British Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Tobias Ellwood has said that political reform should go hand-in-hand with economic reform in Egypt.
During a meeting with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab in Cairo, Ellwood discussed "upholding the rule of law, improving transparency, and guaranteeing respect for human rights," a statement from the British embassy in Cairo said.
Ellwood visited Egypt along with a large trade delegation from the United Kingdom, including representatives from BP, BG and HSBC.
A Reuters report said companies in the delegation wanted "assurances that Egypt will eliminate complex investment laws and stamps of approval required from dozens of government agencies." They expressed "cautious optimism," regarding the investment policies of the current government, Reuters reported.
The Egyptian government is currently preparing a new investment law it says will reduce red tape in the country and help attract foreign investment.
Ellwood also told Mahlab that Britain supports Egypt’s preparations for the March investment conference.
The government hopes the conference will trigger interest among international investors to return to Egypt after many were scared away by four years of political turmoil.