European companies signing over $42 bln worth deals in Egypt, von der Leyen says

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EU companies are signing investment deals potentially worth more than 40 billion euros ($42.85 billion) with Egypt, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told an investment conference that opened on Saturday.

The announcement of more than 20 new deals or MOUs with Egypt follows a 7.4 billion euro EU funding package and an upgraded relationship with the country that was agreed in March, amid a push to stabilize its economy and stem migrant flows to Europe.

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European officials say they want to help Egypt, which has suffered repeated shocks including fallout from the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, become more resilient by boosting investment and the private sector.

“Your stability and your prosperity are essential for an entire region,” von der Leyen said in a speech at the start of the two-day Egypt-EU investment conference in Cairo.

Companies looking to invest are in sectors including hydrogen, water management construction, chemicals, shipping and aviation, von der Leyen said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that the partnership between Egypt and the EU were in various fields including trade, energy and infrastructure.

“The conference will allow countries and European economic entities to check investment opportunities available in Egypt,” Sisi added.

Egypt has received a windfall of foreign financing and pledges this year from the United Arab Emirates, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as well as the EU.

These have eased a long-running foreign currency crisis at a time when Egypt was trying to manage the impact of war in the neighboring Gaza Strip, and in Sudan, on its southern border.

Sisi said the conference came at “critical time” in light of successive international and regional crises that he said required coordination between Europe and Egypt.

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