CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is scheduled to meet Thursday with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to discuss governmental preparations for Egypt’s Economic Summit planned to be held in March, the presidential office announced.
The long-anticipated economic summit was postponed to mid-March to “avoid coinciding with the Chinese New Year,” Minister of Finance Hani Kadry stated in a November news conference.
Saudi Arabia called for the upcoming summit in June following the election of President Sisi, and invited the “friends of Egypt” to support its economy. Sisi later announced the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh as the host of the summit.
The government had initially intended to host the summit as early as in November, but during the summer it was scheduled to be held from Feb. 21-22, 2015, only a few days after the Chinese New Year on Feb. 19, which is celebrated for days by several communities around the world.
Important investors from East Asia would not attend the summit if it were held in February, Kadry said in November.
Minister of International Cooperation Naglaa Al-Ahwany and Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman are scheduled to attend Thursday’s meeting that also follows government implementation of a number of projects.
The meeting is also aimed at following up the results of Sisi’s visits to China and Kuwait and as well as any investment issues.
On Monday, Sisi kicked off his first official visit to the State of Kuwait Sisi after an official invitation from the Gulf State’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah in December to visit his country by Jan. 5, Youm7 reported.
A statement released by the presidency announced that the trade volume between the two countries totaled close to $3.2 billion in 2013, including oil and its derivatives. “Kuwait is ranked fourth on the list of the largest foreign countries investing in Egypt, and third among Arab countries, with total investments of some $2.8 billion representing 927 companies.”
In December, President Sisi visited China where he held talks and signed a number of cooperation agreements with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping.
“Sisi and Xi signed the comprehensive strategic partnership agreement and ministers from both sides also signed a number of agreements on economic and technical cooperation between the two countries,” according to a statement from presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef.
During his first visit to China, Sisi met with members of the joint Egyptian-Chinese Business Council to review the recent steps to boost Egypt’s economy, according to a presidential statement.
Youssef earlier highlighted the fact that China, a significant economic partner, is Egypt’s second largest trading partner. Trade between Egypt and China amounted to $10.3 billion in 2013, of which $1.9 billion were Egyptian exports to China and $8.4 billion were imports from China, according to government figures.