The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia pledged to immediately begin examining several investment opportunities in Egypt after reviewing feasibility studies and data, according to Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr Monday.
The Egyptian-Saudi Coordination Council commenced its third meeting in Riyadh, which ends on Wednesday, to rush Saudi Arabia to start investing a pledged SR 30bn, as directed by the Saudi King.
According to the ministry’s statement, Nasr urged Saudi Arabia to expedite investments to energy, housing, and tourism sectors in particular.
Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman said that Egypt offered Saudi Arabia’s feasibility studies for a number of projects in different fields. The Saudi investment funds chose to invest SR 30m in the fields of housing, tourism, agriculture, and energy over the next five years.
A number of steps will be taken in the upcoming period with regards to the necessary permits for housing projects as well as conducting market studies by specialised firms, Salman said in a press release during his visit to Saudi Arabia. The commercial and economic relations between both countries will grow significantly, noting that Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab investor in Egypt.
The Coordination Council was established to finalise initiatives, agreements, memoranda of understanding, and joint ventures to strengthen cooperation between both countries in the fields of housing, agriculture, culture, radio, television, transport, ports, education, and petroleum as well as investments in housing, tourism, and energy.
The Ministry of International Cooperation said Nasr discussed the possibility of cooperating with the Saudi Fund officials to provide Egypt with petroleum derivatives for five years and to pump investments.
In December, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud gave orders to increase the kingdom’s investments in Egypt to over SR 30bn ($8bn), to secure part of Egypt’s needs of petroleum over five years, and to increase the Saudi traffic in the Suez Canal.
The trade exchange between Egypt and Saudi Arabia during the first eight months of 2015 amounted to about $3.7bn.
She also discussed the possibility of contributing to financing several development projects in Egypt aiming to counter poverty and unemployment by providing concessional funding for youth and providing lands to establish agro-industrial projects as part of the 1.5m acres project.
The council is holding six meetings, alternating between Cairo and Riyadh, ever ten days. MoUs, executive programmes, and agreements should be ready for signature by the sixth meeting in Cairo.
Nasr said the Egyptian government is working on creating an attractive environment for investment by providing incentives and guarantees and by removing some of the obstacles facing investors. “The government pays great attention to Saudi investments in light of the significant convergence of interests and the existing strategic relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia,” she said.
The Ministry of Housing is offering 22 projects for investment to Saudi Arabia. The projects include the new administrative capital and the eight new cities prepared by the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA).
NUCA completed processing project sites, which will be promoted in Saudi Arabia, and prepared detailed plans linking lands with facilities.
According to the press release, project contracts will be managed through partnerships in exchange for a financial stake since NUCA has already received offers for some of the projects it expects to promote in Saudi Arabia.