Madbouly reassures Qatari investors on economy in bid to draw investment
Egyptian officials yesterday sought to reassure Qatari business leaders on the state of the Egyptian economy in a bid to unlock fresh Qatari investment. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said during talks in Doha that Egypt is on its way out of its economic crisis and that the currency of the past year is almost at an end, Egyptian cabinet and the Qatar News Agency said.
Reassurance for all investors: The prime minister also said that Qatari investors will be allowed to repatriate profits and pledged not to introduce capital controls on FDI.
ICYMI- Madbouly led a delegation of cabinet ministers and and other officials on a two-day visit to Qatar this week to discuss the country’s plans to invest in Egypt. Doha last year pledged to invest USD 5 bn to help Egypt shore up its external position following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but is yet to pull the trigger on any major investments. Talks with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to sell a stake in Vodafone Egypt and two container terminal operators have stalled in recent weeks, reportedly on the sizes of the stakes on offer.
No news of a breakthrough with QIA — but a joint investment fund is in the works: Work is underway to establish a joint Egyptian-Qatari investment fund “with large paid-in capital,” Planning Minister Hala El Said said during the talks yesterday, cabinet said in a statement. Neither side provided any further information on the size of the fund, what it could invest in, or when it could be established.
Qatari businesses could have appetite: The heads of the Qatar Businessmen’s Association (QBA) and the Qatar Chamber of Commerce reiterated Qatari businesses’ willingness to deepen their involvement in the Egyptian economy, and pledged to continue studying potential investment opportunities.
Health is one sector the Qataris are interested in: The Health Ministry signed three MoUs with three Qatari conglomerates — Investment Holding Group, Al Qamra Holding Group, and Aamal Company — that could eventually see them invest in our healthcare sector, according to a cabinet statement. Under the agreements, the three companies will explore opportunities to operate or develop healthcare facilities here, the statement said.
Food, hospitality and tech are also on the menu, according to the statements. One unnamed business owner mentioned plans to launch a group of hotels as soon as possible, according to the Egyptian cabinet statement. Watch this space? Qatar’s Al Kuwari Group submitted in January an offer to acquire the Ramses Hilton hotel for USD 320 mn.
A customs agreement could also be coming: Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said that he is in negotiations with Qatar to sign a customs agreement.
Qatari investors gave a thumbs up to the dual taxation agreement signed by Finance Minister Maait and his Qatari counterpart, Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, in Doha on Monday. The treaty will scrap double taxation and crack down on tax evasion, covering capital gains, income, corporate profits, interest and dividends. QBA members said the treaty will help boost and encourage Qatari investments in Egypt.