Egypt's PM hails UNCTAD's promising data about Egyptian economy

the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Wed, Jul. 24, 2019
CAIRO – 23 July 2019: Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli hailed Tuesday the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)'s report that included promising data about the Egyptian economy.

The premier said the report asserts that Egypt is on the right track and that the courage of its political leadership in adopting the economic reform program and the citizens’ support for its measures have already yielded results.

Madbouli’s speech came during his meeting with Director of UNCTAD's Investment Division James Zhan, in the presence of Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr, according to a statement issued by cabinet spokesman Nader Saad.

He noted that the government will continue its efforts to encourage domestic and foreign investments.

On the other hand, Zhan said Egypt kept its position in 2018 as the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) recipient in Africa, with investments totaling $7.9 billion, which account for 7 percent of foreign investments in Africa.

The meeting also touched on the key results of the latest UNCTAD report “World Investment Report 2019”.

In the same context, UNCTAD issued a report on June 2, 2019 showing that Egypt isthe top host economy in Africa during 2018.

“Egypt remained the largest FDI recipient in Africa in 2018, although inflows decreased by 8 percent to $6.8 billion,” UNCTAD stated in a report.

The World Investment Report 2019 added that foreign investment in Egypt was skewed towards the oil and gas industry, as significant discoveries of offshore gas reserves attracted investments from MNEs, and the country became a net exporter of gas in January 2019.

The report referred to British Petroleum Company that has increased its greenfield and merger and acquisition investments in the country in the last 2years, bringing the company’s investment stock in the country to more than $30 billion.

“Egypt signed at least 12 exploration and production agreements with international oil companies in 2018,” it said.

According to the report, some large foreign projects were announced in other sectors also, such as the $2 billion project of Nibulon (Ukraine) to upgrade Egypt’s grain storage infrastructure and the $1 billion project of Artaba Integrated Holding (Saudi Arabia) for the construction of a medical city.

“In addition, Shandong Ruyi Technology Group (China) signed an agreement to invest $830 million for the construction of a textile area in the Suez Canal Special Economic Zone (SEZ),” it added.

Generally, FDI flows to Africa rose to $46 billion unlike the global downtrend, marking an 11 percent increase after successive declines in 2016 and 2017.

“Reduced FDI flows to some major economies of the continent, including Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopia, were offset by large increases in others, most significantly in South Africa,” it noted.

According to the report, growing demand for and prices of some commodities, as well as sustained non-resource-seeking investments in a few countries, were largely responsible for the higher FDI flows to the continent.