May 31 2009
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Adia could finance 52 projects in Egypt
Mahmoud Mohieldin, Egyptian Minister of Investment, was speaking at a press conference in Abu Dhabi.
He said an agreement has been reached with Adia for special committees to visit Egypt over the next two months to agree on ways to proceed with the projects.
He said the projects will be mostly in infrastructure, agriculture and housing.
Mohieldin, who is leading an Egyptian delegation on an official visit to the UAE, said he met several UAE high officials during the visit.
Among them were Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs; Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; and Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Adia Managing Director.
He said he presented a list of the 52 projects to the government and Adia officials.
Mohieldin said there were no disputes between Egypt and UAE companies.
Speaking to Emirates Business on the sidelines of the press conference, he said: "Our government has managed to resolve all the problems faced by UAE real estate companies, primarily Emaar , as a result of the fallout of the financial crisis."
Mohieldin added the Egyptian Government fully supports Emaar , especially after the company was contracted to build Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed City in New Cairo, an important project for Egypt.
He said Mashreq , too, enjoys Egyptian Government support, and the bank has grown in an unprecedented manner in Egypt in terms of branches and services.
The Egyptian Government froze a deal to sell Bank of Cairo - the country's third largest - where Mashreq was a bidder because of the fallout of the global crisis and not because of any dispute with Mashreq , he added.
"We welcome Mashreq and are keen to help it expand," he said.
Mohieldin said trade between Egypt and the UAE has increased over the past two years and stood at $1.4 billion (Dh5.1bn) in 2008 against $825 million in 2007. The UAE's exports to Egypt total around $900m, while Egypt's exports to the UAE stand at some $504m.
The UAE's investments in Egypt have doubled over the past four years and the number of UAE companies operating in Egypt has gone up to 425 from 233, he added
Egyptian reports have put the volume of UAE investment in Egypt at $17bn. A large percentage of investments are currently heading for telecoms, tourism and real estate sectors.
The minister said 134 UAE companies are now involved in the service sector, 92 in the industrial sector, 67 in construction and 43 in finance, in addition to other companies in the telecommunications, agriculture, environment and tourism sectors.
Mohieldin said the UAE is the third-largest investor in Egypt after the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.
The Egyptian Government over the past four years has managed to attract foreign investment worth $38.5bn, which has secured its dollar reserves. This has led to an appreciation in the local currency's value against the dollar, generated job opportunities and alleviated the fallout of the global financial crisis, said Mohieldin.
He expects foreign investment to go down this year to $7bn from $9bn last year.
A drop in revenues from the Suez Canal and tourism are also expected.
Mohieldin said before the crisis, the Egyptian Government had finalised a programme to reform the financial and banking sectors, and this programme has lessened the impact of the global financial crisis.
The government does not need to pump cash into the banking sector because of the sector's strength, he said.
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