President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Saudi Arabia will revolve around the preparations for the Economic Summit, Saudi-Egyptian Businessmen Association (SEBA) director-general Ahmed Darwish told Daily News Egypt Sunday.
The president headed to Saudi Arabia Sunday to meet with new Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, to discuss and promote bilateral ties between both countries.
Following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Saudi Arabia provided Egypt with a $5bn aid package in the form of non-refundable grants, deposits and petroleum products. The Saudi aid was divided into $1bn cash, a five-year $2bn interest free deposit at the CBE, and $2bn in the form of petroleum products.
After the inauguration of Al-Sisi in June 2014, the late Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz called for a donors conference to support Egypt economically. This conference was later named as the Economic Summit.
Egypt’s government has sent invitations to more than 6,000 businessmen and 120 countries to participate in the summit. Over 1,000 Saudi businessmen and companies in various sectors are expected to attend the March Economic Summit, Darwish announced in January.
Saudi investments have faced hurdles following the 25 January Revolution, as Egyptian courts had voided privatisation contracts for several companies, returning them to the state. These re-nationalisation decisions angered investors, who resorted to international arbitration centres to file cases against Egypt.
However, the government had addressed this issue, and approximately 85% of the disputes involving Saudi companies operating in Egypt have been resolved in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence, according to Darwish.