Qatar to invest US$1.5 billion in Egypt's industrial sector for 2024
Qatar is set to inject about US$1.5 billion into the Egyptian industrial sector in 2024, almost three years after Cairo and Doha restored ties following years of rift.
"The planned Qatari investments represent the Gulf nation's broader strategy to invest a total of $US 5 billion in the Egyptian economy," Yahya El-Wathiq Billah, head of the Commercial Representation Authority, an affiliate of the Trade and Industry Ministry, told reporters in Cairo.
"The trade exchange between the two countries has witnessed in recent years a significant growth, achieving a 47 per cent rise," said El-Wathiq Billah during the Egyptian-Qatari Economic Investment Forum commencing in Cairo on Tuesday, 14 November.
Qatar is the third-largest Arab state investor in Egypt, with 160 Qatari companies investing about US$2 billion in several areas. Qatari investments in Egypt are known to have previously been focused on financial services, tourism, and real estate.
Bilateral economic ties have experienced significant growth, increasing by 76.2 per cent to US$80.1 million in the first 11 months of 2022, compared to US$45.5 million in 2021 as per the statistics of Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
In recent months, Egypt sold state assets, some owned by the army, to wealthy Gulf nations to bolster the state reserves of US dollars after controversial economic measures.
In October 2022, the Central Bank of Egypt imposed exchange rate flexibility, allowing the value of the Egyptian pound to be regulated by market forces. The decision aimed to save Egypt's already ailing economy after securing a US$3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Egyptian regime had been at odds with its Qatari counterpart since the coup, led by the then-defence minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, overthrew late President Mohamed Morsi's regime in July 2013.
In 2017, Egypt joined Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain in cutting ties with Qatar over allegedly supporting "terrorist" groups and having secret relations with Iran.
Many members of the Muslim Brotherhood, designated a "terrorist group" in Egypt since 2014, have fled Egypt to Qatar and Turkey after the coup.
It was not until 2021 that Cairo and Doha resumed diplomatic relations following the Saudi-sponsored recondition with Qatar.