CAIRO: The chairman of China’s sovereign wealth fund, which manages $300 billion, will visit Egypt to discuss potential investments in the Arab world’s most populous nation, the investment minister said on Tuesday.
Egypt, whose economy has been growing at around 5 percent even during the world financial crisis, wants to push foreign direct investment (FDI) back to around $10 billion a year, the level it hit before the world downturn.
The government drive has included efforts to lure investors from China and other Asian states. The China Investment Corp (CIC) was set up in 2007 to seek higher returns on some of China’s pile of foreign exchange reserves.
"The chairman of CIC will come to Egypt to discuss possibilities in Egypt," Mahmoud Mohieldin told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Cairo. He did not give a date for Chairman Lou Jiwei’s visit.
"We will be introducing him to the private sector of Egypt and some major projects and infrastructure activities all over the country," the minister said, adding that the visit would include meetings between the chairman and ministers.
"They are doing work all over the world, they are very professional in managing the funds, and they have a long term interest in the region at large and beyond," Mohieldin said.
Egyptian Economic Development Minister Osman Mohamed Osman said in May that Egypt could attract $7.5 billion in FDI in the fiscal year 2009/10, which ends on June 30, and that it could reach $10 billion in 2010/11.
Egypt, with 78 million people, hosted a summit of China and African states in November last year. Beijing, which has been stepping up business ties with Africa, offered $10 billion in concessional loans over the next three years to the continent.