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Fri 11 Dec 2015 03:23 AM

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Dubai's Al Habtoor urges more incentives for Egypt investments

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor tells Egyptian president Al-Sisi that more needs to be done to lure big investors

Dubai's Al Habtoor urges more incentives for Egypt investments
UAE-based businessman Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor.

Al Habtoor Group chairman Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor has said he is eager to invest in Egypt but has called on President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to bring in more investor-friendly incentives.

In one-on-one talks with Al-Sisi in Cairo, the UAE businessman commended the president for restoring order in Egypt and for encouraging investors back to the country.

They discussed the current political and social climate in Egypt, as well as the investment arena. Al Habtoor commended the President's "great efforts to invigorate the Egyptian economy" with mega projects, such as the expansion of the Suez Canal Area Development Project and development in the energy sector.

However, he said more confidence is needed to lure in big investors, and stressed the need for creating investor-friendly incentives to encourage more foreign direct investment to the country.

Al Habtoor said in a statement: "I commend President Al-Sisi on implementing procedures to issue trade licences for foreign investors in less than three days. That being said, as a potential investor myself, I would like to see additional investor-friendly initiatives like tax incentives and guaranteeing that repatriation of funds is given priority by the Central Bank of Egypt."

He added: "I would like to emphasize that individuals and businesses in the GCC are eager to invest in Egypt, including myself. There is huge untapped potential as well as access to a vast consumer market - as long as there is stability."

Al Habtoor said infrastructure investment is key to Egypt's success. "I would encourage investment in infrastructural projects. This would help bring the country's infrastructure up to date and create much-needed jobs. This is a key driver for economic growth. It will significantly increase productivity and lower production costs. It is a win-win situation."

In February, Al Habtoor announced that he wants to replicate his Al Habtoor City mega project - currently taking shape in Dubai - in Egypt.

Al Habtoor City is a multi-use development incorporating three five star hotels - St Regis, W hotel, Westin - three high-rise luxury residential towers complete with 11 ultra-luxury penthouse apartments, multiple restaurants, bars and shops, and a specially choreographed water-themed Franco Dragone Entertainment Group theatrical production.

Al Habtoor also said he is conducting feasibility studies in the automotive, real estate and hospitality sectors.

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