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Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf al-Araby said Tuesday that talks have started with the Saudi delegation currently visiting Cairo to secure an aid package of US$1.5 billion.
US$1 billion would be soft loans, bonds and treasury bills to support the state budget, and US$500 million would be allocated to development projects, particularly the Suez Canal, East Port Said, North West Suez Gulf and New Valley, where the infrastructure allows fast returns on investment and helps create new job opportunities.
“Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that wants to support Egypt at the current stage,” Araby said. “It has also credited us US$250 million to import petroleum products from it.”
“Their other loan of US$200 million will improve the small projects market,” the minister said, adding that foreign and Arab investors are optimistic about the Egyptian economy.
He also said tourism is an important sector for the economy, pointing to Qatar, which he said was interested in investing US$1.8 billion in the North Coast and East Port Said.
“Our strategy is to encourage investment opportunities,” he said.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm