Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb, Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim el-Assaf, and Emirati Minister of State Sultan al-Jaber met on Saturday, according to a cabinet source, as the government prepares for the Egypt economic summit, scheduled to be held in February in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Dina Mousa, director of the Saudi Ambassador’s Office, said that the visit “did not take place in coordination with the embassy…but it was within the framework of preparation for the economic summit called for by the King of Saudi Arabia to revive the Egyptian economy.”
A cabinet statement said that the meeting reviewed arrangements for the summit and various elements to ensure that the event is successful and achieves its goals. These objectives include illustrating Egypt’s economic vision for the coming period, showcasing available investment opportunities, attracting more Arab and foreign investments to stimulate the economy, and achieving higher development rates.
The steps to be taken before the summit include listing the projects that will be presented in accordance with criteria that specify how the projects are connected to the state’s plan during the coming phase, and measuring their economic and social viability in some fields, such as infrastructure and energy, according to the statement.
“The steps taken by the government to reform the state’s administrative structure, and legislative reform in general, includes amendments to the investment law and other related laws, and solving investors’ issues. This indicates that Egypt is embarking on the right path towards growth and economic stability,” the statement said.
In a meeting held on Saturday with the Kuwait Investment Authority Investment Head Fawzi al-Manee, Minister of Finance Ashraf Salman said: “We are exerting a lot of effort in coordination with various ministries and local governments to unify the standards and mechanisms for dealing with investors and expediting licence and permit issuance to jumpstart activities relating to our efforts toward improving Egypt’s business environment.”
Manee, according the cabinet statement, stated that the Kuwait Investment Authority is interested in all economic projects prepared by the Egyptian government to be presented during the economic summit in February.
A source at the Ministry of Investment told Daily News Egypt that, during the meeting, Manee stressed that he is coordinating with the Egyptian government to ensure the success of the summit and help promote new projects.
Salman said that the government is working to raise growth rates and create an attractive climate for investments while reducing the budget deficit, creating jobs, and diminishing poverty and unemployment through a socio-economic programme supported by a package of legislative and economic reforms.
He added that legislative reforms will include protection of investors’ rights and ensuring that are enforced and investment disputes resolved. A number of mega development projects are being launched simultaneously to promote growth.
Salman also conducted consultations with Rana Hamoudi, head of the Middle East region at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, where he showcased the major projects being implemented by the government and others that are currently being marketed. There was a focus on the field of new and renewable energy as well as infrastructure projects, which will be exhibited to investors during the summit.
Hamoudi said: “The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is ready to provide full support to the Economic Cooperation with Egypt programme, as well as contributions to preparations for the economic summit.” She added that structural reforms undertaken by Egypt have a positive global resonance.
She mentioned that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is interested in following up on developments in the Egyptian capital and stock markets as well as the development of real estate funds, a real estate financing law, and the list of new projects promoted by the Egyptian government, especially in the field of new and renewable energy.
Salman said: “We seek to change the stereotypes about investing in Egypt among Arab and foreign countries and we plan to improve growth rates and reduce poverty, unemployment, inflation, and the budget deficit while raising rates of foreign direct investment.”