Egypt looks to the Gulf to fill budget gap

05 Jul 2011

(MENAFN) Egyptian Finance Minister Samir Radwan said Monday that Egypt is trying to raise USD3 billion from Gulf countries to help cover its USD22.5 billion, 8.6 percent Egypt’s GDP, budget deficit for 2011-2012, Gulf News reported.

Saudi Arabia plans to give USD500 million. Qatar was considering doing the same, the minister said.

Egypt’s approved budget would increase spending by 25 percent, partly to help the poor and fuel private-sector led economic growth, the IMF said in a statement. The popular revolt that toppled ex-president Mubarak hit the tourism industry and foreign investment hard, decreasing this year’s projected growth from 5 percent to 2 percent.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf visited the UAE yesterday to try to increase investment in Egypt, remove barriers to investment for Emiratis in Egypt, and seek funding to cover the country’s budget deficit.

At the meeting, Sharaf promised to help facilitate UAE private and public sector investment in Egypt after urging by the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Mohammad Gargash.

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