16 June 2024 02:21 AM

The Egypt-Japan Business Forum

Sunday، 30 April 2023 - 12:00 AM

On Sunday April 30, 2023, H.E. Dr. Mostafa Madbouli, Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and Mr. Kishida Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, who was on a visit to Egypt, chaired the Egypt-Japan Business Forum, organized by Egyptian and Japanese economic organizations.

The forum was attended by a number of ministers and officials of the two countries, in addition to representatives from the Japan-Egypt Business Council (JEBC), the Egypt-Japan Business Council (EJBC), the Japan Business Association (JBA) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), which organized the forum, among others.

Prime Minister Madbouli delivered a keynote speech and explained Egypt's attractiveness as an investment destination and their initiative to improve the business environment and expressed hope for further investment from Japan.

Madbouli said that Japanese direct investments increased by 52 per cent in 2021, with around 87 Japanese companies operating in Egypt currently, noting that meanwhile, trade exchange between the two countries reached an average of $1.3 billion over the past five years.

Madbouli said that an agreement to fund the first phase of Cairo Metro's fourth line was signed earlier today and was attended by both Kishida and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

He pointed out that the Japanese funding of Cairo Metro's fourth line is one of the largest packages to support the plan to develop transportation in Egypt.

He explained that the fourth phase of the metro will help link Sixth of October City and the archaeological area around the Great Pyramids with the underground train network.

Madbouli added that Egypt has been cooperating with Japan to implement the first phase of the fourth metro line over the past decade via four concessional loans provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the Egyptian state.

He highlighted that Egypt obtained the first tranche of the funding, worth 32.7 billion yen, in 2012; and signed the agreement on the second tranche, worth 41 billion yen, in December last year.

He asserted that the new line would start operating in February 2028, according to a previous statement by JICA.

Madbouli also said Japan will provide funding worth 100 billion Japanese yen (around $733 million) to Egypt in the third tranche to finance Cairo’s fourth metro line.

For his part, Prime Minister Kishida delivered a speech and pointed out the importance of Egypt as a regional power that is located at the junction of Asia, Africa and Europe and boasts the Suez Canal. Prime Minister Kishida also stated that the Japanese Government will actively encourage Japanese companies to develop business in Egypt and expand it from Egypt to Africa, and expressed hope that Japan's public and private sector initiatives will lead to the development of Egypt and ultimately strengthen bilateral economic relations.

Mr. Hossam HEIBA, Executive Director of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, “GAFI”, gave a presentation on the business and investment environment in Egypt.

While Mr. Nishi, President of JBA, gave a presentation on JBA's initiatives and business activities of Japanese companies in Egypt.

Mohamed Abou El-Enein, Vice-Chairman of the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council called on the attendees to the joint bussiness forum, which is being planned with the Japanese side to be held in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, during the coming period.

The vice-chairman said, on the behalf of Ibrahim El-Araby, Chairman of the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council, that the business forum witnessed an explanation of the business environment, investment incentives and opportunities in Egypt, in addition to the positive developments witnessed by the Egyptian economy.

Abou El-Enein welcomed the attendees at the forum held on the occasion of the visit of Prime Minister "Fumio Kishida" to Egypt and congratulated him and the Japanese people on the presidency of the Group of Seven industrial summit this year.

He pointed out that officials in the forum praised the growth in Japanese investments in Egypt and the entry of New Japanese industrial investments, in addition to the surge in Egyptian exports by nearly 50% and the drop in the trade balance deficit.

He also stressed the importance of supporting Japanese tourism in the coming stage, in light of the anticipation for the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which Japan is its largest supporter.

Abou El Enein also said: "Overcoming all obstacles that may face Japanese investors is a priority for us in the Business Council, and we hope that this will help attract more investments, which we are working on with the Egyptian government hand in hand, in light of the unprecedented follow-up from the political leadership," adding that "The establishment of the Supreme Investment Council, whose membership supervises and the periodic meetings of the Egyptian-Japanese joint committee for investment promotion is the best example of that."

He added that the real opportunities awaiting the Japanese side are big and have comparative advantages that must be pursued and built on the successes of their promotional efforts, whether from the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), or the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), in addition to the related efforts of the Egyptian Embassy in Japan, and efforts made by the commercial representation body at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

He concluded that all of these efforts are made to achieve the aspirations of the Egyptian and Japanese governments, expressing at the end of his speech his wishes of success for the forum.

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