Report: Egypt, Saudi Arabia agree to keep kingdom’s investments intact

The People’s Assembly Economic Affairs Committee has agreed to uphold all existing contracts governing Saudi Arabia’s US$27 billion in Egyptian investments, said the chairman of a joint Egyptian-Saudi business organization on Thursday.

London-based Saudi paper Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday said a meeting between Saudi businessmen and officials from the Egyptian government and Parliament had discussed obstacles hampering Saudi investments in Egypt, including recurrent labor strikes.

“There is a strike every week, which has paralyzed factories,” said Abdallah Dahlan, the chairman of the Egyptian-Saudi Business Council. “This has been reflected in the annual revenues of the projects. Workers are calling for better pay and living conditions.”

Dahlan added that in previous meetings, the Saudi delegation had called for establishing a mechanism to address problems facing projects owned by Saudis, who have investments in diverse fields.

Previous meetings also led to the establishment of a committee to solve problems facing Saudi investors.

Dahlan added that Egyptian officials told him that foreign investment is a priority for them, particularly Saudi investments. Egypt is keen on attracting additional investments by offering incentives to investors, he said.

The committee will work to resolve every problem facing Saudi investors individually. There are certain problems that will be handled urgently, including the issues surrounding the Omar Effendi department store and some factories that make linen, Dahlan added.

In September, an Egyptian court ordered that the Tanta Flax and Oils Company be returned to state control after it was proven that it had been sold to a Saudi investor at a below-market price. In May, a court returned Omar Effendi, also purchased by a Saudi investor, to the state for the same reason.

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