Within the framework of Egypt’s presidency for the African Union, the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, represented by Mr. Amr Nassar, the Minister of Trade and Industry, initiated the 4th Egyptian Investment Forum under the title "Together for Africa", in the presence of more than 800 participants from 76 Arab, African and European countries of public and private sectors leaders and investors, fronted by Mr. Mohamed Choucair, the Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications spearheading a high level Lebanese delegation, beside delegations from Arab and Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia.
Ahmed el-Wakil, the President of the Unions of Egyptian, African and Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce, delivered a speech in which he stressed that "it is time to work together to develop our trade and joint investments, especially after our governments have developed the business environment with an innovative and attractive legislative and procedural structure supported by the necessary modern infrastructure." El-Wakil called for "developing the transport and logistics sector first to connect the Red Sea with the Atlantic Ocean, and from there to the Gulf through Saudi Arabia, by integrating with the ports of the pivotal industrial logistics, such as Suez Canal axis, to exchange our goods easily and efficiently." We must work together to exploit the three-party Free Trade Area, which was born in Sharm el-Sheikh in 2015 and includes half of Africa, a region with a purchasing power of over $1.3 trillion, as the first phase of the Pan-African Free Trade Area, which will open up greater prospects for the trilateral cooperation."
Mohamad Abdo Saeed
The President of the Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce, Mohamad Abdo Saeed praised the Egyptian Investment Forum, which is held this year under the title "Together to Africa", and is considered an important event to identify the environment & investment opportunities in Egypt and the development plans and legislations that motivate investors. Especially since Egypt is the gateway to the Arab transit to Africa.
Mr. Abdo Saeed added "the productive economy is the brain economy, so the Arab world and Egypt are an important part of it. It needs to promote investment in human resources, whether in education or health or in supporting the promising youth." He also stressed that "the reliance on the digital economy, which should contribute with more than 3 trillion dollars in the growth of Arab GDP, should be strengthened and therefore there is a need to develop the vision of the Arab digital economy that was adopted at the Fourth Beirut Economic and Social Development Summit for which a $200 million fund has been created as it provides important opportunities for growth and is correlated with the population growth in the Arab region and with the objectives of improving the economic and social situation of the Arab peoples."
Raouf Abou Zaki
CEO of Al Iktisaad Wal Aamal Group, Mr. Abou Zaki, said that the Egyptian movement towards the African and European markets enhances the attractiveness of the Egyptian market and provides many opportunities for business, investment and export.
Abou Zaki stressed the importance of "Egypt Investment Forum", which is held annually under the patronage of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and in cooperation with various governmental and non-governmental actors. It is one of the most important annual stations for promoting investment in Egypt. He pointed out that the forum will be an opportunity for officials to present their data and projects and will also be an opportunity for investors to make their comments and present their proposals and initiatives.
Shaikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel
The President of Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture and the chairman of the General Council for Islamic Banks, Sheikh Saleh Kamel, said that paying attention to Africa at this particular time, and from this particular capital, is very promising. It is time to start with Africa from Africa by Africans. He added that initiating with Africa from Africa is very important and requires careful planning, sustained action and continued coordination, and before that, a firm will and the necessary resources.
Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), said that "Egypt's growth rate is one of the highest in the region and the budget deficit declined as well as the ratio of the public debt to GDP significantly during the last year and is expected to decline more in the medium term due to the financial stability and a significant growth in the GDP," and stressed that" Egypt is the door to transit to the African continent through Turkey and Turkey is the door to transit to Europe and the Central Asia via Egypt."
Mohamed Choucair, the Lebanese Minister of Tele-Communications, said that "attracting more domestic and foreign investments requires the appropriate legislation, and this is what Egypt has succeeded in achieving to ensure a continued growth, prosperity and job creation which is the biggest challenge for all of us." He pointed out that "Lebanon after the formation of the government headed by President Saad Hariri, has entered a promising stage and we hope that it will return to the path of recovery and advancement."
Choucair mentioned the Lebanese-Egyptian relations, where Egypt occupies the 13th place among the most important investment partners. He pointed to the fact that he has been closely associated with the efforts of the Lebanese economic bodies in the past years to develop the economic relations between Lebanon and Egypt, adding "that the conditions are suitable for further cooperation between us in the field of investment, trade and tourism."
Minister Amr Nassar
Eng. Amr Nassar, the Egyptian Minister of Trade & Industry, the representative of Dr. Mosataf Madbouly, the Egyptian Primer Minister, said that "the Egyptian state adopted during the last stage an ambitious economic reform program and carried out decisive measures aimed at restoring the economic stability." He explained that "the program was based on several economic, social and political axes", revealing an ambitious plan which is being currently implemented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry currently, where the Egyptian government is seeking to strengthen the Egyptian presence in the African markets. The plan is based on the expansion of trade and industrial cooperation with the African continent through the possibility of establishing joint Egyptian projects in the African markets based on the outstanding strategic relations and preferential trade agreements between Egypt and many countries of the world.
MOU & Honoring
The opening ceremony was followed by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Unionof African Chambers of Commerce, Agriculture, Industry and Professions and the Union of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce & Industry to establish the African-Mediterranean Chamber with the aim of creating more opportunities in trade and investment for their members at a global level and thereby enhancing the trade and economic relations between the two regions. The organizing bodies honored Shaikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, the President of Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture, received on his behalf the Secretary General of the Chamber Dr. Yousef Khalawi. The organizers also honored the Lebanese Minister of Tele-Communications, Mr. Mohammed Choucair, for his success in the private sector and his fingerprints in the public affairs.