President Sisi calls on Serbian businessmen to participate in Egypt’s national projects

Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 Jul 2022

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi urged Serbian businessmen on Wednesday to participate in Egypt’s national projects, especially those related to the country’s ports, stressing their promising investment opportunities.

Egypt's president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during his participation in the Egyptian-Serbian Businessmen Forum on Wednesday 10 July 2022 in the capital Belgrade on Wednesday. (Photo: the Facebook page of the Egyptian Presidential spokesman)


El-Sisi made his remarks during his participation in the Egyptian-Serbian Businessmen Forum along with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić in the capital, Belgrade.

The president also stressed Egypt’s keenness to foster closer economic and trade cooperation with Serbian businessmen and companies to boost joint investments and contribute to supporting the development process in Egypt, Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Rady said in a statement.

El-Sisi affirmed that this can be achieved within the framework of joint action to maximise mutual benefits and leverage existing opportunities in light of the numerous fields and promising investment opportunities in Egypt. 

“These include in particular the sectors of tourism, pharmaceutical industries, communications, IT, infrastructure, real estate, administrative housing, and also agricultural products,” he added.

Furthermore, El-Sisi said Egypt achieved a significant leap in its developmental sectors, adding that over the past seven years, the country’s infrastructure witnessed great development, citing the implementation of about 6,000 projects at a value of EGP 8 trillion.

He also referred to modern roads and railway projects across the country, noting that Egypt is establishing within the next two to three years a 2,000-kilometre high-speed rail system.

El-Sisi is paying his first visit to the Republic of Serbia and the first by an Egyptian president since 1987.

The visit witnessed the launch of an integrated strategic partnership that outlines a common vision for the various aspects of cooperation between Egypt and Serbia, as well as ways to advance them.

He also witnessed — along with his Serbian counterpart — the signing of a series of agreements covering several fields, including higher education, agriculture, arts and culture, environment protection, and others.

Trade exchange between Egypt and Serbia amounted to about $79.7 million in 2021, $42.4 million of which were from Egyptian exports and $37.4 million were imports, according to Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea, who accompanied El-Sisi on his visit.

According to Gamea, the most important items of trade exchange between the two countries include phosphates, vegetables, fruits, plastics, fertilisers, tobacco, machinery, and electrical appliances.

Additionally, she said that Serbia is participating in projects in the Egyptian market with a capital of $47 million in the industry, services, construction, tourism, communications, IT, and agriculture sectors.

Gamea made her remarks during a separate meeting with Serbian Minister of Trade, Tourism, and Telecommunications Tatjana Matić in which they tackled means of boosting cooperation between both countries to face the current global economic repercussions resulting from the Russian-Ukrainian War and the coronavirus pandemic.

The Egyptian minister affirmed that both countries have “great opportunities” to enhance cooperation in the areas of developing small and medium enterprises, industrial training, establishing logistical areas, and tourism, according to a statement released by the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry.

These cooperative fields can also extend to the private sectors of the two countries, particularly the automobile, agriculture, medical supplies, communications, and IT industries, she added.

The minister also called for increasing the rates of intra-regional trade and facilitating the movement of trade exchange between the two countries in order to capitalise on all the investment and trade potentials and opportunities in the two nations and turning them into concrete cooperation projects.

Furthermore, negotiations on free trade between both nations are expected to be completed by the end of October, the Serbian president pointed out during a press conference with El-Sisi earlier on Wednesday.

Gamea then explained that the Serbian market can be a hub for the entry of Egyptian exports to the markets of eastern and southern European countries.

“There is a great opportunity to increase Egyptian exports to Serbia, especially petrochemical products, pharmaceuticals, salt, polyethylene, building materials, and engineering goods,” the statement quoted Gamea as saying.

The Serbian minister, for her part, said Belgrade is keen to strengthen economic cooperation with Egypt, given that it is one of the most important countries in the Middle East and an important trade hub for the markets of Africa, the statement noted.

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