In a series of video clips released by the American Chamber in Egypt last Tuesday, general managers (GMs) and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) representing major foreign investments in Egypt announced that they believe in Egypt’s ability to overcome the turmoil it has been experiencing during the past years.
“We feel very confident about the Egyptian market,” said Abdalla S. Elnockrashy, the country head for Majid Al Futtaim. “The main factors or pillars of the Egyptian market are still here and they are not going anywhere.”
GM of IBM Egypt Amr Talaat meanwhile stressed that his company had been “investing and focusing on Egyptian markets since 1954 throughout all the major political, economic and social transformations that the country has undergone during these past six decades.”
Talaat emphasised that despite the turbulence since the 25 January Revolution, the fundamentals of Egypt’s market remain the same. “It is still a vast market with huge potential to offer; the pool of skills remains rich and diversified, the proximity of Egypt to the major market and the high acceptance of Egyptian skills in the neighboring market and the region in general.”
Given that these fundamentals remain intact, Talaat added, IBM’s focus in the Egyptian maket has actually intensified during the past two years.
President and CEO of Elsewedy Electric Ahmed El Sewedy said that his company sees the infrastructure plans and that it believes that Egypt will see a complete change and we are optimistic about this change
Curt Ferguson, Coca Cola’s president for the Middle East & North business unit, which runs from Egypt, said that the company has been active in Egypt since 1942.
“If you can weather through World War II, the last couple of years are pretty easy,” he said. “We made a courageous decision in 2011 to double our investment in Egypt. That really paid off.” Ferguson added that the company is looking at “another $100m investment” to put into the market place in 2013 “and another $100m in 2014.”
On future endeavors in Egypt, Ferguson said that the company is building their “number one plant in the world” in Assuit, which will employ around 12,000 workers.
The managing director of Mashreq Kraft Foods in Egypt, Bassel Abulata, said that business in Egypt is still lucrative and that commitment for the country is still there.
“Egypt is still an opportunity,” he said. “We understand we’re going through a dip but we are a resilient nation and we do believe we have a resilient economy.”
Kraft employs around 3,000 in Egypt and the company operates four production facilities.
Robert Brown, the executive director of Operation for Chrysler Group, said that Egypt has gone through many ups and downs. “Economically things have looked a little shaky for a while then they started coming back then going down a little bit,” he said. “Now the future looks actually very strong to the point where Chrysler is making very large investments within our facility.”
The video series also featured TAQA Arabia’s executive chairman, Khaled Abu Bakr; Xerox Egypt’s managing director, Ashraf Arman; the Chairman and CEO of Smart Village, Adel Danish; executive vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce and the Dean of the school of business at AUC, Sherif Kamel; and the CEO of the Egyptian Refining Company, Thomas Thomason.
During a previous interview with the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, Anis Aclimandos, the Daily News Egypt discussed the future of American foreign investments in Egypt.
“We have talked to a lot of our members and American firms working in Egypt. They don’t work in Egypt just because they like it. They work in Egypt because they make money and some of them have committed more funds to grow, and none of them have left,” Aclimandos said. “There’s a market and they recognise that market, so it will continue to grow.”