Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi appealed for international investment in Egypt on Friday during his address to an international conference being held in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Sisi said Egypt was targeting economic growth of six percent over the next five years, and a decrease in the unemployment rate to 10 percent over the same period. Unemployment is currently around 13 percent.
GDP is expected to grow by four percent in the fiscal year ending June, up from 2.2 percent last year, officials say.
“The march of Egypt to the future will continue... Egypt is open to the whole world,” he said.
“We are committed to moving forward with the development and modernization of the Egyptian economy,” he told the investment conference.
“There are 30 million people at the age of employment - Egypt is a youthful country,” he added.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates pledged a combined $12 billion in aid and investment to help the country's struggling economy.
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Saudi Crown Prince Moqren and Emirati Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum each pledged $4 billion in speeches at the investment conference in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was at the conference, also pledged America’s support for Egypt’s reform agenda.
“We will work with you to absolutely secure the ambitious and important goals that you have laid out here today. There is absolutely no question that the emergence of a strong, prosperous and democratic Egypt is critical for the development of a strong, prosperous region,” Kerry said.
During his address Sisi said: “We are confident that “Egypt The Future” will not be achieved without social justice,” adding that Egypt was building a sustainable development for the long term.
“We are implementing projects in the electricity field to meet ever increasing demand.”
The president noted the importance democracy in attracting foreign investment and said “the stability of Egypt is a main pillar for the stability of the region.”
“The country is building a modern, democratic society,” Sisi told the world leaders in Sharm al-Sheikh.
He said the country was a model for both religious tolerance and the fight against extremism and terrorism.
Since coming to office after overthrowing Islamist President Mohammad Mursi in 2013, Sisi has been battling Islamist militancy in northern Sinai and other parts of the country.
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