El-Beblawi in Saudi Arabia to discuss economic ties, investment issues

Doaa Farid
3 Min Read
Former interim prime minister Hazem Al-Beblawi (AFP Photo)
Egypt's interim prime minister Hazem Al-Beblawi  (AFP Photo)
Egypt’s interim prime minister Hazem Al-Beblawi
(AFP Photo)

Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi flew to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in a one-day visit to discuss bilateral cooperation with Saudi officials, a cabinet statement said.

The ministers of Investment, Petroleum, Transportation and Housing accompanied El-Beblawi.

The delegation is scheduled to meet with first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.  Both parties will discuss “issues of common interest”, read the statement.

During the visit, the delegation will announce in detail projects in Egypt which will be financed using the second stimulus package, Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Arabi said on Tuesday, according to state-run news agency MENA.

In December, Minister of Finance Ahmed Galal announced that the value of the second stimulus package will total EGP 30bn.

Official spokesperson of the cabinet Hany Salah El-Din noted on Monday that the Egyptian-Saudi Business Council will also meet in Saudi Arabia in order to determine potential investment opportunities and solve obstacles facing Saudi investors.

The Egyptian government is currently moving to address challenges faced bySaudi investors in Egypt since the January 2011 Revolution, with El-Beblawi having announced in December that the difficulties facing 19 Gulf investors had been resolved. He added that the government would create “the appropriate legislation for the rest of the problems”.

Saudi Arabia is expected to grant Egypt $4bn in additional aid in the form of deposits and petroleum products, state-run Al-Ahram reported on 30 January. An unnamed ministerial source told the newspaper that this package would be worked out during El-Beblawi’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom pledged a total value of $5bn to Egypt in July following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in the form of cash grants, deposits and petroleum products. The move was echoed by similar actions from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The Egyptian-Saudi Businessmen Association meanwhile announced in January that it was aiming to attract 200 Saudi companies to invest EGP 2bn in Egypt in 2014.

By the end of the 2013/2014 fiscal year, the Egyptian government is looking to obtain $4bn in foreign investments.

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