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Egyptian, Japanese FMs discuss way to boost investment and economic cooperation

Japan seeks to enhance the Arab-Japanese dialogue, especially with Egypt's presidency of the current session of Arab League

Ahram Online , Tuesday 29 Dec 2020
Sameh Shoukry
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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed during a phone call on Monday with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi ways of boosting ties in different fields as well as regional issues of common interest.
 
The pair highlighted the long-standing relationships between both countries, expressing their satisfaction with the level of consultation and coordination between Cairo and Tokyo on regional and international issues, said the Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez.
 
They also discussed means of developing trade, investment, and economic relations given that Japan is the one of the biggest development partners of Egypt, contributing to a number of mega projects in country, according to Hafez.
 
According to Hafez, cultural and educational cooperation were also tackled during the call.
 
The ministers discussed developments in the establishment of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which represents one of the most prominent examples of cooperation.
 
Additionally, they exchanged visions about the coronavirus pandemic and means to handle it.
 
The Japanese minister voiced his country's aspiration to enhance the Arab-Japanese dialogue during the coming period, especially with Egypt's presidency of the current session of the Arab League.
 
Egyptian-Japanese cooperation
 
Egyptian exports to Japan increased by 76 percent from January to May this year, reaching $176 million, up from $100 million in the same period last year.
 
Meanwhile, Japanese imports from Egypt increased by 18 percent during the same period, reaching $433 million, compared to $375 million last year.
 
Egypt exports carpets, ready-made clothes, and dried agricultural crops to Japan. Meanwhile, Japanese imports to Egypt include cars, electrical devices, and plastic products.
 
Japan has invested in 12 projects in Egypt worth $2 billion, including the Egyptian Japanese University of Science, the Abu Rish University Hospital project, the Japanese schools project.
 
To support a post Covid-19 recovery, Japan’s International Cooperation Agency aims to focus its work in Egypt on expanding renewable energy, the maintenance and improvement of the transmission as well as the distribution grid, promoting off-grid power supply, building a hydrogen energy-based society and improving facilities for existing thermal power plants.
 
The agency further aims to push for Egypt’s digital transition through the support and investment of Japanese companies to increase automation and remote work, which is essential in helping to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
 
In regards to health, Japan contributed $18.5 million in grants to Egypt to support the export of Japanese medical equipment as well as technical assistance to boost Egypt’s health sector and its capacity to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
Japan has been supporting Egypt’s development in various sectors since 1954, with $1.3 billion of aid overall, and $6.8 billion in loans for the energy, health, transport, tourism and education sectors.
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