By Doaa Farid
Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour called on Japanese car companies to increase their investments in Egypt to achieve the government’s vision of developing car manufacturing, according to a statement from the ministry.
In a meeting with Japanese Ambassador in Egypt Toshiro Suzuki on Saturday, Abdel Nour expressed the government’s keenness to provide the proper climate to attract Japanese investors and benefit from their expertise to develop the industry in Egypt.
Abdel Nour and Suzuki also discussed ways to deepen bilateral relations between the two countries. Abdel Nour proposed to the ambassador allowing Egypt’s agricultural exports to compete in the Japanese market, “where it is one of the most promising markets to Egypt’s exports.”
According to ministry statement, the total Egyptian exports to Japan have increased by nearly 40% in 2012, reaching $1.2bn compared to $873m in 2011. The volume of trade between both countries has increased by 34% in 2012 to reach $3bn compared with $2.2bn in 2011.
The most exported items to Japan are liquefied natural gas, petroleum products, cotton, carpets, food products and medical plants. Meanwhile, the most imported items from Japan are cars, electrical appliances, plastics and organic chemicals, the statement read.
Suzuki confirmed his country’s desire to expand areas of economic cooperation in the coming period.
“Japanese investments will continue in Egypt, and many companies are waiting for the situation to stabilise to pump investments in development projects, and to benefit from the stimulus packages and facilities recently announced by the government,” Suzuki said.
The pair also discussed Egypt’s participation in the Arab-Japanese businessmen forum, which will take place in Tokyo in December of this year, which they consider a “great opportunity” to view the available investment opportunities in Egypt and to “emphasise Egypt’s return to its natural position as one of the most important economies regionally and internationally.”
Japan monitored the Egyptian situation since the massive protests of 30 June that deposed former President Mohamed Morsi on 3July.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy met with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida when they were both in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September.
Kishida stated that Egypt is following a difficult process toward a democratic government, and that he hopes the interim government stabilises public order promptly, implements its roadmap appropriately and steadily advances a democratisation process.