Chairperson of the US Egypt Business Council (USEBC), Omar Mahana, said that bureaucracy is the biggest obstacle that faces increased investments in the local market, noting that the authorities should continue their reform measures throughout 2019.
“Eliminating bureaucracy is key for attracting more US and Egyptian firms to the market,” Mahana informed Daily News Egypt, adding that Egypt’s continuation of improving its investment climate is the main recommendation for the government in 2019.
New investments will play an important role in creating jobs, boosting the GDP growth, helping improve the lives of Egyptian people, including investments in the education and health sectors, mentioned Mahana.
The USEBC aims to deepen communication channels between the two countries’ business communities and turn the bilateral strategic relations into joint investment projects, in addition to making good use of the huge US market in raising Egypt’s exports, said Mahana in September 2018 following a meeting with Egypt’s Trade and Industry Minister, Amr Nassar.
During the meeting, Nassar reviewed with the USEBC Egyptian members a number of key files, including negotiations on the US-Egypt Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), and ways to increase bilateral trade exchange and investment projects over the coming phase, a ministerial statement said in September.
The volume of trade exchange between Egypt and the US reached $3.8bn in the first seven months of 2018, an increase by 29.2%, compared to $2.9bn during the same period of 2017, according to the governmental data.
The USEBC is the leading advocacy organisation representing the US’s top companies conducting business with Egypt. The council is made up of senior executives of US companies from every business sector which are major investors in Egypt.
The mission of the USEBC is to serve as the premier vehicle for advancing the bilateral commercial relationship between the US and Egypt, and to promote the economic and political relationship at the highest levels of government and business in both countries, according to its website.
The US Chamber of Commerce serves as secretariat for the council, and the USEBC has full access to the chamber’s extensive resources.
Additionally, Manaha expected the interest rates to keep on its high levels in 2019 due to its high rates from a global perspective, adding, “I think Egypt’s cement market won’t witness new firms in 2019.”