Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development and Chairman of The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE), Dr Hala El-Said, held a meeting with Saudi Minister of Commerce Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi and his accompanying delegation.
The meeting took place in the presence of Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea, Chairman of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Amri, and Head of the Egyptian side to the Egyptian-Saudi Business Council Abdel Hamid Abu Moussa, TSFE CEO Ayman Soliman, and investors from both sides.
El-Said expressed her happiness among these distinguished businessmen aiming to strengthen relations between the Egyptian and Saudi business communities and boost their economic ties in various fields.
She pointed out the importance of the strategic partnership between Egypt and Saudi Arabia and the continuing cooperation across all levels, following the interest and care these relations witness from the political leadership in both countries.
El-Said added that the volume of trade exchange in non-oil goods between Egypt and Saudi Arabia exceeded US$4.4bn in 2020, pointing out that the Kingdom is the top Arab investor in Egypt.
She explained that Egyptian exports to the Saudi market had achieved significant growth in 2020, recording US$2.6bn, compared to US$2.3bn in 2019, an increase of 13%, according to data from the Egyptian-Saudi Business Council.
The minister reviewed the most prominent opportunities and areas for developing relations with leading private sector companies in the two countries and the mechanisms for converting obstacles into investment opportunities due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Especially as several factors support the growth of these relations, such as the support and momentum the political and supporting institutional frameworks, represented by the Egyptian-Saudi Joint Ministerial Committee and the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council,” she said.
Egypt is keen to develop relations, noting that the legislative framework supporting the partnership between the public and private sectors has received the attention of the state.
“Institutional reforms aim to simplify the procedures for setting up projects and encourage the private sector and local and foreign investment, within the framework of the national economic and social reform programme,” El-Said confirmed.
Regarding Egypt’s efforts to improve infrastructure to stimulate the private sector, El-Said indicated that the country had implemented several major infrastructure development projects in recent years.
Furthermore, TSFE was established to mobilize joint financing for development efforts and strengthen partnership with the private sector.
El-Said praised the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council, which, since its establishment in 1989, has become a distinguished platform that includes business communities of the two countries to discuss ways to enhance cooperation in many fields, especially those of commercial and investment.
She stressed the importance of the council’s role in improving cooperation and overcoming the obstacles, and encouraging an increase in exports through communication, such as goods and services information exchange, and information on available investment, trade, and export opportunities.
The Minister of Planning and Economic Development also praised the joint meeting of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council in Cairo. The product of the meeting was an agreement to maximize Saudi participation in major Egyptian projects, enter African markets and free trade zones available to Egypt, and moving towards tripartite cooperation for joint projects in Africa. Those projects would be especially in infrastructure, agriculture, joint manufacturing, and logistics, ultimately maximizing benefits from African and European Free Trade Agreements.
For his part, TSFE CEO Ayman Soliman showcased the most important projects and investment opportunities that the sovereign fund has begun to register.
The Saudi side also reviewed the most critical areas in which Saudi companies wish to invest, the national companies’ leadership project in Saudi Arabia, and significant achievements.