FILE PHOTO: Bombardier's logo is seen on the building of the company's service centre at Biggin Hill, Britain March 5, 2018. REUTERS
A consortium led by the multinational Bombardier Transportation company has confirmed a deal with the Egyptian government to build two new monorails with a total finance worth £1.7 billion provided by UK Export Finance (UKEF), the largest amount of financing it has ever provided for an overseas infrastructure project, the company announced on Wednesday.
Bombardier is a multinational company that is a manufacturer of business jets, public transport vehicles, and trains.
The announcement came during the Africa Investment Conference, held on Wednesday in the UK, which is its first major international investment conference as an independent trading nation after leaving the European Union.
“Trade is an incredibly powerful way to propel growth and create jobs as we recover from the pandemic. This deal shows why we are so determined to get businesses to grasp these opportunities and take advantage of the support available from the Government. One third of our economy is exports. That’s why support from our export credit agency is vital. It can help the UK get a bigger slice of the global economic pie, secure jobs across the country and make the most of our newfound independence as a trading nation,” the International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said.
Meanwhile, Matt Byrne, president of Bombardier Transportation expounded that the Cairo Monorail export win, against international competition, shows that that the UK rail sector can fight and win in key growth markets such as sustainable transport.
“This is the first UK export since our Derby-built trains were exported to South Africa for the Gautrain project in 2008. Thanks to UKEF’s support and those working in Embassies across North Africa, this new deal will bring sustainable benefits to Egypt and create job opportunities in the UK”, he added.
Bombardier’s consortium was named preferred bidder for the project at the UK-Africa Investment Summit, held in January 2020, and, with UKEF’s guarantee, has secured the financing needed to fulfil the contract and start production, according to the statement.
The company also said that it can now invest in its manufacturing centre in Derby where the trains for the Egyptian monorails will be designed and built, adding that it will be the UK’s only monorail car production line and will directly support 100 UK jobs at the company and many more in its UK supply chain.
The UK-Africa trade relationship was valued at £35 billion in 2019, with around £54 billion of bilateral investment.
As of January 2021, the trade deal between Egypt and the UK went in force following the UK leaving from the EU.
The deal covers trade in goods, including provisions on preferential tariffs, tariff rate quotas and rules of origin, trade in services, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, intellectual property, and government procurement.
The agreement strengthens UK cooperation in political, security, and foreign matters with Egypt and replicates wider elements of the EU-Egypt Association Agreement such as provisions on political dialogue and other forms of cooperation, including on human rights, according to the UK government’s website.