A high-level delegation from Volkswagen Group recently visited Egypt in a move that reflects major companies’ interest in the Egyptian market.
The delegation included four important figures: Benjamin Pier, Volkswagen sales manager in Egypt and Africa; Andreas Nors, general manager of the company’s foreign industries, who is authorised to set up the company’s factories in the region; and the company’s external relations managers.
The visit comes within the framework of the German company’s agreement with Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin, and the European Union to explore the Egyptian market and find ways to cooperate with Egyptian importers.
The delegation disclosed the company’s serious intention to assemble some of its products in Egypt to enhance its presence in the local market, and raise the efficiency of Egyptian feeder industries to increase Egyptian exports of production components. Volkswagen currently imports some parts for its products.
The visit began with a meeting with Assistant Minister of International Cooperation for European Affairs Amr Ramadan. The meeting reviewed ways of cooperation between the two sides and of supporting the presence of European companies in general, and German companies in particular, in Egypt.
The German visitors met with the Export Council of Engineering Industries, headed by Amr Abu Farikha, and some prominent members of the council, where they discussed the situation of the automotive sector, especially the feeder industries and the volume of Egyptian exports to the global markets.
The Egyptian side expressed its aim to increase exports of engineering industries, especially the automotive feeder industries, to the German parent company, urging it to reconsider its strategies in the local market that enjoys a large consumer base that can absorb greater production capacities from private car companies.
The delegation also met Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil; Ahmed Abdel Aziz, chairperson of the Industrial Development Authority; and Hossam Khattab, the minister’s adviser for industrial affairs. Kabil asked the German carmaker to locally produce a minimum of 60,000 units annually for the local and export markets.
On the second day of the visit, the delegation met with the German ambassador to Egypt, the chairperson of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, and the chairperson of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Cairo.
On the visit’s last day, the German delegation met with the head of the Suez Canal Authority and the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), Mohab Mamish, who accompanied them in a tour at the logistic service places in the SCZone allocated to the automotive and feeder industries.
The delegation admired the government’s efforts in the SCZone, which reflects Egypt’s keenness to attract foreign investments, stressing that they will study possible cooperation with the SCZone in the near future.
Volkswagen’s agent in Egypt, Karim Nagar, head of the Egyptian Automotive and Trading Company (EATC), raised controversy over the Egyptian agent’s relation with the parent company.
Nagar said that he was informed about that visit, stressing that he met with the delegation more than once to know their vision about the Egyptian market and their plans to assemble some of their products in Egypt.
He pointed out that he will be the company’s representative in Egypt, being the only agent of the German commercial brand.
Nagar said that his company’s relationship with the parent company is very good, and many surprises will be announced soon to increase the German manufacturer’s presence in Egypt.