CEO of the General Authority For Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Mohamed Abdel Wahab, agreed with Guy Parmelin, Swiss Federal Councillor, and head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, to boost joint economic relations by signing three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on Tuesday.
The MoUs aim at developing Egypt’s higher education system, as well as reforming the country’s public enterprise sector, according to a statement from GAFI.
Minister of Public Enterprise Sector Hesham Tawfik and chairperson of Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Yehia Zaki attended the signing ceremony and Egypt-Switzerland investment forum that witnessed the participation of 32 Swiss company representatives.
Swiss investments in Egypt are estimated at $1.8bn through 60 companies, Abdel Wahab said, adding that Swiss investment increased after the successful implementation of the economic reform programme.
Egypt-Switzerland investment forum is a good platform to further increase Swiss investments, seeing that it coincides with a large Swiss business delegation’s visit to Egypt. This reflects the attention that Switzerland pays to the Egyptian market, Abdel Wahab said.
He presented the available investment opportunities in Egypt, incentives and guarantees offered through the New Investment Law, noting that Swiss companies are interested in investing in Egypt’s megaprojects, transportation, food industries, and energy sectors.
Tawfik said that Egypt aims at attracting new Swiss investments in the textile sector since both countries enjoy a long history of cooperation in this sector. Zaki invited the delegation to visit the SCZone to closely identify investment opportunities.
For his part, Parmelin said that organising the Egypt- Switzerland investment forum had a special importance as it coincides with 110-year celebration of economic and trade relations between both countries.
Swiss-Egyptian trade exchange reached $1.3bn in 2019 according to Swiss statistics, Parmelin added, noting that Egypt is Africa’s biggest market for Swiss good’s particularly with a Free-Trade Agreement through the European Free-Trade Association, a double taxation agreement, and an investment protection agreement, which stimulates economic cooperation between both countries.
Parmelin visited El Sewedy Technical Academy (STA) where a project co-financed by Switzerland and implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is enhancing the employability and job market access of Egyptian young men and women, according to a statement from the Swiss embassy to Egypt.
Switzerland co-finances the EBRD’s Economic Inclusion Programme, not only in Egypt, but also in Tunisia and Morocco, the statement read.
After a short presentation about STA and the Swiss co-funded project, Parmelin and the delegation accompanying him were able to observe teacher trainings and interact with young men and women learning about logistics, electronics, and attending career guidance sessions.
Parmelin is on an economic mission in Cairo from 2 to 5 February, accompanied by a large Swiss delegation, composed of Members of Parliament, government officials, and numerous business leaders.
Parmelin’s schedule in Egypt includes meeting Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea, and Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
Parmelin began his trip to Egypt with a visit to Hero’s factory, a Swiss international consumer food manufacturer which primarily sells jams, baby and infant food, and nutritional snack foods.