Investment in the oil and gas sector in Egypt declined by 26% in the financial year 2020-21, according to Tarek el-Molla, the country’s Petroleum & Mineral Resources Minister.

El-Molla said that foreign investments in the sector were $5.4bn in the 2020-21 financial year, down from $7.3bn in the 2019-20 financial year.

In a speech to the Egyptian Petroleum Association, he said: “The coronavirus crisis led to a slowdown in investments from international oil companies worldwide.”

While there was a decline in investment in Egypt’s oil and gas sector during the 2020-21 financial year, it has navigated the Covid-19 pandemic far better than some other nations in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Over the course of 2020, Egypt emerged as the Middle East’s most resilient economy. It resisted any contraction in its real GDP at a market-wide level and its government eschewed many of the harsher restrictions imposed in surrounding countries to inhibit the spread of Covid-19.

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As a result, Egypt headed into 2021 in a position of relative economic strength after seeing 3.6% real GDP growth in 2020 in spite of the global privations of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was in stark contrast to the severe real GDP declines witnessed elsewhere in the region and particularly among oil exporters.

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This article is published by MEED, the world’s leading source of business intelligence about the Middle East. MEED provides exclusive news, data and analysis on the Middle East every day. For access to MEED’s Middle East business intelligence, subscribe here.