French Ambassador to Egypt Stéphane Romatet told a panel on Friday that now is the right time to invest in Egypt and discuss all the opportunities available in the country, adding that it is currently witnessing rapid change and high growth despite the challenges resulting from COVID-19.
Romatet made his statements during a virtual panel held on Friday with Egypt’s Planning Minister Hala El-Said and representatives of 70 French companies to discuss expectations and opportunities in the Egyptian economy in the post-COVID-19 era.
Also participating were the head of the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Yahya Zaki, and the CEO of Egypt’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, Ayman Soliman.
The French ambassador praised the relations between the two countries, saying they are at the highest positive levels, and adding that more than 160 French companies currently operate in Egypt.
Egypt is seeking to achieve fruitful cooperation in the field of investment with France in various sectors and to open the doors for various French companies to start making investments and rely on the enormous resources that the country enjoys, on top of which is skilled labour, El-Said stated.
El-Said said that preserving natural resources is an important matter and the shift towards a green economy is a priority for the Egyptian state, noting the concern that there be no emissions during the ongoing projects.
She added that Egypt’s government is working on preparing annual development plans and supervising the distribution of public investments in various sectors of the state and ministries.
El-Said said that the Egyptian economy was in good condition before the start of the coronavirus crisis, as a growth rate of 5.6 percent was achieved by the end of 2019, adding that in the absence of the pandemic, a growth rate of 6 percent would have been achieved during 2020.
Egypt had achieved growth despite the negative impact of the coronavirus, she said, after the state intervened to support several sectors affected, noting that the economic and social reform programme that the Egyptian state initiated during 2016 effectively contributed to the state’s ability to bear the consequences of the pandemic.
She also highlighted the expectations of international institutions for the Egyptian economy, indicating that Egypt will be one of the economies that will be able to face the negative consequences of COVID-19 crisis and will provide the best performance despite the crisis compared to other economies in the Middle East and among emerging economies.
"Egypt has arranged its priorities in the investment plan for the year 2020-2021, which aims to enhance investments in the health sector as well as the telecommunications sector, after the world realised that it is necessary to accelerate access to an integrated digital economy,” the minister said.
El-Said also said that the crisis had revealed many opportunities as well as challenges, and prompted the state to pay more attention to achieving the transition to a green economy, stressing that the state also seeks to strengthen value-added chains and localise industry.