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Saudi Arabia, Egypt sign $7.7 billion deals to strengthen economic ties

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Following Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, visit to Egypt over the weekend, the Kingdom and Egypt have announced deals worth $7.7 billion to strengthen economic ties.

Saudi Arabia is a close ally of Egypt, and has provided Cairo with extensive financial support since President Sisi came to power.

A statement from Egypt’s presidency said, prince and President Sisi discussed trade, investment and security, as well as a regional summit in Saudi Arabia next month that will be attended by U.S. President Joe Biden.

The statement further revealed that the countries agreed to 14 deals that ranged from renewable energy to petroleum, food and fintech. They included a $1.5 billion agreement between Saudi Arabia’s Acwapower and the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company to build a wind power plant.

Egypt’s Pharco Pharmaceuticals in Saudi Arabia’s chairman told Alsharq TV that the agreement included the development of the multi-purpose terminal at Egypt’s Damietta port, Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones said in a statement, and the establishment of a $150 million “pharmaceutical city”.

Saudi Arabia deposited $5 billion in Egypt’s central bank after portfolio investors pulled money from Egypt and the government faced rising commodity prices in knock-on effects at the start of the Ukraine war.

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COVID-19: Friendship renewed as Algeria opens land border with Tunisia

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Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune has announced that it will reopen the land border between the two countries in mid-July.

The border, which starts in the north at the Mediterranean coast, proceeding overland in a broadly southwards directions via a series of overland lines was closed in 2020 during the peak of Covid-19.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune made the announcement at Algiers airport alongside his Tunisian counterpart Kais Saied who was preparing to leave the country after attending the festivities marking the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence.

“We have taken a joint decision to reopen the land borders from July 15.”

Until the pandemic, more than three million Algerians travelled to Tunisia each year, according to local media.

Generally speaking, relations between Algeria and Tunisia have so far been homogenous. Although Algeria postponed the opening of it borders with Tunisia in May.

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The Gambia benefits from World Bank’s $68m grant to revive tourism industry

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The Gambia and the World Bank have sealed a $68m grant deal which will go to support the West African country’s tourism industry, hitherto the biggest contributor to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the global tourism sector, causing a near economic meltdown.

World Bank’s Managing Director of Operations, Axel Van Trotsenburg, who announced the signing of the deal at a ceremony in Gambia’s capital, Banjul, on Tuesday, said the grant is meant to support the diversification and climate resilience of the country’s tourism after the pandemic and economic crisis.

Trotsenburg added that promoting the diversification and climate resilience of tourism will help protect the Atlantic coastline of The Gambia from the effects of climate change.

About 20 per cent of The Gambian economy depends on earnings from its tourism as it is the largest foreign exchange earner for the government but the advent of the pandemic had caused the country’s economic growth to contract by 0.2 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank.

This was as a result of the global restrictions on travelling between 2020 and 2021, which prevented tourists and visitors going to the country, leading to the tourism industry taking a huge hit.

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