Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Ahmed Samir during a meeting with Swiss Ambassador to Egypt Yvonne Baumann on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Egyptian Trade and Industry Ministry)
Samir made the remarks in a meeting with Swiss Ambassador to Egypt Yvonne Baumann in Cairo.
Switzerland is also "one of the most important countries investing in the Egyptian market," contributing $2.2 billion across 433 projects, he added.
The meeting dealt with preparations for the visit of Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Helene Budliger Artieda to Cairo in early July.
Artieda will head a delegation of businessmen from Switzerland to review investment opportunities and advantages in the Egyptian market in various productive and service sectors, according to a statement by the Egyptian ministry.
Samir pointed to the ministry's desire to benefit from Swiss expertise and experiences in developing small and medium enterprises and green economy projects, as well as in developing technical and vocational training systems.
This will contribute to the provision of qualified cadres for Egypt’s industrial sector in general and the needs of Swiss investments in Egypt in particular, he said.
“There are distinct investment opportunities for the Swiss business circles in the Egyptian market in a large number of productive sectors, especially projects related to food security, chemicals and fertilisers to meet the needs of the Egyptian market and export to the markets of the countries of the African continent within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” the statement quoted Samir as saying.
The AfCFTA agreement — which was signed in March 2018 in Rwanda and is the world’s largest free-trade area — entered into force in 2019 during Egypt's presidency of the African Union (AU). The AfCFTA, which created a market of 1.2 billion people, is the eighth largest economic bloc in the world. It has a combined GDP of $3 trillion that is expected to more than double by 2050, according to the AU.
According to Egypt’s Economic Report 2022 released by the Swiss Embassy in September 2022, Egypt continues to be Switzerland's top export destination in Africa. The total trade volume – including gold bars and other precious metals, coin, precious stones and gems as well as works of art and antiques – between Switzerland and Egypt amounted to CHF 1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) in 2021.
The main Swiss exports to Egypt are, according to the report, chemical and pharmaceutical products, machinery and electronic devices and precision instruments and watches. While the main export goods from Egypt to Switzerland are textile products, agricultural products and chemical and pharmaceutical products.
From her side, Baumann stressed her country’s keenness to strengthen the frameworks of joint cooperation with Egypt in various fields and at all levels, noting the aspiration of the Swiss business circles to invest and expand in the Egyptian market as one of the most important and largest markets in the Middle East and a major industrial and export hub for the markets of the countries of the African continent.
She also referred to the distinguished investment opportunities in the Egyptian market in industries with advanced technology, construction, engineering industries, and pharmaceutical industries, especially in light of the launch of the State Ownership Policy Document, which provides more investment opportunities for global capital.
In December, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi approved the final version of the document, which identifies the sectors from which the state plans to withdraw, decrease, or increase its presence over the coming three years with the aims of increasing the participation of the private sector to stimulate economic growth, increase exports, and provide employment opportunities and investments.