The government has postponed the Egypt Economic Summit, scheduled to be held in Febraury in Sharm El-Sheikh to March, according to Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian.
The postponement was made so the summit would not coincide with the Chinese New Year holiday and others celebrated in East Asian countries.
“Holding the summit in February would force Egypt to lose a large portion of investors with significant investment advantages,” Dimian said. “The decision to postpone the summit garnered considerable debate within the government, especially in the Economic Group.”
He added that after studying the volume of investors that would not be able to attend the summit if held in February, the decision was taken to postpone.
Dimian said that Egypt had already received a non-refundable Kuwaiti grant of $1bn on Monday, which will be used to pay debts owed to Qatar and to address imbalances in the budget deficit. The Ministry of International Cooperation however has denied the media reports that Egypt received the Kuwaiti grant.
Ministry spokesperson Mohamed Hassan said on Saturday that Egypt’s last aid agreement was a $350m Saudi loan for electricity projects and promoting Saudi exports to Egypt, signed on 1 November.
In response to a question on the tax dispute between the Tax Authority and construction company Orascom, Dimian said that “it will be referred to the State Litigation Authority”. He refused to disclose whether the Tax Authority would appeal the Tax Appeal Committee’s ruling in favour of Orascom, issued at the end of last week.