A Qatar business delegation will visit Egypt next month to study investment opportunities
Qatar has decided to give $2bn in financial support to Egypt, which is plagued by serious economic challenges, Egyptian state news agency Mena reported yesterday.
The announcement came after a Cairo meeting between HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and President Mohamed Mursi in Cairo.
“Qatar has decided to deposit $2bn in the Central Bank of Egypt,” said the report.
At the meeting’s start, HH the Emir congratulated President Mursi “on the confidence the Egyptian people had granted him and welcomed the formation of the new government, wishing Egypt further development and prosperity”, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.
“HH the Emir also extended deep condolences to Mursi on the tragic incident of the Rafah border crossing,” QNA said.
Talks touched on co-operation between the two countries and ways to promote it in various fields. Investment opportunities in Egypt were also discussed.
The Qatari side expressed keenness to invest in a number of projects, noting that a business delegation would visit Egypt next September to study these opportunities, QNA said.
The meeting was attended by HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani and members of the official delegation accompanying HH the Emir.
On the Egyptian side, the meeting was attended by Prime Minister Dr Hisham Kandil and a number of ministers.
HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani later left Cairo.
Qatar’s $2bn deposit at the Egyptian Central Bank aims to help support an economy battered by a year and a half of political turmoil.
The central bank’s reserves have fallen sharply since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Reserves are at $14.4bn, against $36bn a year and a half ago.
The cash shortfall raises fears about Egypt’s ability to maintain imports of basic commodities such as wheat and refined fuel and to honour its international financial commitments.
An International Monetary Fund delegation is expected in Cairo this month for talks on a lifeline worth some $3.2bn for Egypt, which has seen tourism and foreign investment drop off amid its political turmoil.