A meeting held during a breakfast banquet on Sunday by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with a group of businessmen led to the formation of a committee comprised of both businessmen and government officials to manage the Long Live Egypt Fund, and to determine its work programme and spending priorities.
Some of the businessmen who attended the meeting said that an agreement was made to merge the account of the 306306 Fund and its management with the Long Live Egypt Fund.
The committee will be responsible for managing the fund, and the board of trustees is currently being formed after the board of trustees of the 306306 Fund approved the merger of their account into the Long Live Egypt Fund, said Mohammed Genaidy, chairman of the Board of Directors of GMC, who participated in the meeting.
“The number of businessmen participating that announced their donations to the fund is very big, and others have confirmed their intention to make large donations at a later stage,” Genaidy said.
He pointed out that the meeting was attended by the prime minister as well as the ministers of industry, investment, trade, finance, electricity and housing.
“The president spoke for an hour about the current situation in Egypt and the region, and talked about the role of businessmen in the economic development plan,” said Genaidy.
The president was careful to mitigate any sense among business men that the state is looking to exclude or marginalise them, or put pressure on them to compel them to donate for the benefit of the country,” said Alaa Al-Sagty, chairman of Badr Investors Association.
Al-Sagty added that: “Although the president affirmed he would not pressure businessmen to contribute to the Long Live Egypt Fund and will not harass those who did not donate, he does want to put moral and ethical pressure on them by confirming the role of businessmen in helping the country’s economy.”
Al-Sagty said that the new committee will also be responsible for studying legislation and obstacles currently obstructing investment and to propose solutions for them in addition to coordinating with businessmen with regards to projects they intend to carry out over the coming period in order to ensure they are in line with the state’s development plan.
“The president is keen on increasing development rates in order to keep pace with the rate of population growth and to overcome the problems of bureaucracy,” said Al-Sagty.
“The president encouraged me to establish an investment company in the Badr investment area with a capital of EGP 200m, and said if you encounter obstacles I will issue a republican decree to implement your project,” the chairman added.
Head of the Sixth of October Investors Association Magdy Abdel Moneim, who also attended the meeting, said: “President Sisi stressed that the country needs to inject more investments, that investment is the hope for eliminating Egypt’s economic suffering, and that production is the solution to save Egypt.”
Abdel Moneim pointed out that the president made it clear that he would not force anyone to donate, though “the president stressed that Egypt needs all of us,” and “political will and businessmen will build Egypt.”
“The meeting saw officials of the 306306 Fund announce that the fund’s remaining balance is being allocated, some EGP 850m, to the Long Live Egypt Fund, and this comes after spending EGP 150m, out of the total EGP 1tr it collected on other projects,” Abdel Moneim added.
He added that the new committee will develop regulations and spending priorities for the Long Live Egypt Fund’s various projects.
Al-Watan spoke about the donations Monday, valued at EGP 5bn as announced by businessmen in their meeting with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and attended by businessman Naguib Sawiris. The figure includes EGP 3bn from the Sawiris family, EGP 1.2bn from businessman Mohamed El Amin, EGP 150mn from businessman Ahmed Abou Hishama, and EGP 30m from businessman Mohamed Farid Khamis, chairman of Oriental Weavers.