Cohen made his comments as he signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Trade Reform and Development in Egypt (TRADE) Project and the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham Egypt).
AmCham Egypt is an institution that aims to enhance the enabling environment for trade and investment for its members as well as non-members, with a special focus on increasing exports to the US from Egyptian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Cohen added that the US government supports the Egypt state in undertaking economic reforms to spur trade and investment and is committed to expanding the trade relationship between the two countries through such a project.
The MoU signing was part of a special breakfast meeting at AmCham with USAID Mission Director Leslie Reed, where she addressed AmCham Members about USAID’s strategy and activities in Egypt; USAID’s overall priorities, including climate change, COVID-19, corruption; and opportunities for private sector partnership.
The MoU sets forth the intentions of the two parties for increased collaboration, including the establishment of a US Trade Resources Centre to serve as Egypt’s information hub and training platform for exporting to the US.
USAID TRADE will also provide technical support and expertise to AmCham Egypt in the design of a buyer facilitation service intended specifically for the US market, which will help create linkages that increase the export capabilities of AmCham Members.
Additionally, USAID TRADE will support and help advance AmCham Egypt’s ongoing policy advocacy efforts.
“This MoU, and the reaffirmation of cooperation and coordination that it represents, will help us to advance trade relationships between Egypt and the US, catalyse Egyptian exports, and improve the trade and investment environment to the benefit of all businesses,” said USAID TRADE Chief of Party Rachid Benjelloun.
For his part, AmCham Egypt President Tarek Tawfik noted that this partnership will further advance AmCham’s efforts to promote trade with the US and will assist in building linkages between members and businesses and potential counterparts.
“This alignment with USAID TRADE fits perfectly within AmCham’s objectives of expanding its services to support and serve both members and the wider business community,” Tawfik said.
“An improved business environment would go a long way, not just towards increasing Egyptian exports to the US, but also to attracting more investment to Egypt,” he further added.
Through this partnership, USAID TRADE and AmCham Egypt also aim to improve the trade and investment policy and regulatory environment by assessing impediments facing businesses, and jointly drafting policy recommendations, as well as organising high-level awareness sessions on specific topics.