CAIRO: Saudi-Egyptian Business Council began setting major strategic plans to invest in the agricultural sector in Egypt, council president Abdullah bin Mahfouz told al-Madina Friday.
Bin Mahfouz said that the donor conference was suggested by the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to help boost the Egyptian economy, which will not affect Saudi investments in Egypt. The council will not wait for the conference date to start setting plans.
Abdulaziz Al-Saud called for a donor conference on June 4 to help boost the Egyptian economy in the congratulatory cable sent to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
“I call upon all of Egypt’s brothers and friends to organize a donor conference to assist overcoming the economic crisis,” Abdullah said in a cable sent to Sisi Tuesday, published by Saudi state news agency (SPA).
Hundreds of Saudi investors desire to invest in the agricultural sector, especially in the Egyptian southern governorates, bin Mahfouz said.
He said Saudi investors will concentrate first on the agricultural sector followed by the mining, technology, local industries, and real estate sectors. He expects investment will increase in Egypt within a year and a half.
Regarding the donor conference, bin Mahfouz said the conference’s vision has not been determined yet regarding what countries will participate, what the projects will be, and the amount of funding.
On June 5, Cairo created a list of projects to be sent to Gulf countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait to provide funding worth $7.66 billion, Al-Mal reported.
The package contains infrastructure projects including construction of sewage stations, road and bridges projects, constructing social housing units, and electricity plants, an Egyptian official told Al-Mal.
A government source told Al-Mal early June that in the past months, there have been a number of meetings with officials from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Both countries had agreed to fund specific projects similar to the agreements signed with the United Arab Emirates in 2013 to provide $2.9 billion for developmental projects.
Since the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi, aid from a number of Gulf countries amounted to $12 billion but President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said in earlier statements in May that the Gulf aids to Egypt amounts to $20 billion.
Saudi Arabia and UAE expected in the donor conference to give Egypt about $8 billion, economic expert Ahmed Adam told Al-Madina.
Saudi Arabia grants Egypt $750 million monthly for energy derivatives from April to August of 2014 to overcome the energy crisis, Adam added.