Saudi Arabia has pledged $8bn worth of investments and aid to Egypt over a period of five years, according to a statement from King Salman Abdulaziz al-Saud.

In a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Salman has “ordered Saudi investments in Egypt to exceed SR30bn”, with the kingdom committed to assist “Egypt with its need for petrol.

Saudi Arabia also announced that ships from the kingdom would continue to “support” traffic through the Suez Canal, according to a statement from Saudi Arabia’s defence minister Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia has been a strong supporter of Egypt’s current government, and in March the kingdom made significant deposits to help boost the Egyptian economy.

In early 2015, $6bn in long-term deposits from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait boosted Egypt’s net international reserves.

The three GCC countries pledged a further $6.5bn in aid to Egypt, and there are reports that they have transferred higher levels without fanfare.

Saudi Arabia’s commitment to help support the Egyptian economy comes amid falling oil prices, with the kingdom expected to rationalise expenses in 2016 to alleviate the impact of declining hydrocarbon revenues. 

On 14 December, MEED reported that Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail is due to meet investors in December to encourage further investment as the government looks to boost the economy.