SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Gulf Arab allies pledged a further $12 billion of investments and central bank deposits for Egypt at an international summit on Friday, a big boost to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he tries to reform the economy after years of political upheaval.

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates each offered $4bn to Egypt, which is grappling with militancy as it attempts to improve the investment climate four years after a popular uprising that touched off protracted turmoil.

The UAE said it would deposit $2bn of its pledge in the Egyptian central bank, while Saudi Arabia said $1bn of its pledge would go to the bank. Oman said it would give Egypt $500 million in grants and investment over the next five years.

Egypt hopes the conference will project an image of stability and improve investor confidence hit by the political upheaval touched off by the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Cairo wants to double foreign investment in this fiscal year to $8bn, despite an Islamist insurgency in northern Sinai and frequent militant attacks across the country.

“I’m expecting here to see $15-$20bn in agreements signed,” Investment Minister Ashraf Salman said earlier, adding that the deals would cover power plants, real estate and agricultural projects.

General Electric said it would invest $200m in a manufacturing and training facility which it sees as part of an economic hub being built near the Suez Canal.

It also said it had delivered 34 gas turbines to Egypt as part of a $1.9bn power project.

Egypt also expected to sign several memoranda of understanding at the conference, including one for the construction of a new administrative capital with a price-tag of about $40bn, Mr Salman said.