Sisi says Egypt needs up to $418 billion to develop

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Egypt needs US$200-US$300 billion (S$279-S$418 billion) to develop, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said at an international investment conference on Sunday, pressing his campaign to lift the Arab world's most populous country from years of economic turmoil.

Egypt, with a population of about 90 million, has been hit hard by economic and political upheaval since an uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak four years ago. Investment shrivelled, tourism dwindled as did foreign currency reserves.

With the high-profile, glitzy three-day Egypt Economic Development Conference in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt aimed to project an image of stability and attractiveness to investors whom it hopes to secure billions of dollars from.

The country announced deals worth several billions of dollars in energy and real estate projects at the summit, which brought together major regional and international companies.

The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have also pledged billions in investments and central bank deposits.

"Egypt needs at least US$200-$300 billion to (develop) .. I know Egypt and its problems ... Egypt needs at least US$200-$300 billion so that there is real hope for the 90 million," Sisi said in his closing remarks at the conference.

Cairo wants to double foreign investment in this fiscal year to US$8 billion, despite an Islamist insurgency in northern Sinai and frequent militant attacks across the country.