Nestle plans to invest $138 million in Egypt in next few years

Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:34pm EST
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By Michael Georgy

CAIRO (Reuters) - Swiss food giant Nestle plans to invest about 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($137.93 million) in Egypt in the next few years and believes economic reforms could deliver results, its regional CEO said on Monday.

Political and economic instability triggered by the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 have not discouraged Nestle from investing about the same amount in the years since then.

"Certainly the kind of investments we have made over the last three to four years are the kind of vision that we would have for this market also going forward," Suresh Narayanan, its North East Africa Region CEO, told Reuters in an interview.

Nestle aims to invest in manufacturing, new products and the nutrition and health industries, he said.

Food is seen as a fast-growing sector in Egypt, the most populous Arab nation with 90 million people.

A flurry of mergers have boosted activity on the Cairo bourse, suggesting growing international interest in the country as the economy starts to pick up again.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as army chief toppled Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 and then went on to become elected president, has taken bold steps, such as easing fuel subsidies, that have won praise from foreign investors.

While Narayanan said it was important for Egypt to gain greater stability, Nestle and other companies seem more focused on the government's promise to make life easier for investors.   Continued...

A bird flies past the logo at the headquarters of world food giant Nestle in Vevey October 16, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse