UAE remains major player in Egypt's economy despite bad times
UAE investments in Egypt had reached Dh16.4 billion (US$4.47 billion), representing 557 Emirati firms in various investments ranging from renewable energy, real estate, telecommunications, information technology, finance, industry, tourism, services, construction and agriculture, Tamer Mansour, Egyptian ambassador to the UAE, told Gulf News.
“The most important UAE investment projects in Egypt are in construction sectors, financing (banks and financial services), tourism, telecommunications (information technology and IT services), industrial (food, chemicals, building materials, metals, textiles, engineering, wood products) and other services such as education and transportation, as well as agricultural projects including reclamation of lands, livestock production and poultry,” said Mansour.
Egyptian exports to the UAE during the first half of 2012 dropped to Dh1.094 billion ($297.3 million), a decline of about 11.7 per cent compared to the same period of 2011, which was about Dh1.24 billion ($336.8 million) due mainly to regional and political issues, he said.
“Egyptian imports from the UAE during the first half of 2012 increased to Dh1.74 billion ($ 474.2 million) compared to Dh993.9 million ($270.1 million) during the same period in 2011,” said Mansour.
Ties back to normal
UAE-Egyptian bilateral ties are back to normal and a new phase in relations will restore the strong ties between the two countries, Tamer Mansour, ambassador of Egypt to the UAE, told Gulf News in an interview.
“We highly appreciate the support and the stand of the UAE government and people in the critical moments that Egypt had been passing through,” Mansour said.
The ambassador called the last 12 months a “dark year,” particularly at the economic, trade and investment levels.
“It was a very painful year for us and for our people. It was a summer cloud which had vanished and which had affected bilateral ties in a bad manner. During last year, which was a dark year, some have tried to isolate Egypt from the Arab nation and its surroundings and to uproot it from its cultural belongings and from its regional and international interests. Things will be back to normal as they are founded on strong foundations,” remarked the ambassador.
The ambassador voiced his appreciation for the UAE government for their aid package to his country which included a $1 billion grant and a $2 billion interest-free deposit with the Egyptian central bank.
“This has not been strange. We have got used to this kind of assistance from our brethren in the UAE since the days of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who considered Egypt as the pulse for the Arabs,” said Mansour.
Shaikh Khalifa had contacted the new Egyptian leadership, voicing the UAE support to its government and for the legitimacy of the demands of the Egyptian people. The ambassador commended the UAE official visit to Egypt on July 9 led by Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the National Security Adviser, with a large delegation that grouped 40 officials representing banks, businesses and energy “as a sign of political, economic and moral support at these critical moments that our country is passing through.”