Egyptian Minister tackles with JBIC governor putting the MoU for comprehensive strategic partnership into effect, increasing the bank funding to the Japanese companies investing in Egypt, and enhancing cooperation with "JETRO".

On Tuesday, December 19, 2017, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Dr. Sahar Nasr inaugurated Egypt–Japan Business and Investment Forum; on the second day of her visit to Tokyo to promote investment in Egypt. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Ayman Kamel, Egypt's Ambassador to Tokyo, Ahmed Shehab El Din, the deputy CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free zones (GAFI), and Ibrahim Al Araby, the head of Egypt- Japan Business Council along with 150 Japanese investors.

Dr. Nasr asserted that Egypt adopts an ambitious development plan, as during the last three years, it launched and completed a large number of mega-national projects as a starting point for the future. In addition, Egypt has taken many steps towards increasing the competitiveness of the economy, its growth and its openness to the world through adopting an unprecedented comprehensive economic reform program, one of its pillars is to improve the investment climate and the business environment through legislative, institutional and administrative reforms. Such reforms include updated mechanisms to achieve greater involvement of the private sector to contribute to the development process.
The Minister also assured that the Egyptian government recognizes that private sector-led growth is the engine for poverty reduction and comprehensive and sustainable development. Therefore, the government's economic reforms have focused on improving the investment environment and facilitating procedures for the private sector to inject new investments. This was done through the new Investment Law, including its guarantees and incentives for investors, which contributed to the provision of an investment environment suitable for them. Dr. Nasr indicated that Egypt is at the forefront in terms of return on investment and it enjoys several investment privileges. It is also considered a gateway to a huge regional market, namely the Arab World and the African Continent. In addition, Egypt enjoys access to major markets through bilateral and multilateral agreements with the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Besides, the Egyptian economy is the most diversified in the region.
Currently Egypt has 16 investment zones specialized in different fields, and recently GAFI BoD has approved on the establishment of three new investment zones within the framework of the Ministry's plan to establish an investment zone in each governorate, pointing out that there are number of major projects the Japanese investors can invest in such as Suez Canal Corridor and New ALameen, besides, the Ministry of investment and international cooperation will launch during the coming stage Egypt's investment map, including all investment opportunities in all fields such as housing, industry and telecommunications, the Minister stated.
The Minister called on the Japanese companies operating in the field of entrepreneurship to cooperate with the Ministry through "Fekretak Sherketak" initiative to support start-ups. Moreover, the Ministry has launched “Incorporate Your Company by Yourself” service on the website of the latter and GAFI to allow investors incorporate their own companies online without going to Investor Service Center, as well as an investor call center through hotline No. 16035 to communicate with the investor and reply on his/her inquiries.
Subsequently, the Egyptian minister met Mr. Akira Kondoh, the Governor of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and discussed putting the MoU signed between the ministry and the bank about the comprehensive strategic partnership into effect, and the increase of the bank funding of the Japanese companies that invest in the private sector of Egypt.
Moreover, the two sides discussed how to benefit from the Japanese expertise in the establishment of the free zone, within the MIIC plan to expand the establishment of new free zones.
Nasr also met Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, the chairman of the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO), where they studied the increase of cooperation between GAFI and JETRO regarding the MoU signed between both sides. In addition, JETRO chairman praised the efforts made by the Egyptian government to improve the investment environment.