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Egypt, supported by Saudi Arabia and UAE, to host international economic conference in March

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CAIRO — Egypt's prime minister says his government will host a three-day international economic conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh starting March 13 to support the country's economy.

PHOTO: Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, second right, speaks during a press conference with Investment Minister Ashraf Soliman, right, Finance Minister Hani Qadri, second left, and Minister of International Cooperation Naglaa El-Ahwany in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Mahlab said his government will host a three-day international economic conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik starting March 13 to support the country's economy. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, second right, speaks during a press conference with Investment Minister Ashraf Soliman, right, Finance Minister Hani Qadri, second left, and Minister of International Cooperation Naglaa El-Ahwany in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Mahlab said his government will host a three-day international economic conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik starting March 13 to support the country's economy. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Ibrahim Mahlab said Saturday that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are partners in organizing the gathering. The two Gulf countries are strong backers of Egypt, doling out billions of dollars to support President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's government.

Mahlab said the conference aims to attract international institutions and countries to invest in a "new Egypt." He said his government aims to amend investment-related laws before the conference. He said the aim is to raise Egypt's annual economic growth to 3.8 percent. It has hovered around 2 percent since the country's 2011 revolt.

Mahlab's government already partially lifted state fuel subsidies.

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