Egyptian conference says investors commit to $10.7B in deals

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Investors committed $10.7 billion to projects in Egypt on the second day of a summit meant to spur the ailing economy, organizers said Sunday.

The three-day gathering in the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh is meant to show the world Egypt is open for business again to draw investors after four years of instability and turmoil that followed the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The agreements include a $6.5 billion deal with Egypt's Orascom group and the Abu Dhabi-owned International Petroleum Investment Co. to build a coal-fired power plant over four years, they said in a statement. The deals were signed a day earlier.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has staked his legitimacy on fixing the economy and the conference is seeking a sign of confidence in the country's political stability, given a persistent Islamic militant insurgency and the government's fierce crackdown on Islamist opponents, which has killed hundreds, landed tens of thousands in prison and brought heavy criticism. He will address the conference Sunday afternoon.

Of Saturday's agreements, Cairo Financial Holding, formerly led by Investment Minister Ashraf Salman, had the second-largest investment — $1 billion into a tourism fund.

Preliminary engineering and finance agreements amounting to $5.8 billion were also signed, along with a further $5.4 billion in loans and grants from international partners and organizations.

The statement did not mention billions of dollars in agreements signed with Germany's Siemens AG or Italy's Eni SpA on Saturday.

Organizers say more agreements will be announced Sunday.