Trade Mission

Egypt cosies up to European investors amid economic revival

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi hosts a business summit in Cairo this weekend catering to European leaders and investors

European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen and Egypt president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pictured during a diplomatic meeting in Cairo in March. (Photo: Getty Images)

Buttressed by more than $42 billion in property deals and loans since February, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will be pulling out all the stops this weekend when he hosts a business summit catering to European leaders and investors.

At the peak of Egypt’s two-year financial crisis, trade with member-states of the European Union in 2023 slid 19% from the previous year – a benchmark El-Sisi will seek to reverse during the two-day Egypt-EU Investment Conference that starts on Saturday. As exports to Europe plunged almost 32% last year, Italy, Spain and Greece were the top European importers of Egyptian goods.

Joining the Egyptian President, cabinet members and Cairo business leaders at the Al Manara International Conference Centre will be European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, along with government officials and investors from across the continent.

Egypt, coaxed by the International Monetary Fund, has embarked on a path of economic reform that includes divestment of billions in government assets and devaluation of the pound while implementing a fixed exchange rate. In turn the IMF and World Bank are arranging $8.7 billion in loans to help put the economy on course.

A breakthrough $35 billion property deal captured the attention of world investors in February as Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ led a group that bought development rights to Egypt’s Mediterranean coastal headland of Ras El-Hekma – soon to be dotted with luxury beach resorts.