A man stands outside a footwear shop in Cairo October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
CAIRO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Foreign investment in Egypt was almost non-existent in the six months to the end of December, Planning Minister Ashraf al-Araby said on Thursday, illustrating the depth of the economic crisis facing the Arab world's most populous nation.
He added that the country needed strong investment to reach the 7 percent annual economic growth rate commonly cited by economists as the level needed to lower unemployment and soak up new entrants to the labour market.
Growth was only 2.2 percent year-on-year in the three months to the end of December, he told a news conference.
(Writing by Tom Perry; editing by David Stamp)