Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said on Monday that the state has built an advanced and sufficient infrastructure over the past years by providing the required investment funding estimated at trillions of dollars, to pave the way for a better economic future.
Al-Sisi made these remarks at the annual meetings of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which are held in Sharm El-Sheikh. He said that the multilateral financing institution may need to provide more low-cost financing to help countries with emerging and weak economies amid the difficult economic conditions the world is facing.
He also said that the AIIB’s investment portfolio in Egypt amounts to $1.3bn, and expressed his country’s aspiration for more cooperation.
Regarding the role of the private sector, the president said: “We had a huge gap in infrastructure in Egypt and we had two paths. The first was for the state to have ambitious and strong investment plans to finance infrastructure that could launch the Egyptian economy to better prospects, or to encourage the private sector to move with us in these projects.”
He added that the private sector was working with the state through its companies that carried out the work on these projects, and therefore a very large portion of the money spent was shared by private sector companies.
He stressed that the state is keen for the private sector to lead development in Egypt, and claimed that this was translated through measures such as the state ownership policy document, which aims to cancel all exceptions that were provided to the public sector from taxes and otherwise to provide justice and equal opportunities for all.
Al-Sisi stated that more than 22 decisions were issued to stimulate and encourage investment by the private sector, and nearly 150 projects were launched, with incentives amounting to a tax exemption of five to ten years being given to companies willing to work with the state in these projects.
Following his speech, Al-Sisi met with Jin Liqun, the Chairperson of the AIIB. The president affirmed Egypt’s appreciation for the distinguished relations with the bank as a partner in the development process, expressing his aspiration for more cooperation in the fields of transportation, and clean energy, and supporting the transition to a green economy.
For his part, the Chairperson of the AIIB expressed the bank’s keenness to continue strengthening the investment portfolio in Egypt, especially in financing infrastructure projects in various vital sectors.