Egypt s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly speaks during a roundtable meeting for the Egyptian-South Korean businessmen with the attendance of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, 20 January 2021. Egyptian Cabinet
Madbouly made the remarks at a roundtable meeting for Egyptian-South Korean businessmen in Cairo on Thursday that was also attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and a host of Egyptian and South Korean ministers and officials, the Egyptian cabinet said.
The meeting was organised by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency and the South Korean embassy in Egypt.
Moon is in Egypt from 19 to 21 January as part of his Middle East tour that started earlier this week in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
His visit to Egypt, the first by a South Korean president in 16 years, comes as part of a comprehensive partnership agreement signed between the two countries during Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s visit to Seoul in March 2016.
Moon voiced his aspiration for cooperation with Egypt in the fields of telecommunications and information technology, describing them as industries of the future.
Economic relations, trade
Economic relations between Egypt and South Korea witnessed remarkable progress over the past year, Madbouly said during the roundtable meeting.
Over the first 11 months of 2021, trade exchange between Egypt and South Korea reached $2.2 billion, rising by 53.5 percent, Madbouly said.
Moon said the number of Korean companies operating on Egyptian soil has risen to 33 and Korean investments in Egypt has reached around $800 million thanks to continuous cooperation between the two countries since the 1970s.
Korean investments in Egypt cover fields including electronic products, information technology, textile industry, auto parts, chemicals, building materials, renewable energy, construction, shipping and transportation, Madbouly said.
The premier voiced Egypt’s aspiration to boost Korean investments in the country in the near future.
Madbouly said Egypt also looks forward to Korean companies operating in Egypt making use of the country’s industrial base, noting that this will open new horizons for Korean companies to export their products to international markets.
Moon met with El-Sisi earlier on Thursday, where they oversaw the signing of several memoranda of understanding (MoU), including a $1 billion deal on “financial cooperation” from 2022 to 2026 between the two countries.
Other MoUs included a joint feasibility study for economic and trade partnership and a $251 million loan to upgrade the Luxor-High Dam railway line.
A grant of $8 million was also signed.
Climate summit in Egypt
Egypt’s hosting of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) next November and its launch of a national plan for adaptation to climate change by 2050 will create a platform for joint cooperation, Madbouly said.
He added that this would also allow Egypt to benefit from Korean experience regarding the green economy in related fields, including transportation, energy, water, agriculture, industry and waste recycling.
President Moon said Egypt’s scheduled hosting of COP27 and Korea’s hosting of Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) Seoul Summit last year reflect the two countries’ focus on enhancing green industries to reduce carbon emissions.
Egypt has been speeding up its transition to a green economy while also preparing to host the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh.
In November last year, El-Sisi called on developed countries during a speech delivered to the COP26 in Glasgow to fulfill their pledge to provide $100 billion annually to developing countries to address the effects of climate change, highlighting the need to allocate at least half of all public climate finance to adaptation measures.
Moon, during the roundtable meeting, expressed his desire to enhance cooperation with Egypt in the fields of electric vehicles and renewable energy as well as environmentally friendly infrastructure projects.
Egypt is planning to manufacture its first locally made electric vehicle in 2023 as part of the state’s efforts to transition towards a green economy, El-Sisi announced said in a panel discussion during the World Youth Forum (WYF) held earlier this month.
*Read Al-Ahram’s interview with President Moon Jae-in, from here.