|PRESIDENT EL SISI MEETS SECRETARY OF STATE REX TILLERSON IN CAIRO
On Monday, 12 February, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on his first official visit to Cairo. According to a statement released by the Office of the Presidency, President El Sisi “underscored the robust strategic relations between Egypt and the U.S. and confirmed the need to continue to work on promoting them,” and “reviewed Egypt’s current efforts to combat terrorism in a comprehensive manner to eradicate it, in parallel with its efforts to achieve economic and social development.” President El Sisi further noted “that Egypt looks forward to forging closer economic cooperation with the U.S. and to increasing American investments in Egypt.”
EGYPTIAN ARMY KILLS 15 TERRORISTS IN OPERATION SINAI 2018
Reuters reported that the Egyptian Army has killed 53 extremists in the counter-terrorism campaign ‘Operation Sinai 2018,’ which is now entering its second week. In the seventh official statement since the counter-terrorism campaign began last Friday, Egypt’s Armed Forces said its air units destroyed 11 targets after receiving vetted intelligence that the locations were used to accommodate ‘takfiri’ elements. Protecting the residents of the Sinai Peninsula and their property is an important priority of Operation Sinai 2018. Simultaneous with military operations, Egypt’s Armed Forces have distributed large quantities of goods and supplies to citizens in North and Central Sinai to ensure that they are not affected by the government’s efforts to eliminate terrorism.
PRESIDENT EL SISI MEETS WITH U.S. CENTCOM COMMANDER GEN. VOTEL
On Thursday, 9 February, President El Sisi met with the head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. Joseph Votel, to discuss Egypt’s ongoing efforts to combat terrorism and the country’s role in maintaining regional stability. During the meeting, President El Sisi “stressed the importance of the decades-long strategic relations between Egypt and the United States, especially in military cooperation, in light of the current circumstances in the region, which require concerted efforts to confront,” according to the Office of the Presidency. Gen. Votel stressed the United States’ “keenness to develop military partnership with Egypt to confront terrorism as a common challenge facing both countries, praising Egypt’s efforts” to combat terrorism.
IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR LAGARDE: STABILIZATION IN EGYPT WILL BENEFIT EGYPT’S PEOPLE
Speaking to CNBC at the World Government Summit in Dubai, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that “big stabilization in Egypt is going to give rise to benefits for people,” while commenting on Egypt’s economic recovery. Lagarde further commented that “If we look at Egypt, which has gone through a really tough time, and where the Egyptian people have shown courage, and the Egyptian leader, courage — we have seen growth up more than 5 percent.” When asked if the reforms were helping the population quickly enough, Lagarde said “when you see inflation going down, when you see money coming back into the country, investors looking at Egypt as a good risk in which to set up new companies and create jobs, that’s the response.”
INVESTMENT IN EGYPT INCREASES BY 20.8%
Al Mal reported this week that the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation stated that new investments in Egypt increased by 20.8% to EGP 5.2 billion. Additionally, the total number of companies increased by 9.3% in January 2018 compared to January 2017. The Ministry said that the volume of private investments rose by 15.2% to EGP 78.1 billion during the first quarter of FY 2017/18, compared to the first quarter of the last fiscal year. Finally, the total implemented investments rose by 53.1% to EGP 150 billion, compared to EGP 98 billion during the first quarter of last year. These statistics continue to show that Egypt’s far-reaching investment law, passed in 2017, is already drawing new and dynamic investment to help grow Egypt’s economy.
EGYPT SUCCESSFULLY RAISES $4 BILLION IN EUROBOND ISSUANCE
Al Ahram reported that Egypt’s Ministry of Finance successfully issued and priced a three-tranche USD $4 billion Eurobond, which completely sold out only a few hours into its launch. Despite recent turbulence in global markets over the past two weeks, Egypt’s bond sale was oversubscribed three times, opening with a total order book worth of USD $12 billion from more than 550 investors. According to a statement, Minister of Finance Amr El Garhy said “the oversubscription of the bonds following their launch in a few hours reflected the confidence of the international community in Egypt’s economic reform policies.”
BP TO INVEST $1 BILLION IN EGYPT IN 2018
BP CEO Bob Dudley announced this week that BP intends to invest $1 billion dollars in Egypt this year,according to Reuters. He further noted that BP is not owned any arrears by the Egyptian government, which in line with Egypt’s pledge to eliminate arrears owed to international oil companies by the end of June 2019.
CAPMAS: TOURISM UP 43.9% IN DECEMBER 2017
Al Mal reported this week that CAPMAS (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics), Egypt’s official government statistics agency, issued new tourism statistics showing that the number of tourists who visited Egypt in December 2017 was up almost 44% on a year-on-year basis. CAPMAS also noted that the total number of international visitors reached 793,500 tourists during the month of December 2017, compared to 778,800 during November 2017.