President Sisi, Belgian companies discuss cooperation in energy, infrastructure, defence

Mai Ghandour, Wednesday 16 Feb 2022

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met on Wednesday with several Belgian CEOs and company officials to discuss deepening cooperation with Egypt, especially in energy, infrastructure, and defence, according to the spokesperson of the Egyptian presidency Bassam Rady.

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during one of his meetings on Wednesday with several Belgian CEOs and company officials in Brussels. (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency)

The meeting came during El-Sisi’s visit on Tuesday to Brussels, Belgium, where he is participating in the sixth European Union (EU) - African Union (AU) Summit that is scheduled for 17 and 18 February.

The summit, in which leaders of the EU and AU meet, aims to ensure renewed and deeper partnership between both blocs based on trust and clear understanding of shared interests.

Attracting Belgian investments in power generation

El-Sisi met with a consortium of Belgian CEOs of companies in green hydrogen production for power generation, namely DEME Group, Antwerp Port Authority, John Cockerill, and Fluxys.

The Belgian side expressed appreciation for Egypt’s keenness to attract foreign direct investment in renewable energy, especially with the Egyptian government providing investment incentives to increase green hydrogen production.

They affirmed their keenness to cooperate with Egypt to further commitments to climate goals, as well as to help Egypt exploit and leverage its diverse energy sources, the statement added.

CEO Jean-Luc Maurange of John Cockerill expressed his honour to meet the president, stressing the keenness of the company to cooperate with Egypt, especially in light of the important role it plays in the stability and security of the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and the African continent.

President El-Sisi also expressed his aspirations for Belgian companies, especially those working in energy, to enter the Egyptian market as a longstanding and reliable international partner to maximise the benefits for Egypt by diversifying its energy resources, transferring knowledge, training cadres, and encouraging local industry, according to the statement.

Egypt’s Vision 2030

During the meeting, El-Sisi affirmed Egypt's national strategy to enhance the use of alternative fuels and move towards a cleaner energy future, with a focus on green hydrogen production in cooperation with foreign partners in accordance with Egypt's Vision 2030 for sustainable development.

Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed in Belgium ways to boost cooperation with the European Union, especially in green transition in Egypt, with the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi.

“Egypt is a key strategic partner for the EU for shared prosperity and stability,” Várhelyi said on Twitter.

Egypt will focus on meeting the obligations of the Paris Agreement on climate change and exploring how the private sector and NGOs can play a role in financing green investments ahead of COP27, which Egypt is set to host this year.


El-Sisi also met with Managing Director Jan Pieter De Nul of the Belgian dredging company Jan De Nul on the same day.

The official spokesperson said that the meeting witnessed "discussing prospects for cooperation between the Egyptian side and the Belgian company, with regard to projects to develop and protect Egyptian beaches, especially on the Mediterranean."

The president praised existing the level of cooperation with Belgian companies in terms of development projects and infrastructure development, stressing Egypt's aspiration to continue and develop this cooperation with Jan de Nul.

This comes in light of its good reputation and unique experience in the field of dredging, taking into account Egypt's great interest in preserving the integrity of the lands, facilities and investments on its coasts.

De Nul praised the promising opportunities for investment in Egypt and the improved economic climate, as well as the infrastructure development efforts undertaken by the Egyptian government in recent years.

De Nul also hailed the size of the giant national projects being implemented in Egypt, which present a great opportunity for major foreign companies to invest in various fields.

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