Egypt secures major investment at UK – Africa Investment summit

British Investment firm Actis pledged £3 billion ($3.93 billion) investment to a number of Egyptian projects
Wednesday 22/01/2020
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi delivers a speech during the Opening Plenary session of the UK Africa Investment Summit in London, Monday, January 20. (AP)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi delivers a speech during the Opening Plenary session of the UK Africa Investment Summit in London, Monday, January 20. (AP)

LONDON - Egypt secured a number of new investment deals with UK companies at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, according to a statement from the British Embassy in Cairo.

British Investment firm Actis pledged £3 billion ($3.93 billion) investment to a number of Egyptian projects after signing a memorandum of understanding with Egypt’s Sovereign Fund.

According to the memorandum of understanding, Actis will provide direct support for “the Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s objective to attract and steer private investment toward critical sectors for Egypt’s economy.”

“We consider Actis’s proposal to be a strong sign reflecting its underlying interest in expanding its investments in Egypt and we look forward to unlocking further appetite and value through such partnerships,” Egypt’s Sovereign Fund chief executive Ayman Soliman said.  

A number of lesser deals were also inked, including between the UK’s Development Finance Institution and Commercial International Bank Egypt (CIB). The Development Finance Institution announced it had agreed to provide $100 million Tire 2 capital to invest in Egyptian projects.

While British healthcare company GSK signed a deal to invest £5 million ($6.57 million) in Egypt to upgrade two major production lines, GSK-Salam and SmithKline Beecham-Giza.

UK retailer MATALAN also announced that it would be opening approximately 20 stores across Egypt over the next five years. MATALAN is a well-known British fashion and homeware retailer with over 230 stores in the UK, employing over 13,000 people.

The Egyptian delegation to the UK – Africa Investment summit was headed by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi as Britain seeks to bolster its trade prospects ahead of Brexit.

"Despite the enormity of challenges and their intertwined effects on the African continent, I can say that there are promising and diversified opportunities for the continent's partners, which makes Africa one of the most important destinations for international business institutions," Sisi said in a speech at the conference.

“We are delighted to witness all these new deals, which will drive jobs and growth in all parts of the UK and Africa,” said UK Trade Commissioner for Africa Emma Wade-Smith.

“All new investments reflect the prime minister’s commitment to build long-term, sustainable relationships in Africa,” she said.