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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

UAE pledges $4bn towards Egypt’s economic recovery

Sheikh Mohammed told the 'Egypt the Future' conference that it was 'not a favour but a duty', report Mahmoud Kassem and Sean Cronin.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is greeted by president Abdel Fattah El Sisi upon his arrival in Egypt on March 13, 2015. WAM

SHARM EL SHEIKH // The UAE on Friday said it will pump another US$4 billion – or Dh14.7bn – into the Egyptian economy as it and Gulf partners Kuwait and Saudi Arabia collectively pledged a total of $12 billion to support the country’s ambitious growth plans.

The announcement was delivered on the first day of the Egypt the Future conference that kicked off on Friday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“It is not a favour but a duty,” he said.

He addressed an audience of political and business leaders from around the world.

They included US secretary of state John Kerry, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and the chiefs of some of the world’s biggest global corporations.

Sheikh Mohammed led a huge UAE delegation to the conference with the heads of key ministerial portfolios represented.

The UAE delegation included Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State, and a number of top officials.

Sheikh Mohammed said that $2 billion would be deposited with the Egyptian Central Bank and a further $2 billion would be used to “revive the Egyptian economy through a number of initiatives that will be announced later”.

“Egypt is our second country,” he said. “And the UAE is the second country of Egyptians.”

UAE companies are expected to play a key role in spearheading a number of large scale infrastructure projects in the country.

They formed a visible presence in Sharm El Sheikh where the biggest display in the convention centre was reserved for a vast mural depicting a timeline of cooperation between the pair and highlighting the 400,000 Egyptians estimated to be living in the UAE.

Property developer Emaar, retail group Majid Al Futtaim and Senaat, the Abu Dhabi industrial conglomerate, were among a long list of big UAE corporate names in attendance.

Egypt wants to attract as much as $60 billion in foreign investment over the next four years.

Egypt has received $23 billion in aid from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait in the past year and half, according to investment minister Ashraf Salman.

On Friday, John Kerry also reiterated US support for Egypt, saying that the nation’s ability to bring about more prosperity would be beneficial to a region mired in conflict and poverty.

“How Egypt fares in the coming years, and how it restructures it economy will affect not only the country’s nearly 90 million citizens but it will also affect millions of others throughout the region who aspire to a better future,” he said.

“That is why we are gathered here. We all have a stake in Egypt’s success.”

scronin@thenational.ae

mkassem@thenational.ae