Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to attend the celebration of establishing the Dabaa nuclear plant, during the meeting of the two leaders in China while attending the BRICS summit on Monday, presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef said in a statement.
Putin welcomed the invitation, asserting Russia’s keenness on developing relations with Egypt, especially economic and commercial ties, according to the statement.
The two leaders discussed several international and regional issues, in addition to bilateral relations and the resumption of Russian flights to Egypt, which was suspended on the back of the downing of a Russian aeroplane in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015.
Relations between Egypt and Russia have increased in the last three years since Al-Sisi came to power, and two weeks ago, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry visited Russia and discussed with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov several regional issues, including confronting terrorism and coordinating in international forums.
Also, tactical military exercises between Egypt and Russia will take place in September in Russia to train Egyptian pilots on the newly acquired Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters, according to Russian state-owned media.
In his speech before the BRICS forum, Al-Sisi said that the Egyptian economy has improved by 4.3% in July, due to economic reform programme that the government launched recently, despite being involved in war against terrorism. He added that the stock of hard currency reached $36bn, and the government exerts great efforts to control the inflation rate and to decrease it to a single digit, as well as decreasing the budget deficit to less than 10% of the national income.
The president illustrated that the economic reform programme adapts policies despite its high social cost, but the lateness of implementing these policies caused negative impacts on the Egyptian economy.
“For instance, we have studied the Brazilian example in reforming the system of social support, which was one of the most successful experiences in handling the inflation rate by raising the productivity and the efficiency of the economy in general by privatising companies alongside with expanding the public expenditure on services and social protection,” Al-Sisi said.
“We also have studied the Indian example in applying technology for determining the number of beneficiaries of the support and linking them with governmental support system,” he added.
Al-Sisi said that the social protection network in Egypt is flexible as it includes support beneficiaries, describing it as one of the main basis of the economic reform programme. He also pointed out that the monetary policy was modified to be flexible to control the black market of foreign currencies, along with the floatation of the Egyptian pound, which has resulted in the ability of the Egyptian exports to compete and also attracted foreign investments.
Regarding the business environment, the Egyptian parliament has approved the new investment law to meet the needs of Egyptian and foreign investors. In addition to the law, issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to allow issuing licences for companies in a week rather than 600 days, Al-Sisi added.
The president said that Egypt has launched a number of big projects, such as the New Administrative Capital, new roads, and tunnels, as well as new projects in the field of tourism. He also offered cooperating with the BRICS countries in commercial fields.
BRICS is an acronym referring to an association of five countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which represent the emerging economies.