American companies operating in Egypt expanded their investments by around $1bn during the fiscal year (FY) 2017/18, increasing the total US investments in Egypt to $21.6bn, led by Mars Wrigley, Cargill, Kellogg’s, and General Electric.
The announcement came during a meeting between a group of US companies, and ministers of investment and international cooperation, electricity, finance, agriculture, and trade and industry on Tuesday. The meeting was also attended by Tarek Tawfik, chairperson of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham), Omar Muhanna, chairperson of the Egyptian-American Business Council, as well as Thomas H Goldberger Chargé d’Affaires at the US embassy in Cairo.
During the meeting, US companies announced their intent to increase their investments into the Egyptian market following the economic reforms, and that a delegation of major US companies will visit Egypt next October.
Minister of investment and international cooperation, Sahar Nasr, said that the Egyptian government is actively encouraging private sector investments as a catalyst for economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction, explaining that this can be seen in the new laws and regulations such as the New Investment Law, bankruptcy law leasing law, and amendments to the companies and capital market laws.
On the other hand, the Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker, called on US companies to invest in renewable energy, in line with government plans that renewable energy will contribute up to 42% of the energy mix by 2035.
“The government seeks to reform tax and customs procedures to ensure uniformity of treatment at all ports, modernisation of the tax system as a whole and solving thousands of tax disputes within a stable and sustainable tax policy,” said the Minister of Finance Mohamed Moeit.
Thereafter, Uber Egypt General Manager Abdellatif Waked explained that the company created over 150,000 jobs during FY2017/18 and that in 2017, they launched the Centre of Excellence in Cairo with a $20m investment.
Similarly, Plant Director at Mars Wrigley Egypt Ahmed Al Hiraky said that the company has expanded its investments by EGP 750m in February, added two new production lines, which increased the company’s total investments in Egypt to EGP 2bn, and doubled its exports.
Moreover, North and West Africa Visa General Manager Tarek El-Husseini said that the company’s investments in Egypt amounted to $506m, as a result of the good investment environment and the country’s strategy for financial inclusion.
Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar emphasised the importance of US-Egyptian economic relations, pointing out that the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and the US amounted to $5.618bn in 2017, up by 13% compared to the $4.974bn in 2016.