Egypt's president welcomes international delegations at the investment conference being held in Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Egyptian authorities hope the conference will boost the country's struggling economy.
The Egyptian red sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh is the venue for a three-day investment conference. The aim of the Egyptian authorities at the conference is to offer investors the chance to participate in projects it claims are worth tens of billions of dollars.
Egyptian authorities had emphasized the importance of the conference for months. The Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Ashraf el-Araby said the country needed $60 billion (57 billion euros) of investments in the next four years to meet its growth targets, the news agency dpa reports.
During the conference, Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Saudi Crown Prince Moqren and Emirati Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum each pledged $4 billion in speeches. Oman also pledged $500 million - half aid and half investment - over the next five years.
Economy in doldrums during regime changes
A senior Finance Ministry official told state-run newspaper Al-Ahram that the investors would have the chance to put their money into ports, recycling centers and a major technology outsourcing hub.
Egypt's economic growth is predicted to reach 3.8 percent this year, after several years of slower growth, or even recession, following the 2011 uprising against #link:15275689:former ruler Hosny Mubarak,# and then the 2013 military takeover by President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, deposing the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohammed Morsi.
Some 100 national delegations were expected in Sharm el-Sheikh, as well as 25 international and regional organizations.
Peace in the region
Ahead of the conference's opening session, the Egyptian president received Emir Sabal Jabar Al-Sabah of Qatar, King Hamad of Bahrain and Saudi Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz at the resort's airport. Sissi also met US Secretary of State John Kerry, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah II.
During the meeting Sissi "emphasized that achieving peace and stability in the region will bring stability to all the countries in the region," the statement said.
According to Sissi’s office, Kerry met Abbas, Sissi, and Jordan's King Abdullah II ahead of the conference to discuss the Middle East peace process. The four leaders discussed creating an environment to "push forward the peace process to reach a comprehensive and just peace in the region," Sissi's office said in a statement.
ra/msh (dpa, AFP)