CAIRO: Egypt Invest, heralded as the largest conference on investment in Egypt, kicks off its fourth annual meeting at the InterContinental Hotel in Heliopolis today.
With over 430 international and local delegates representing 26 countries, organizers expect the conference to once again be the leading investment to be the leading investment forum for the country.
Dan Morrissy, Managing Director of International Event Partners (IEP), the organizers of this year’s conference, told The Daily Star Egypt that this year marks an improvement over 2005’s sessions “primarily because we have more international investors investing more money in the country .
“There have been about $3 billion from the overseas investors [into] Egypt in the last 12 months, he said.
Morrissy said the fruits of the government’s efforts towards investments were beginning to bear fruit.
He said that conference organizers hoped there would be a clear and open discussion regarding the implementation and impact of the investments.
“I would like to see one or two announcements from the investors committing to Egypt . they need to come to see the country which is why we have always held this conference in Cairo.
“This is the place where they should be at, he added.
Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif will address the conference and formally inaugurate the conference during its morning sessions.
Minister of Finance Youssef Botrous Ghali, Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid and Minister of Investment, Mahmoud Mohieldin will also be attending the opening ceremonies.
One of the highlights of the conference includes an attendance by investors SanPaolo IMI Bank, the recent winners of the Bank of Alexandria bid.
Mr. Guiseppe Cuccurese, Head of International Affairs of IMI will be addressing the conference on its opening day. SanPaoloIMI Bank recently won Egypt’s biggest auction of state assets and giving birth to the largest private banking group in Egypt. This deal has now pushed FDI to its highest that Egypt has seen in many years and makes it the second “mega deal that Egypt has seen this year.
Many see this deal as part of SanPaolo’s strategy to expand into fast growing markets such as North Africa and Central Europe. Egypt is the fourth-largest economy in the Arab world but only around 10 percent of its 73 million inhabitants have bank accounts.