According to a government official representing Egypt at the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC, Egypt intends to discuss with African and American leaders the plans of development companies aiming to revitalise the Egyptian economy over the coming years.
Though President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will not be attending the summit, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb, as well as the ministers of Investment, Trade and Industry, and Finance will represent the Egyptian delegation.
Between 3 and 6 August, nearly 50 heads of state from Africa will convene to discuss matters related to the economy and Africa-US relations.
According to the Middle East News Agency (MENA), the three key issues that will be addressed are the future of investment in Africa, ways to promote and expand trade and investment opportunities, and how to support sustainable development in Africa.
The summit will also focus its discussions on how rapid economic growth can be transformed and used to achieve sustainable development, which would serve the citizens of the continent and also provide enormous opportunities for American companies in many sectors.
“Our consultations with the French asset management firm Lazard were focused on accurately determining Egypt’s financial needs and exchanging views on proposals that might help us correct our economy,” said Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian, who added: “We told them about our financial needs and asked them to help us assemble the tools to meet those needs.”
In a cabinet meeting held before the Eid holiday, Dimian stated that the economic consulting Egypt has received from Lazard and other financial firms were still under review, and that the $120bn that has been stated as the amount Egypt needs over the next four years to restart its economy is not the most accurate figure. He affirmed: “The final figure is still under study and may be disclosed during the conference with development partners.”
On the subject of the economy, in a cabinet statement on Saturday Mehleb said that Egypt is serious about reforming its economy, reviewing all economic legislation, and settling disputes with investors.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah recently called on countries to participate in a donor conference for Egypt, and the Egyptian government hopes to meet its financing needs through various types of donations pledged by the attending donors. Of the types of investments to be discussed will be soft loans from international institutions as well, and negotiations will be held to ensure that all investments are made in US dollars.
The donor conference will be coordinated by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and will be attended by various countries and international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Islamic Bank for Development (IBD).
According to Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, the consultations during the US-Africa Leaders Summit will be limited to the development of economic and trade relations of Egypt with Africa and the US, and political matters will not be discussed. Meetings with leaders of General Electric and Bechtel will be held, and representatives from an American investment fund and a number of African trade ministers will attend.
A number of talks will be held with the American Ministers of Commerce, Treasury, Energy, and Agriculture in order to discuss the possibility Egyptian agricultural exports entering the US market, especially citrus fruits. A delegation from the US will be visiting Egypt at the end of August to discuss the measures and procedures necessary to start the export of these Egyptian products to the US.