The Saudi-Egyptian Business Council has announced the establishment of a bank in Egypt to protect Saudi investments in the country and finance small and medium enterprises. A meeting of the council was held in Jeddah on Saturday and co-chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Abdullah Zainal Alireza and his Egyptian counterpart Mahmoud Eissa,reported Arab News Monday. The issue of Saudi investments in Egypt valued at more than SR30 billion figured high on the agenda. The meeting also discussed prospects of setting up joint investment projects. Addressing the meeting, Alireza emphasized the two countries’ desire to expand economic and trade cooperation. "Saudi Arabia is Egypt’s largest trading partner in the Arab world," he added. He said there are 2,355 Saudi companies registered in Egypt, adding that Saudi investments in them exceeded $10 billion. Saudi tourists spend nearly $500 million in Egypt every year. Eissa disclosed plans to set up joint offices in order to provide necessary services to Saudi and Egyptian businessmen. "We also discussed the prospects of building a causeway between the two countries," the Egyptian minister said. It was the council’s first meeting after the Jan. 25 revolution in Egypt. Abdullah Dahlan, chairman of the council, meanwhile, dismissed rumors that Egyptian workers would be sent out from the Kingdom. "There is no plan to get rid of or deport Egyptian guest workers in the Kingdom. These are just rumors and are not based on any official policy," said Dahlan, who is also a member of the board of directors of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mazen Batterjee, deputy chairman of JCCI, said the meeting discussed the situation of Saudi investments in Egypt, adding that the Egyptian government has given assurances to protect Saudi investments and honor its agreements with Saudi businessmen. There are more than a million Egyptians in the Kingdom, he said and praised their contributions to the Kingdom’s development.