UWI in talks to develop economic hub in Egypt – report

Proposed project would be built on the outskirts of Cairo, at a cost of more than $500m

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United World Infrastructure (UWI), a Dubai and Washington DC based infrastructure investment and development firm, has said that it is in talks to develop a new economic cluster in Egypt, with an approximate total investment of more than $500 million.

In an interview with Thomson Reuters Projects, Aaditya Sarna, managing director of UWI, said that the company was in the process of negotiating to work on projects in Egypt. He explained that the ‘economic cluster’ would include urban renewal, a new township and building an annexure to Cairo, which would extend the city.

“We are in discussions with being part of the new economic initiatives around Cairo,” he said in a recent interview. “We are in discussion stage with the size of the land,” he said. “Our minimum size would be 2,000 acres. The size of the investment would be definitely in excess of $500 million.”

Once the deal was signed, UWI would begin designing the cluster’s masterplan, he added.

“At the onset of a project, we (typically) invest our own capital in projects through public-private partnerships with governments worldwide,” he explained.

“Our technical and financial teams work together to develop a yield-driven master plan that maximises the benefit to the public and optimises returns to investors.”

Egypt has been looking to attract investment to boost its struggling economy, which has suffered from years of turmoil and political instability. Last year, the Arab state floated its currency to qualify for a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to attract investors, despite the move halving the value of the Egyptian pound overnight.

The government is now looking to private firms like UWI to help bridge the funding gaps and work in partnership with it to acquire, invest, design, build and operate new clusters and other real estate and infrastructure projects.

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