Egypt eyes $12 billion investment

Egypt eyes $12 billion investment

Cairo to offer projects including in energy and water to domestic, foreign investors

By (Agencies)

Published: Sun 23 Nov 2014, 11:42 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:34 AM

Ibrahim Mahlab at a press conference in Cairo on Saturday. — AFP

Cairo — Egypt will offer a slew of projects to domestic and foreign investors at a conference in March aimed at kick-starting an economy battered by years of political unrest, the prime minister said on Saturday.

The premier, Ibrahim Mahlab, told reporters in Cairo the gathering will be the “cornerstone for Egypt’s economic revival and aims to provide the resources used... to improve health care services, the educational system and provide energy to all.”

Among them, he mentioned at least 10 projects in energy and river transport, but did not elaborate.

Mahlab said the conference is a message to the world that “Egypt needs a strong economy that can stabilise the whole region.”

The conference is seen as a critical part of the government’s economic reform plan that has resulted in slashed energy subsidies and raised taxes. The government has also resolved disputes with existing investors as it seeks to revive an economy battered by political turmoil since a 2011 uprising. “Our economy is about to recover... All the economic indicators point to this... and this conference is to support the Egyptian economy.”

In a separate interview, the minister for international cooperation Naglaa Al Ahwany said Egypt hopes to attract investment of $10-$12 billion in 20 projects, including in energy, transport and water, at the conference.

“For the time being we have around 20 projects and divided between three categories: PPP, private and public,” Al Ahwany said, referring to private-public partnerships.

“Most of them are in the areas of energy, transport, water, grain storage,” she said in an interview with Reuters. “We plan to have projects worth from $10-12 billion.”

Al Ahwany said the conference would also showcase master plans for the development of an industrial and logistics hub near the Suez Canal, which was announced this year, and for the development of a mining zone in southeastern Egypt. However, investment opportunities in those mega-projects were not expected to be ready in time for the meeting, she said.

In August, President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi launched the construction of a $4 billion expansion of the Suez Canal that aims to speed up traffic and foresees the creation of one million jobs. Sisi has set an ambitious target of digging the new canal in one year, which will run parallel to the original one, built 145 years ago.

More news from WORLD