The EU Egypt Task Force Business and Tourism Summit took place from 13th -14th November amid a strong presence from diplomats, European business people, Egyptian ministers and the high-level executives of financial institutions from both sides. The objective of the summit was to provide a platform for future European investment in Egypt with focus on lending and the development of small and medium sized enterprises.
Ministers giving their opening remarks focused on comforting investors as to the safety of the investment climate in Egypt. “We assure you that Egypt respects all existent stable contracts, as long as they’re corruption-free,” Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Hatem Saleh declared in his speech. “Egypt is undergoing democratic transformation and, as opposed to the pre-revolution circumstances, we guarantee you that we operate in full transparency and we will make sure that all our obligations and contractual agreements are respected so long as they’re lawful, and preserve rights and justice” Saleh added.
Demonstrating its commitment to finance and in order to further nurture Egyptian-European cooperation, the Director General for External Operations of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Tamsyn Barton, announced the bank’s plan to double its investment in Egypt to an annual €1 billion. “We plan to step up our investment here, and we have a pipeline of projects in both the public and the private sectors as we believe both are equally important,” said Barton. She announced the signing of a €600 million infrastructure project, which will be utilised to complete the construction of the new metro line. Other projects that the bank is interested in, pertain to community development project (infrastructure on the community level, water and traffic), renewable energy, microfinance and working with banks to support SMEs.
In a panel discussion, director of the Joint Managing Authority of ENPI CBC Med, Anna Catte, highlighted the importance of addressing common challenges and realising the potential of Mediterranean territories. She announced the approval of 65 projects in Egypt worth €114 million. She stated that they would go towards the promotion of good governance for territorial planning and development, mitigation and adaptation of strategies to climate change, and fostering cultural dialogue and sustainable tourism. “Thirty Egyptian organisations are part of 22 of 65 projects, with investments totalling €70 million.”
Source: The Daily News Egypt