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Egyptian ministers visit UAE to promote investment

Three Egyptian ministers flew to the Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on Sunday for talks with their local counterparts, Anadolu news agency has reported.

The ministerial delegation includes Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail, Minister of Finance Hani Damian and Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman. Airport officials were not informed of the trip in advance and the delegation has not provided statements to the press.

According to earlier statements by Damian, Egypt is seeking to mend a funding gap estimated between $15 and $18 billion during the coming fiscal year. The UAE has been a key backer of the Egyptian regime following the July 3 military coup last year. Damian said that Gulf countries have promised to continue aid until August, and then financial assistance will take the form of investments.

Arab aid in the last fiscal year (2013/2014) totaled $16.7 billion, the ministry of finance said. The aid included grants, deposits and petroleum products, in addition to foreign direct and indirect investments. A senior finance ministry official said earlier that the total Arab aid to Egypt reached $21.03 billion after adding $3 billion from the UAE as part of the Arabtec housing project signed with the Egyptian army.

Egypt ratified its general budget for the fiscal year 2014/2015 last week, with an estimated deficit at 10 per cent of GDP, which is equivalent to $33.6 billion, compared to a projected $34 billion deficit in the current fiscal year (2013/2014), equivalent to 12 per cent of GDP.

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