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Egypt's investment minister, Swiss ambassador discuss new strategy to boost business

The $87 million plan will seek to boost Swiss investments in various areas, including the New Administrative Capital and the Suez Canal Economic Zone, investment minister Sahar Nasr said

Ahram Online , Monday 23 Oct 2017
Sahar nasr
Egypt's Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr and Swiss Ambassador to Cairo Paul Garnier (Photo: Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation Official Website )
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Egypt's Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr met with Swiss Ambassador to Cairo Paul Garnier on Sunday to discuss a new strategy aimed at increasing Swiss investments in Egypt over the next three years, the ministry said in a statement.

Potential areas for investment under the proposed strategy include the Suez Canal Economic Zone and the New Administrative Capital, Nasr said.

The Swiss Cooperation Strategy Egypt 2017-2020 has a budget of CHF 86 million ($87,177), according to the Swiss embassy in Cairo.

The Swiss ambassador also said during the meeting that a Swiss business delegation headed by Swiss Minister of Economic Affairs will visit Egypt in November.

Nasr stressed the importance of "inclusive economic development, eliminating unemployment and illegal immigration, and empowering women and youth," the statement said.

Garnier said that Egypt is a promising market for business, pointing to Swiss-Egyptian cooperation on fisheries, as well as the Suez Canal Economic Zone, and in the recycling of solid, electronic and medical waste.

Egypt has been pushing ahead with a series of austerity measures since November 2016, including fuel and electricity subsidy cuts, to help ease the country's gaping budget deficit.

The reforms have helped the government secure a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund and allowed the central bank to replenish its foreign-currency reserves.

In June, a long-awaited investment law was ratified by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, granting investors a number of incentives, including a 50-percent tax break on investments made in underdeveloped areas, and government support for the cost of connecting utilities to new projects.

It will also offer a 50-percent rebate to investors on the cost of purchasing land for industrial projects if production begins within two years.

In September, Egypt was classified as the top investment destination in Africa, according to the Rand Merchant Bank’s report Where to Invest in Africa 2018.

It also achieved an increase in foreign investment in Egyptian securities, reaching $18 billion.

In October, the Swiss ambassador announced that his country has investments in Egypt worth $ 1.085 billion.

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