Egypt, Singapore to enhance bilateral trade: Sisi

Ahram Online , Monday 31 Oct 2016

Sisi (AFP)
A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Singaporeís President Tony Tan meeting at the Presidential Palace in Cairo on October 31, 2016.(AFP)

Egypt discussed with Singapore measures to boost bilateral trade, President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi said on Monday in Cairo after a meeting with Singaporean President Tony Tan that coincided with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In a televised press conference, El-Sisi said the two counterparts reviewed investment opportunities in Egypt's major projects such as the development of Suez Canal area, highlighting that relations between the two countries is witnessing a breakthrough in recent years.

He added that "Egypt is interested in benefiting from Singapore's experience in the field of education and transportation in the framework of Egypt's ambitious development plans."

Tan, who arrived in Cairo on Sunday evening, said that Singaporean companies are active in Egypt and more companies are looking for opportunities to invest in the country.

The Singaporean president hailed the Suez Canal development project, saying that "Egypt is on the verge of economic progress."

He also expressed Singapore's interest in benefiting from Egypt's experience in countering terrorism.

"We [Singapore and Egypt] stand together against violence and radicalism," Tan said.

During his five-day visit, the Singaporean president will meet Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayyeb and Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Egypt's official state news agency MENA reported.

Tan, who is heading a ministerial delegation, will also hold a meeting with the Singaporean Egyptian business board.

He will be the guest of honour at the graduation ceremony of 47 Singaporeans from Al-Azhar, the Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times reported.

In all, 240 Singaporeans—about 80 percent of the 292 Singaporean students in Egypt—study at the university.

Most of Singapore's Muslim religious leaders are graduates of Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning, Tan stated during Monday's press conference at Ittihadiya Palace.

The two sides are expected to sign a number of memoranda of understanding (MOUs) during this visit, in the fields of technical education, energy and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

In August 2015, President El-Sisi visited Singapore, the first visit by an Egyptian president to the Asian country since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1966.

During that visit, Tan and El-Sisi signed a number of MOUs as well as oil and natural gas deals. Egypt's Suez Canal Authority also signed an MOU with Singapore's Hyflux Ltd on water desalination and electricity generation.

Egypt was the first Arab country to recognise Singapore's independence in 1965.

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