UAE, Egypt launch $20 billion joint investment program


ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates and Egypt launched a $20 billion joint investment program on Thursday to develop "economic and social projects".

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan made the announcement during a visit to the Emirati capital by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

"We launched a joint strategic investment platform between the UAE and Egypt worth $20 billion to implement vital economic and social projects for our brotherly countries," Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed said in a tweet.

He added that he discussed with El-Sisi ways to strengthen relations and enhance coordination.

Cairo has been seeking investment to boost its sagging economy and create jobs.

Poor and middle-class Egyptians have been bearing the brunt of harsh austerity measures since 2016 when the government secured a $12-billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund in exchange for tough economic reforms.

Nearly one in three Egyptians live below the poverty line, according to official figures released in July.

Egypt's economy took a battering in the immediate aftermath of the revolution that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Direct foreign investment has grown to record levels in recent years, but the national debt has ballooned since the pound was floated in November 2016, leading to a sharp depreciation. — AFP