Egypt's Sisi meets with major US business delegation in Cairo

Menna Alaa El-Din, Momen Sobhi, Tuesday 23 Oct 2018

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi meets with representatives from near 50 US Business Mission visiting Egypt (Photo Courtesy of Egyptian Presidency)

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed the promotion of Egyptians’ welfare and improving living standards, executive director of the US-Egypt Business Council Steve Lutes said during an event held on the sidelines of a major US mission visit to Cairo.

Speaking at the event on Tuesday, Lutes said that El-Sisi highlighted the points during a meeting in Cairo with the visiting US delegation, which is made up of senior executives of almost 50 American corporations.

Lutes described the visit by the US delegation as one which “reflects the bilateral relationship,” underscoring the values of those companies in giving back to the society, which was the key topic discussed during Tuesday’s event.

US Embassy Charges D’Affairs
US Embassy Charges D’Affairs

The delegation includes senior representation from the United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im), as well as multilateral financial institutions.

They will discuss recommendations as to how, given the support of the government, Egypt could see increased investments and face any existing challenges.

Wide reforms

According to an earlier statement by El-Sisi’s office, the visiting delegation told El-Sisi that their visit came as a support from the US business community for the economic development and stability of Egypt, as well as to discover new investment opportunities.

The meeting was attended by the ministers of investment, petroleum, finance, health, agriculture, communications, and trade and industry. 
Oualae Alami
Vice President of Pfizer Egypt, Levant, and Iran Oualae Alami

"The cooperation between Egypt and the US contributed to Egypt becoming at the top of the list of African countries and the second in the Middle East in trade volume with the US," presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in statement.

El-Sisi referred to the Egyptian government’s efforts to carry out economic reforms and encourage foreign investments and construct new industrial zones, develop ports, as well as the progress made in the energy sector.

El-Sisi also said that the government is establishing a database that would allow official institutions or private sector companies that want to invest in Egypt to have access to information.

Communications Minister Amr Talaat told the delegation about the project for a unified citizen ID, as one of the important projects implemented by the government currently to achieve financial inclusion.

The president stated that the government is focusing in the current period, in addition to the economy, on education and health, including the initiative to cancel patient waiting lists and the hepatitis C treatment initiative.

US companies giving back

The US embassy’s chargé d'affaires Thomas Goldberger addressed the delegation, highlighting US companies’ striving for diversity, protecting the environment, maintaining ethical values and “giving back” to society.

Azza El-Shinnawy
Public Sector Lead at Microsoft Egypt, Azza El-Shinnawy

He hailed some of the leading US companies operating in Egypt, including Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Mars, Heinz, Boeing, Exxon Mobile, and, recently, Uber.

According to Goldberger, these companies have made billions of dollars in investment in Egypt, while also employing thousands of Egyptians and offering thousands of others indirect job opportunities.

Proctor and Gamble’s investments totalled half a billion dollars, with a total of 1,500 Egyptian employees and 10,000 indirect jobs, according to Goldberger.

He also highlighted achievements by Uber, and other companies.

“This shows commitment and devotion to Egyptian people,” he said, also mentioning aid agency USAID’s efforts in arranging private sector engagements.

Goldberger described the relationship between governments and private sectors as strategic.

“Come to Egypt and I think you will be very impressed with what you see,” he told the senior executives of the US companies.

Representatives of Apache, MasterCard, Microsoft, PepsiCo, and Pfizer spoke at a related event on community impact, highlighting their efforts in giving back to the Egyptian community, as well as contributing to projects related to health, girls’ education, sports, youth development, and helping people with special needs.

Steve Lutes
Executive Director, US-Egypt Business Council

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