US mission representatives met today President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi for a two-hour interview, according to head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo (AmCham), Tarek Tawfik, who noted that Al-Sisi conveyed a positive message regarding the Egyptian government’s focus on investments in the coming period.
“ Egypt is committed to providing all the needs of international companies, to work and invest in the country,” Al-Sisi asserted. He added that the state supports US investments in every possible way, pointing out to the strategic partnership between the two countries.
The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Finance, Petroleum, Investment and International Cooperation, Health and Communications, in line with the field of operation of the companies with the US mission, which is concentrated in these areas.
President Al-Sisi called on US companies to visit the infrastructure projects carried out by the Egyptian government during the past period, the most important of which being the New Administrative Capital and the new Suez Canal. In this context, a delegation from the mission will visit these investment sites on Thursday Before their departure.
Tawfik said that they will organise another trip to the most important Egyptian projects to prompt US companies to inject more investments.
The mission included 44 US companies operating in the fields of energy, oil and information technology among others and included giants such as Pfizer, Google, Apache, Uber, and other US companies.
During an AmCham seminar today, the minster Ghada Waly called on US companies to inject more investments in the available opportunities, especially in the technology and pharmaceuticals sectors , adding that the companies can also play a vital role in the school feeding project.
Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly said that the ministry’s first project was to develop the database and focus on the poverty map in Egypt, pointing out that the government has many health programmes, including the provision of food for 11 million students per day.
Waly then presented the Egyptian government’s programme during the coming period, noting that the government is currently concerned with social responsibility and protecting the poor. “There are several social protection programmes in various governorates to support families during the coming period,” she indicated.
During a seminar held at AmCham’s headquarters yesterday, Waly said that the social protection programme will ensure that all enlisted people are eligible, as the ministry is currently analysing data about 25 million citizens to learn the needs of the households which lack sanitation or fresh water in order to meet their needs.
She stressed that the ministry is waiting to take into account the poverty maps in Egypt, through the Ministry of Planning’s new plan, noting that the ministry is covering 15 million citizens with cash subsidies, and that the government started with 60,000 families so far.
Deputy Chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce for Middle East Affairs, Steve Lotus, said that the American and Egyptian sides have a strong desire for investment integration between the private sectors of the two countries, highlighting the strong Egyptian-American ties.
During the seminar with Waly today, Lotus said that the culture of pumping US investments should be changed so as not only to introduce dollars into the Egyptian market, but to become an Egyptian entity benefiting the Egyptian society through the provision of jobs by establishing projects thereby improving the standard of living of the Egyptian citizen.
He also pointed out that we must deal with US companies wishing to invest in the Egyptian market as a social partner, and increase cooperation and real partnership which benefits the Egyptian economy, pointing out that this point is the basis of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s vision of during his meeting with the US delegation.
Mission Chief and Chargé d’Affaires of the United States in Egypt, Thomas Goldberger, said that the economic reforms that took place during the past period and the transparency of the investment climate in Egypt have helped American companies expand their investments in Egypt. He noted that Uber has been working efficiently in Egypt since 2015 with over 500 direct employees.
He stressed that the USAID will play a bigger role in the coming period to help the private sector counter the challenges facing investors in the market.
Additionally, PepsiCo Egypt announced its plan to inject $515m worth of new investments in Egypt over the next four years, and to allocate more than $16m to develop its beverage production lines.
According to the latest data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), the total amount of US investments in Egypt in the first nine months of the last fiscal year (FY) amounted to $1.6bn, while investments two FY ago amounted to $1.8bn.
According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and the US during 2017 amounted to $5.6bn against $4.97bn in the previous year, up by 13%.
Head of the Egyptian American Council, Omar Mehanna said that the free trade agreement between Egypt and America is expected to be discussed.
He noted that the Egyptian Ministry of Industry had applied four months ago a presentation to the US side discussing negotiations concerning the agreement, adding that there was positive feedback from the US side on this matter.
“The US does not object to bilateral agreements, and I think it is not as complicated as some imagine,” Mehanna highlighted.
The mission of US companies begins its visit to Cairo over the period from 23 to 25 October. It will meet with President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, as well as a number of ministers from the Economic Group, to discuss investment opportunities available in the Egyptian market.