Some Egyptian and Arab economic experts and senior officials have highly appreciated the Gulf investments in general and the Qatari ones in consolidating and enhancing up the Arab economies with a special emphasis on the Egyptian economy in the coming stage and highly evaluated the role Qatar plays for supporting and shoring up the Egyptian economy and pushing it forward.
They also highlighted in their respective interviews with Qatar News Agency (QNA) Saturday, the key and significant step taken by Qatar when it provides Egypt with a us dollars two billion loan in the form of treasury bonds deposited in the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to support the economy, which suffers much of late.
The aforesaid experts and economists demanded the Gulf states to play their expected role to help countries which economies are experiencing of major crises having seen a change in their political regimes as a result of the of the “Arab Spring” revolutions .
These experts and senior officials have called upon the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) member states to support the Arab economy and work to enhance inter-Arab trade in the hope of establishing a common Arab market, stressing meantime that the Gulf states could be the locomotive that pay the Arab economy forward to achieve real development through pumping new investments but under legislations that could create an appropriate and new atmosphere attractive to investment.
For his part, Dr. Mohammad Al-Rabeia, the Secretary General of the Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU) has highly appreciated the qatari pioneering position when HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, has pledged support for the Egyptian economy, represented in the deposit Qatar has initiated by a $ 500 million as a down payment to fulfill the promise, and expressed confidence that Qatar will continue to provide such a financial support because this is a policy approach of Qatar.
Dr. Mohammad Al-Rabeia said in an exclusive interview with QNA that HH the Emir is one of the great Arab leaders who are always seeking to achieve communication and contact with all Arab countries, and to make a direct contribution to solving the problems of most Arab countries, whether economic or political.
The CAEU Secretary General referred to the Doha Forum, held at the end of last May and which HH the Emir addressed and talked about a number of challenges facing the Arab world. Dr. Mohammad Al-Rabeia noted that the speech of HH the Emir was successful, and came in line with the difficult economic conditions that have occurred in the Arab countries, especially after the outbreak of the “Arab Spring ” revolutions.
He highly praised the due keenness of Qatar for achieving economic integration between Doha and the Arab countries, the matter which much contributes to the support of the entire Arab economy and however called upon the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) to push forward the Arab locomotive of the economy more in the coming period.
Meanwhile Egypt’s Ambassador accredited to Qatar HE Mohamed Morsi Awad (pictured) in a similar statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) , has voiced ample appreciation and evaluation to the attitude of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani supporting Egypt and its revolution which broke out in 25th of Jan., asserting that such a step reflected and interpreted the interrelation and in-depth of relations between the two countries.
”Relations between Doha and Cairo would witness further growth in the coming period to serve interests of the peoples of the two countries, HE Morsi Awad told QNA.
For his part, economist and financil expert Rizq Ahmed Rizq, who is the adviser at the finance and taxes society in Egypt said in similar statements to QNA the the deposit Qatar has lodged in the CBE has recaptured confidence in the Egyptian economy and supported egypt’s monetary reserves following the acute decrease such a reserve suffered over the past one and a half year ago and hoped meantime that such a Qatari deposit is expected to contribute much to attract the gulf and arab investments into Egypt during the coming period.
Asked about the timing of the Qatari deposit, Rizq said the deposit came surly in time since Egypt has passed through a very critical stage in view of the state of destability and lack of security, the deep decline in monetary reserve and the departure of the arab and foreign investments owing to fear and fright the investors feel towards their future activities in Egypt in particular and the investment in the Egyptian Market in general.
The fruits of Qatar’s deposit was also the state of optimism sent by the credit rating agency “Standard & Poor’s,” which issued a report recently referring to the raising of the long term sovereign credit rating for Egypt to put “under review” and to maintain the classification degree to (B), Ahmed Rizq told QNA.
The Egyptian financial and economic expert, while highly praising the diversification of the Qatari investments in Egypt, especially in the fields of agriculture, real estate and tourism, said: “We aspire such Qatari investments would mainly focus on infrastructure projects, and we are aware of long-term returns of such projects.
Elaborating Ahmed Rizq said, ”We know well how much Qatar is duly keen to support Egypt and its infrastructure projects, especially in the current phase, the Egyptian economy is now going through.”
He called the Qatari investments to focus as well on fields of agriculture and processing and food industries, and attributed this to the great census of Egypt, which exceeds 85 million, is able to absorb any production, and thus be payoff of these investments, on the Qatari and gulf investor in view of the high and larege purchasing power in the market.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Association for Economy and Legislation board member Hamdy Abdel Azim, who is also vice president of Egypt’s Al-Nahda (Renaissance) University told QNA that investment in Egypt hit a low after the uprising, but, after 18 months, it has shown signs of revival recently as a new president was freely and democratically elected and the settlement of legislative and economic issues.
Abdel Azim pointed to Arab countries as the closest to Egypt, highlighting the Qatari deposit in the Central Bank of Egypt that started with $500 million, which, he said, will help install the Egyptian pound against foreign currencies, and have a positive impact on the Egyptian Stock Exchange.
The Egyptian Association for Economy and Legislation board member further said that what distinguishes the Qatar deposit is that it is a soft one, has a grace period, and the interest is after three years according to world prices, which supports the cash reserve that rose at some point to more than $15 billion during the time of Kamal el-Ganzouri‘s government, but saw a decline to less than $14 billion after that.
The Qatari deposit, the ‘yellow remittances’ from Iraq, and the flow of remittances from Egyptian expats, have all helped reserves rise up to $14.5 billion, Abdel Azim said, adding that he expects reserves to see another rise over the coming period.
The economic expert added that the deposit would better be invested in the areas of electricity, energy and small and medium-sized enterprises because of their vital role in decreasing unemployment.
He also advised Qatari investors to invest in the industries of cement, steel, fertilizers, aluminum, mining, food products, information technology and chips, petrochemicals, and ceramics because, he explained, the large population of Egypt would then be able to create a purchasing power capable of absorbing these products and exporting abroad, yielding profit in short time.
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