EU chief in Egypt for two-day joint investment conference

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen was in Cairo on Saturday to kick off a two-day investment conference, where deals potentially worth over €40 billion are expected to be signed.

"At this conference, European companies are signing over 20 new deals ... which are worth over 40 billion euros," von der Leyen said at the meeting in the Egyptian capital.

The conference comes after a 7.4 billion-euro ($7.9 billion) EU funding package was signed in March to support the indebted North African country.

The strategic partnership deal provides the financial support in exchange for boosting energy sales to Europe and stemming migration.

"Today, we sign the first one billion euros in macrofinancial assistance," the EU chief said, referring to the initial tranche of the funding package.

Macrofinancial aid, a series of medium and long term loans, "constitutes the large majority of the €7.4 billion in EU financial support under the partnership," von der Leyen said.

Clean energy ambitions

Another €1.8 billion in European investments are hoped for as part of the deal, she added.

Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation, is in dire need of financial help as it weathers a severe economic crisis marked by rapid inflation.

The event's agenda would focus on "employment, economic growth, green and renewable energies", he said.

Through March's aid deal, Egypt is betting on its natural gas reserves to gain access to foreign currency, while the EU has sought alternatives to Russian gas since the war in Ukraine.

Human rights reforms

(with AFP)

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