Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman announced that the Saudi Arabian representatives of the Saudi-Egyptian Coordination Council are still conducting feasibility studies in the allocation of the SAR 30bn earmarked to Egypt.
The majority of projects that have been presented are subject to economic feasibility studies and marketing research conducted by Saudi Arabian institutions.
At the beginning of 2016, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud announced that the gulf country had earmarked SAR 30bn for investment in Egypt. The Saudi–Egyptian Coordination Council was established to agree on mechanisms to implement this investment.
Subsequently, Egyptian representatives have presented several projects to the council for review. The proposals include projects in the fields of agriculture, tourism, and real estate. The ratification of these projects is pending Saudi Arabian approval.
In a press release issued last Thursday, Salman stated that the funds would be allocated to the implementation of projects rather than serving as grants or aid. The minister confirmed that representatives from the two countries are involved in ongoing talks.
The Saudi-Egyptian Coordination Council has held four meetings. Preparations are currently underway for the fifth meeting, which is set to take place in Riyadh in the coming days.
We seek to apply the maximum quality and international standards to improve the business environment and scale-up Egypt’s international indicators, while seeking to increase private sector participation in growth and employment, Salman added during an interview with Radio Monte Carlo,
Egyptian prime minister Sherif Ismail formed a committee to discuss mechanisms to improve Egypt’s international economic indicators to choose procedures to attract investment and to remove all obstacles that prevent the flow of investment to the country.
The ministry’s strategy aims to attract more national and international investment, as well as offering a hand to company’s investing in Egypt to allow them to overcome the difficulties they face, Salman added.
Salman noted that the Ministry of Investment presented several projects in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).
In the same press release, Salman announced that the five memoranda of understanding (MOUs) signed at the Egypt Economic Development Conference at Sharm El-Sheikh have been transformed into housing contracts to be implemented at a cost of EGP 170bn over seven years. Portions of these contracts were signed at the conference.
Several other projects discussed at the conference await final pricing determinations, including an electricity production project.
The press release also addressed the Egyptian state’s ongoing efforts to restructure state-owned assets.
“The goal is to increase the profitability of these companies. To structure them, financially, administratively, and technically, to raise production capacity and increase profitability,” said Salman.
Salman added that Egypt is aiming to attract direct foreign investments ranging from $8bn to $10bn in the current fiscal year; this target was carefully identified after studying the expected financial sources and the impact of changes in the global market.
Egypt has attracted approximately $1.7bn in foreign direct investment during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, according to Salman.