would continue to grow at a similar rate in the current year, El-Wathiq Billah further expressed during an interview with Asharq Business.
Previously, Qatari investments in Egypt were concentrated in sectors such as financial services, tourism, and real estate. However, the focus has now shifted to the industrial sector, reflecting Qatar's evolving investment priorities, El-Wathiq Billah noted.
During his speech, Samir emphasized Egypt's eagerness to attract investments from Qatari companies, underscoring the country's extensive efforts in recent years to encourage investment, particularly from Gulf nations.
Bin Qassim echoed this sentiment, highlighting Qatar's status as a leading investor in the Egyptian market, with investments exceeding $5.5 billion in the financial, real estate, and energy sectors.
The Egyptian-Qatari Economic Investment Forum aims to strengthen bilateral relations and encourage Qatari companies to invest in Egypt. It also witnessed Al-Mana Group’s pledge to invest more than $60 million in Egypt in 2024.
These developments align with Egypt's broader objective of attracting foreign investments, particularly from Gulf countries, to bolster its diminishing reserves of US dollars. To achieve this, Egypt has been offering state-owned assets through its IPO programme, providing strategic investors with opportunities in 35 state-owned companies.
The recent reconciliation between Egypt and Qatar, characterized by the exchange of visits between the leaders of both countries, has paved the way for enhanced bilateral relations.
Trade exchange between the two nations experienced significant growth, with its value increasing by 76.2 percent to $80.1 million in the first 11 months of 2022, compared to $45.5 million in 2021, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Qatar stands as the third-largest Arab state investor in Egypt, with 160 Qatari companies injecting investments worth nearly $2 billion, as per official data.
Qatar's substantial investment in Egypt's industrial sector not only solidifies the economic ties between the two nations but also contributes to Egypt's ongoing efforts to attract foreign investments and foster economic growth.