The Egyptian government is keen on establishing sustainable relations with the Japanese business community with the aim of boosting trade exchange and investments between both countries, Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Amr Nassar, said on Tuesday during his speech at the Egypt-Japan Business Forum, ahead of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) scheduled for 28-30 August.
The event was held in the presence of Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr; the Japanese ambassador to Egypt Masaki Noke; Ebrahim Al-Araby, head of the Egypt-Japan Business Council; and other senior representatives from the Japan-Egypt Business Council, a ministerial statement said.
Egypt’s high-level participation in the TICAD7 paves the way to more unique economic relationship with Japan in various fields, Nassar noted, asserting the importance of the joint initiatives with Japan to develop the African countries.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has met with high-profile Japanese companies’ representatives on the sidelines of the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit in June, in which he asserted Egypt’s aim to promote its cooperation with the Japanese private sector, Nassar pointed out.
“The current phase represents a turning point in the history of both countries’ relations. Japan is one of the most important trade partners with Egypt, with annual trade exchange of $1.2bn until the end of 2018, while the Japanese investments in the local market reached $700m,” Nassar mentioned.
Egypt has been implementing macroeconomic reforms over the past few years that aimed to accelerate the country’s economic growth, the minister noted, adding that the Egyptian government set the economic reforms as main priority in line with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDG) which aims to include Egypt as one of the world’s 30 biggest economies.
“We have finalised a comprehensive investment map in coordination with the Ministry of Investment. The map includes all the investment opportunities in several industrial sectors as well as the available areas for industrial zones all over the country,” the minister mentioned.
Nassar said that his ministry will organise a major conference, titled “Made in Africa”, in coordination with the Ministry of Investment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the sidelines “Invest in Africa 2019” conference next November.
“It’s time to expand the Japanese-Egyptian cooperation in Africa in light of the unprecedented political support to this file, especially that Egypt holds the presidency of the African Union (AU),” the minister noted.
Additionally, Ibrahim Al-Araby, head of the Egypt-Japan Business Council (EJBC), told Daily News Egypt that a number of businesspersons will join the 50-memeber delegation to Japan during the TICAD7.
“There is a great interest from the Egyptian businesspersons to boost their cooperation with their Japanese counterparts,” Al-Araby added.
Mohamed Abou El Enein, deputy head of the EJBC who is participating at the TICAD7, praised the Egyptian government’s serious steps to solve the issues that the Japanese companies working in Egypt may face.
“We receive the full support of President Al-Sisi and the Egyptian ministers to improve the business climate of the local market with the aim of attracting new Japanese companies,” Abou El Enein stressed.