Minister: Egypt needs direct investments not grants

Egypt does not need foreign aid or grants but direct investments to overcome the current economic conditions, said Finance Minister Samir Radwan.

In a statement made two days ago after his return from Syria, where he attended meetings of the Arab Monetary Fund, Radwan said he expressed his views on the position of the Egyptian, Arab and international economies.

The minister added that his vision is that those Arab and foreign leaders who have expressed readiness to assist Egypt after the 25 January revolution translate their positive feelings into action.

Radwan said that Egypt's production should fully resume, and that it should work on encouraging tourists to return, since the tourism sector generated around US$1 billion in monthly income for Egypt.

Samir Mostafa, an advisor at the Institute of National Planning, stressed the importance of attracting foreign investments, but added that this will only be possible in the long term as the situation inside Egypt stabilizes.

Mostafa said that several investors are waiting for stability and democracy in order to invest in Egypt. He also said that in the meantime grants will bolster the economy, adding that US foreign aid allows countries to import wheat and pay in installments over long periods. But the amount of the assistance may change depending on how strong the relations between the two countries are.

Mostafa added that he expects foreign assistance to Egypt to drop, especially assistance from Japan due to the nuclear crisis there. But he expects grants from the European Union to remain stable, though, since European countries still see aid as a means to curb irregular immigrants.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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