File photo: International Cooperation and Investment Minister Sahar Nasr talks during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, Egypt, December 8, 2015 Reuters
A high-profile Japanese business delegation has said that Tokyo looks forward to strengthening cooperation with Cairo through investment in several projects, notably those related to basic infrastructure and renewable energy.
In a meeting with Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, the delegation added that Japanese companies seek to increase their investments in Egypt, which stand now at USD 360 million.
Japanese investments in Egypt saw a surge by 74% in 2018, the delegation said.
The group comprises a number of representatives of major Japanese companies, including Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Yoshifumi Omura, Chief Representative of JICA Egypt Office, and Yasushi Hasegawa, a senior managing director at Japan Bank for International Cooperation, as well as members of the Egypt-Japan Business Council.
Following the meeting, the Japanese delegation members made a tour around the investor services center, as they expressed their admiration of facilitation offered by the center to investors.
For her part, Nasr told the Japanese group the center is responsible for issuing all related-investment licenses in an automated way and in just one day, in addition to responding to investors' inquiries.
Around 23,000 companies have been established, with a total capital of EGP 60 billion, since President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated the center in February 2018, Nasr said.
Those new companies secured more than 90,000 jobs, she noted.
Egypt has a successful business climate, as it is considered the gateway to a huge regional market of 1.2 billion African consumers and 400 million Arab consumers, she said.
The state is working on giving a greater space to the private sector to contribute to achieving development and economic growth, as well as luring further investments into ongoing mega national projects, Nasr added.
Also, the investment minister lauded economic and development cooperation with the Asian country over the past years, especially in light of current rapprochement between the Egyptian and Japanese political leaderships.
Nasr called on Japanese companies and investors to pump more investments in Egypt, given its recent reforms at the legislative and institutional levels.
The Egyptian government is keen on transferring Japan's successful experience in the fields of education, energy and communications and information technology, Nasr told the Japanese group.
On his part, Hiroyuki Ishige said JETRO will work on attracting Japanese investments into Egypt, lauding recent improvements witnessed by the country's investment climate.
Ishige added that Japanese companies target raising their investments in Egypt, noting that this is the best time for investment in the country.
Moreover, the JETRO CEO called on the investment minister to take part in the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), which will be held from 28th to 30th August 2019 in Yokohama