On Tuesday, Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed 14 investment agreements worth $7.7 billion in the sectors of infrastructure, logistics, port management, food industries, the pharmaceutical industry, traditional energy, renewable energy, the electronic payment system, and financial and information technology solutions.
According to a statement from the Investment Authority in Egypt, agreements and memoranda of understanding were signed by Saudi investment groups with Egyptian government and private agencies, in the presence of the Ministers of Trade and Investment from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Saudi Chambers, and the Chairman of the Egyptian-Saudi Business Council, in addition to representatives of more than 60 Saudi corporation and company.
The signed agreements came shortly after the arrival of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Cairo, on Monday, on a tour that also includes Jordan and Turkey.
A few days ago, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called on the Gulf countries to convert their deposits with the Central Bank of Egypt into direct investments, instead of relying on deposits to secure cash reserves.
Al-Sisi’s call came during his speech on the sidelines of the opening of development projects in Menoufia Governorate, north of Cairo, where he said that Cairo is trying to convert these deposits into investments, given that “we have many projects, Egypt has 100 million (people) and many opportunities.”
According to data from the Central Bank of Egypt, this June, core inflation rose to 13.3 percent on an annual basis in May, compared to 11.9 percent last April, its highest level since March 2019.
A survey by Standard & Poor’s Global on the fifth of this month showed that the activity of the non-oil private sector in Egypt shrank for the eighteenth month in May, as the Ukrainian crisis, restrictions on imports, and the depreciation of the pound led to pressure on prices, and companies reduced its purchases of inputs and employment levels, while expectations of future activity declined.
On the other hand, Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait affirmed, on Tuesday, that Egypt is looking forward to increasing Gulf investments, including Qatari ones, in Egypt, while transforming Gulf deposits in Egypt into real investments that benefit from the promising development opportunities available in various fields and the business-stimulating climate.
During his participation in the Qatar Economic Forum held in Doha, Maait pointed out to Egypt’s appreciation of the growing Gulf role in supporting Egypt during the current global economic crisis, which has exacerbated in the wake of the Corona pandemic and with the outbreak of war in Europe, and “which imposes on us as an Arab society, to complete the process of cooperation and integration, To achieve the desired integration in order to protect the Arab economies from exceptional global challenges.
In statements carried by the Egyptian Cabinet, the Minister of Finance stated that Cairo aims to invest $2.6 billion in the pharmaceutical and medical supplies sector, $1.5 billion in construction, building and mineral inputs, $2 billion in agriculture and food, and $2.5 billion in the textile sector. And $4.1 billion in engineering, and $4.3 billion in the chemical sector, in a manner that enhances the role of the private sector in maximizing production capacities to achieve self-sufficiency and food security, and increase the export power to attract hard currency, especially in light of the severe turmoil it is witnessing. Supply chains and supply chains, rising freight costs, and prices for goods and services.
The minister pointed out that the “State Ownership Policy” document aims to increase the private sector’s participation in public investments from 30% to 65% over the next three years, while maintaining a growth of 7% or more for the Egyptian economy in the face of exceptional global challenges. The government plans, within 3 years, to exit from 79 sectors, and reduce its investments in 45 other sectors, in a way that contributes to making room more for the private sector, and attracting $40 billion in investments over the next four years.
The minister considered that the Egyptian economy has shown resilience in the face of global challenges, and absorbs internal and external shocks, starting with the emerging market crisis through the Corona pandemic, in a way that makes it more coherent in facing the negative effects of the war in Europe.
He pointed out that Egypt is among the few economies that recorded positive growth rates of 3.3% and 3.6% during the two years of the pandemic, in addition to the decline in the unemployment rate to 7.2% in the second quarter of 2021, achieving a primary surplus instead of a primary deficit, and placing the debt rate in downward path.