RIYADH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Thursday 25 April 2013
Last update 25 April 2013 6:02 am
Thirty Saudi-owned projects worth SR 5 billion are faltering in Egypt, said Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.
“While cases of 20 projects remain unresolved, six cases have been resolved by the Egyptian side and four are being resolved by the Saudi side,” Al-Rabiah said in a press statement after he opened the Saudi-Egyptian Joint Committee meeting in Riyadh yesterday.
The 14th session of the Joint Saudi-Egyptian Committee met under the co-chairmanship of Al-Rabiah and Egyptian Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Hatem Saleh. The session is focusing on how to remove obstacles to investments.
In his address, Al-Rabiah said the Kingdom and Egypt could benefit from increased mutual investments. “I am looking forward to working together to harness this potential for the development of trade between the two countries in terms of volume and quality, which is still below the level of our ambition as it has not crossed SR 20 billion,” the minister said.
He said he had discussions with President Muhammad Mursi during his last visit to Egypt on the issue of stalled projects and the president promised to look into the matter.
He stressed the need to establish more joint ventures with the private sector, benefiting from the incentives that are available.
Speaking on the occasion, Saleh said the Egyptian government has stepped up efforts to develop its economy and create a system to ensure a favorable climate for international trade and investment.
“We hope that these serious attempts will have positive and encouraging effects on Saudi companies to pump more investments into Egypt, to achieve more industrial and commercial cooperation and thus increase trade between the two countries,” Saleh added.
The Egyptian minister said trade rose to $ 4.54 billion last year, which involved $ 1.82 billion exports and $ 2.71 billion imports. However, trade has not yet met Egypt's expectations.
The two sides will discuss various issues including dual taxation, shipping, a common power grid, environment protection, marine resources and cultural, educational and health matters.