News reports revealed that the UAE responded in a practical way to the reports and rumors that spread in the last period, about a decline in the political relations between it and Egypt and the cooling of the relationship between the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, and the President of the Egyptian regime Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
This practical response is represented in the UAE continuing its investments in Egypt during the coming period.
It was noticeable during the past period that the clear contrast in the positions of the two countries towards many files in the region, until the matter came to direct Egyptian accusations to the UAE of supporting Ethiopia in the crisis of the Renaissance Dam, which threatens the lifeline in Egypt.
Has the friendship declined between Sisi and Mohamed bin Zayed?
During the growing rumors of a decline in the friendship between Sisi and Mohammed bin Zayed in the recent period, the Egyptian Ministers of International Cooperation in the two countries, Rania Al-Mashat and the Emirati Reem Al-Hashemi, held a meeting on the sidelines of the activities of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which concluded in Russia on the fifth of this June, To discuss ways to develop Emirati investments in Egypt in the coming period.
Despite the reservations of some economic experts about that meeting and what took place in it, claiming that the procedural form overshadowed its atmosphere, especially since neither of the two ministers touched on clear details or plans for the development of investment, the results of a study published by the Information and Decision Support Center of the Egyptian Cabinet in February of this year revealed the progress of the UAE to the first place among the Arab countries investing in Egypt, after it had been for many years in the second place behind Saudi Arabia.
The study, which was published in the form of an infographic, revealed that the UAE is the second country in the world and the first in the Arab world among the countries investing in Egypt in 2019/2020, with $1.6 billion, a significant difference from Britain, which came first with $4.8 billion.
Why have Emirati investments flowed into Egypt massively in recent years?!
According to a report by the “Araby Post” website, this question is asked by many in search of a real answer that lies between the lines of friendship that have enveloped the relations between the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, since the overthrow of the elected president, Dr. Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Arab Post asked an official at the Egyptian Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade, who said that the main reason for this unprecedented influx is the unprecedented facilities that Sisi granted to foreign countries in general, and the UAE in particular, in order to boost their investments in Egypt.
The investment law that was approved in 2017 allocated many advantages to foreign investors, whether they are legal persons (states and governments) or real, for example, protecting investment projects from nationalization and expropriation, and arbitrary decisions, such as canceling or suspending licenses, or withdrawing their real estate.
Expand projects without restrictions
As well as giving the investor the right to expand his project and finance it from abroad without restrictions, and he has the right to take profits and transfer and liquidate his project, and these are some of the advantages that did not exist in the ages preceding the emergence of this law.
He added: “The above simply means that any investor can work inside Egypt and benefit from all the advantages granted by the new law, including tax and customs exemptions, and treatment like the Egyptian investor.”
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He explained: “When he gets tired of working in Egypt or finds a better opportunity in another country, he can liquidate the project and get out with its money without problems, not to mention that the idea of financing projects from abroad as well as transferring profits abroad without restrictions opened the door wide for money laundering projects.”
UAE investments in Egypt
According to what was reported by observers of the Emirati investment file in Egypt, it is divided into 26 sectors, most notably the sectors of health, real estate, tourism, technology, energy, and precious metals, which are the sectors on which Emirati investments in Egypt focus during the next five years.
Emirati investments are spread in about 12 economic sectors, but there is a clear focus on the real estate, telecommunications, agriculture and logistics sectors, which have captured the largest share of investment flows in the last two years, besides the retail sector.
Emaar Properties topped the list of Emirati investors in Egypt with a value of $2.5 billion, followed by the Al-Futtaim Trading Group with new investments of $1 billion, and Al Nowais Clean Energy Company with $950 million.
There are other investments by Mubadala, DP World, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, Gulf Sugar, Lulu Group, Al Dahra, Janan Agricultural Company, Dragon Oil, UAE banks, Dana Gas and Rotana in Egypt.
In addition to 5 UAE banks that are also present in the Egyptian market, they are Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi, Mashreq, Abu Dhabi Islamic, and Union National.
According to Emirati economic reports, the volume of investments of Majid Al Futtaim, which has been present in Egypt for 21 years, amounted to $2.6 billion until the end of 2020, and contributed to creating 47,500 direct jobs, and 76.7 thousand indirect jobs concentrated in malls such as Mall of Egypt and City Center, as well as agencies of some international brands in cars, games and cinemas.
UAE investments do not add to the Egyptian economy
Commenting on the areas of Emirati investments in Egypt, M.H., an economic analyst for the financial markets, said that an in-depth look at the areas of Emirati investments in Egypt reveals that they do not differ much from the investments launched by the late President Anwar El-Sadat at the beginning of what is known as the era of economic openness in the mid-seventies. the last century.
These are the investments that transformed society into a consumer society, after reducing the values of work, production and fatigue upon which respectable societies are based.
He added, demonstrating his point of view, saying that the areas in which Emirati investments are concentrated are all consumer areas that achieve easy and guaranteed profits, without risking or providing a real addition to the wheel of production and manufacturing in the country, as evidenced by Emaar Properties that issues the list of Emirati investors, and then Al-Futtaim Company, which owns commercial centers and agencies. For cars, then Lulu Group that owns shopping centers.
As for if we move away from these and review the statements of the Emirati officials themselves, we will find that all attention is focused on sectors such as real estate and retail trade, as some economic experts in the Emirates expected that Emirati investments in Egypt will go to sectors that have attractive opportunities, such as the real estate and tourism sectors, as well as the real estate and tourism sectors. Precious metals, which was mentioned in more than one statement by Emirati officials in the recent period, amid expectations that the trade in precious metals will have a share of the Emirati investments directed to Egypt in the coming years.
In his statements to the Arab Post, the economic analyst said that what can be seen in the Emirati investments in Egypt is that they play on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s obsession with the Dubai show experience with “I do the preference.”
Like the tallest tower, the largest church, the widest mosque, and the tallest building…. And so on, but the problem is that it does not provide a real addition to the industrialization movement, for example, or even agriculture in Egypt, and therefore cannot be considered a real addition to the Egyptian economy, which is the nature of Emirati investments around the world, most of which are concentrated in securities, bonds, infrastructure, aluminum, and real estate. .
The economic analyst concluded his statement by saying that Emirati investments in Egypt do not create new entities, but rather resort to acquiring already existing investments, or in other words, they do not create investments but transfer ownership, which contradicts the goal of foreign investment in any country, which is the establishment of a productive projects company or technology transfer. or provide job opportunities.
Emirati investments are also qualitative, aiming to control certain sectors, which is what happened and is still happening in an attempt to control the medical sector in Egypt by purchasing the largest possible number of hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, laboratories and other components of this sector.
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