Are the investments of the United Arab Emirates threatening Egypt's capabilities?


Ahmed Hassan-Cairo

The regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was installed after the coup of July 3, 2013, with the support of some Gulf states. In the months following the coup, support was gradually reduced as the United Arab Emirates received most of the Egyptian investment after Sisi opened the door and penetrated the economy.

According to a statement issued by the Central Bank of Egypt in June, the United Arab Emirates ranks first in terms of major trading partners with Egypt in trade value in the first half of the current fiscal year about $ 3 billion, of which US $ 1.17 billion.

In July 2017, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Cairo Juma al-Junaibi revealed in a press release that his country's investment in the Egyptian market totaled more than $ 6.2 billion, managed by 877 joint ventures.

The eastern desert was
Mubadala Petroleum, a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, recently announced the purchase of a 20% stake in the Noor gas field in northern Sinai of the Italian company Eni, which owns 85% in partnership with the Egyptian Natural Gas Company, which holds 15% of the concession.

The agreement is the second of its kind by the United Arab Emirates in Egypt and in June it acquired 10% of the Shorouq naval concession, which includes the "Azhar" natural gas field, led by Eni.

Another company headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, through an agreement with the Egyptian government, has won a gold exploration concession in the two areas of Wadi Qareem and Wadi Karim in the Eastern Desert of Egypt for a five-year period ending in 2015.

The agreement stipulated the sharing of production between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates company, before being renewed again, according to Egyptian and Emirates reports.

According to a statement issued by Egypt's Investment Ministry in November 2017, the UAE company is currently involved in gold exploration in the Eastern Desert in coordination with Egypt's Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources.

Emarat Misr Petroleum Products (EAU) is the sole provider of catering services at 14 stations across the country, and is expected to increase to 16 this year, according to a press release from company president Mohamed Osman in April.

The UAE company also provides services for the supply of Egyptian aircraft at 12 regional airports under an agreement signed with Egypt, in addition to Cairo airport, according to press releases.

Investments of the United Arab Emirates in the gold exploration totaled ten million dollars (Reuters)

Strategic projects
As part of efforts to control global trade, DP World signed an agreement in February to implement the first stage of the development of an integrated industrial and residential area in the city of Ain Sukhna.

The agreement stipulates that the Suez Canal Economic Zone will contribute 51% and DP World 49%, while retaining the right to management.

The UAE also signed an agreement with Egypt in 2008, in which it acquired a 90% stake in the development of Sokhna port in a deal valued at $ 670 million, without a real boom in the port, according to local reports.

In 2011, Ain Sokhna Port project consultant Mamdouh Hamza announced at a press conference the opening of a campaign to reclaim the port of the Dubai Ports Company, calling for a legal prosecution for the losses it inflicted on Egypt.

In a brief statement to the Al-Jazeera network, Hamza said he did not say whether his campaign continues until now.

In recent years, multinational Abraaj Capital of Dubai has acquired major Egyptian health facilities, which the Egyptian Medical Union, at a press conference in 2015, identified as a threat to the country's national security.

In September 2016, Al-Masry Al-Youm issued a "confidential" report from the Administrative Control Authority in Egypt, warning that the acquisition of health facilities by the UAE company was a "threat to Egyptian national security."

Since February, Arab and Western newspapers have reported the liquidation of Abraaj Capital in more than one country around the world due to allegations of mismanagement of their investment funds.

Transport Egypt, which owns 70% of Emirates NBD, has revealed that it is investing about $ 60 million in a smart collective transportation project within the Greater Cairo provinces.

In July, the company said in a statement that it had started the first phase of its project in Egypt through 180 buses, citing a tender for the supply of 236 mass transit vehicles.

The company intends to serve eight million passengers in two and a half years, in addition to expanding the private transportation sector through smart applications, represented by the company "Karim" (UAE), whose investment volume in Egypt revolves around half a billion dollars, according to company estimates.

Port of Al-Hamah in Egypt (Reuters)

Displacement of Egyptians
Most recently, strategic areas witnessed the relocation and removal of real estate, including the "Maspero Triangle" overlooking the Nile in the heart of Cairo, under the pretext of development by the company "Emaar" UAE.

The Egyptian government recently approved a Republican decision to move dependence from Al-Warraq Island to the new Urban Communities Authority in preparation for the launch of a development plan through the Armed Forces Engineering Corps and the Ministry of Housing .

According to the press, the Engineering Property Office of the UAE's RSP is the investment plan for the project, which aims to turn the island into a financial services area.

"The presence of the UAE in Egypt is not limited to the economic aspect, but is the result of the control of political and security aspects," said senior politician Tharwat Nafie, former deputy of the National Security Committee of the Shura Council.

He explained to the island's network that "control of the United Arab Emirates even dismissed the heads of Egyptian security services," describing it as "the unfortunate reality and its connection to the country."

He attributed the objective to constant pressure on policy makers on Gulf fears of the return of the specter of the Arab Spring revolutions, demanding freedom and dignity and equitable distribution of wealth.

Nafie pointed out that the Shura Council's National Security Committee had received reliable information on UAE direct funds for some agencies in Egypt, noting that it warned about it, but officials did not realize the magnitude of the disaster.

Ambassador Ibrahim Yusri, a former Egyptian diplomat and international law expert, agreed with the earlier proposal on the threat of Egyptian capabilities.

He told Al-Jazeera Net that he does not support any presence of UAE investment in Egypt because it poses a threat to the interests and capabilities of the country.

"I do not trust the Emirate for reasons related to the conspiracy against several countries," he said, accusing companies in the United Arab Emirates that operate on the Suez Canal to steal their economic advantages.


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