March 11, 2019
Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation in coordination with the Suez Canal Authority organized a tour in the Suez Canal Economic Zone for a Japanese delegation from major Japanese companies, JETRO and JICA. The delegation was received by Admiral Mohab Mameesh, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and Suez Canal economic zone.
The event was held in the presence of Advisor Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Executive Vice President of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones. According to the directives of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, several visits are to be organized for the representatives of international institutions to witness the workflow of major national projects to acknowledge the substantial Egyptian achievements in various fields and the investment opportunities available in the Egypt. The visits include visiting the New Administrative Capital and the Egyptian Museum.
The delegation included Hiroyoqed Ishigi, President of JETRO Japan, Yoshifu Mayomura, JICA’s main representative in Egypt, Yasushi Hashigawa, Managing Director of Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Ambassador Masaki Noki, Ambassador of Japan to Egypt, Satoshi Ozawa, Executive Vice President of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, as well as Egyptian and Japanese members of the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council and a number of Egyptian companies that have Egyptian- Japanese joint ventures such as Al-Arabi, Cleopatra and Suzuki Egypt.
The Japanese delegation stressed that this is the right time to invest in Egypt in the light of the achievements made by Egypt under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, praising the great investment opportunities in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. The delegation also noted Japan’s anticipation to enhance cooperation with Egypt through investing in several projects, such as infrastructure and renewable energy mainly due to the important strategic position that Egypt has which links Asia and Africa together. Japanese companies are working to increase their investments in Egypt, which totalled 360 million dollars in the presence of 106 Japanese companies currently investing in Egypt. The last fiscal year witnessed a 74% increase in Japanese investments in Egypt compared to the previous year.
Hiroyoqed Ishigi, president of JETRO Japan, expressed that the organization would attract Japanese investments to Egypt, particularly investing the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
The Japanese Ambassador to Cairo assured that Egypt’s recent legislations in the field of investment will contribute to increasing Japanese investment in Egypt, because Egypt is the largest market in the Middle East.
Satoshi Ozawa, Executive Vice President of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, pointed that his company is one of the largest Japanese companies investing in Egypt in several sectors notably iron, steel, gas, oil, chemicals, food industries, energy and automobiles. He added that the company has future projects in Egypt, most notably the power plant from the wind in the Gulf of Suez and the RO RO project in the Suez Canal corridor, in addition to a refinery and petrochemical complex in Suez and the production Automotive Feeding Industries in Egypt.
Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, declared that the State is aiming to turn the Suez Canal into the main regional centre for trade and investment and a gateway to a major regional market serving 100 million Egyptian consumers, one billion and 200 million African consumers and 400 million Arab consumers to utilize trade partnership agreements signed by Egypt with the Arab and African countries.
The minister stressed that the state is working to attract investments in major national projects as a response to the needs of citizens and the creation of job opportunities for youth and women, such as road and bridge construction projects, energy, electrical networks, sewage networks and agricultural reclamation projects.
The Minister of Investment praised the economic and developmental cooperation with Japan over the past years. The cooperation led to many successful projects such as Japanese schools in the field of education and the current contribution to establish the great Egyptian Museum. The minister called on the Japanese delegation to expand investments in Egypt, especially after the great developments taking place in the business environment, both legislative and institutional.
The Admiral assured that Egypt has achieved great progress in developing the Economic Zone of the Suez Canal by attracting many local and foreign investments that signed billions of dollars’ worth of contracts, which reflects the confidence of local and foreign investors in the Egyptian economy. He noted that the region is on its way to completing all its needs of infrastructure, such as power stations, desalination stations and the delivery of facilities to all the projects sites in the region, as well as the development of transport logistics network in the ports of the Economic Zone. Additionally, the activation of the smart transport system is a part of future plans to increase the capacity of the ports which will transform Egypt into a global centre for the transport and logistics industry. The new system will be the key link in the chain of global added-value, which will achieve the requirements of the economic development plans of the country.
Mameesh assured that The Suez Canal has become the lifeblood of all the countries of the world, where the trade has now shifted from East to West, and that the investors are striving to reserve places in the Canal. The Authority is currently working on the diversification of investments in coordination with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the elimination of any obstacles hindering development in the region. The Admiral also emphasized the major role of the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation in the development of the Egyptian economy.
Mameesh expressed the Canal’s aspiration to cooperate with Japan in developing the infrastructure of the economic zone of the Suez Canal in coordination with the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation.
Mameesh revealed the plans to establish the rolling station cars in the new East Port Said piers in cooperation with the consortium Polorea Toyota and NK which reaches 600 meters and 240 thousand square meters of the trading arena. He pointed that the projects investments of reached 220 million dollars and created 150 direct jobs and 500 indirect jobs, to be the first project of its kind in the eastern Mediterranean in terms of space, investments and specifications.
Mameesh stated that this project is part of East Port Said plan depends on the added-value and the reliance on logistics in this area. The project also depends on the automotive industry and its components which will be the first of its kind in the region.
Admiral Mohab Mameesh stressed that these agreements are due to the large international alliances of East Port Said, which is one of the most dominate competing ports in the region. This is a clear indication of the investors’ trust in the domestic investment climate, especially the Suez Canal economic zone, referring to designs that have been taken into account in the construction of new berths as well as deepening the port for bigger giant vessels over the coming years.
Ibrahim Al-Arabi, Chairman of the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council, stated that the council is investing the positive developments witnessed by the Egyptian economy, the facilitations and incentives included in the investment law and the opportunities that Egypt obtained in attracting investment to Japan.