CAIRO - Egypt will hold a conference in February to attract investment in an economy battered by years of political turmoil, the minister of planning said on Monday.
The Egyptian Economic Summit, to take place in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, hopes to attract foreign companies, donors and international organizations, Ashraf al-Arabi said.
In June, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah asked countries to attend a donor conference for Egypt, his country's most populous Arab ally, following its election of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have provided more than $12 billion in cash and petroleum products to prop up Egypt's economy since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last July. They see Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood as an existential threat and are keen to see Sisi succeed since he toppled Morsi.
Egypt wants long-term investments to improve the country's economy, which has been suffering ever since an uprising toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The unemployment rate is 13.4 percent, up from 9 percent in 2010, and 60 percent of youth are unemployed, said Arabi, a US-educated economist.
Officials forecast economic growth at just 3.2 percent in the fiscal year that began July 1, well below levels needed to create enough jobs for a rapidly growing population and ease widespread poverty.