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Egypt is seeking to raise US$3 billion to finance its budget deficit for the 2011-12 financial year, its Finance Minister Samir Radwan said in Dubai.

"We have a budget deficit amounting to 8.6 per cent of the gross domestic product or 134 billion Egyptian pounds. Some 120 billion pounds will be financed from the local market, while the remaining 14 billion pounds or roughly US$3 billion will be funded with the help of Arab Gulf countries," Radwan told reporters ahead of a meeting with Emirati businessmen.

He added that Saudi Arabia has offered US$500mn, while Qatar was considering offering a similar amount.

Radwan said Prime Minister Essam Sharaf's visit to the UAE was meant to resolve problems faced by Emirati businessmen in Egypt, seek the UAE's help in removing economic bottlenecks and invite more investment in Egypt.

Speaking at the meeting, Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, urged Egypt to remove all obstacles faced by Emirati businessmen in Egypt.

He informed the meeting that UAE-Egypt trade grew to US$1.17 billion last year and that Emirati investments were US$4.5 billion. Sharaf vowed that every effort will be made to remove all such obstacles.


"Contracts signed by Emirati businessmen in Egypt might have flaws, but businessmen have nothing to do with these flaws," Sharaf said. Analysts said the UAE and other Gulf countries should take the initiative to help Egypt's economy recover.