Tarek Kabil: The EU can help Egypt a lot, Greece one of Egypt’s staunchest supporters in the EU

Tarek Kabil: The EU can help Egypt a lot, Greece one of Egypt’s staunchest supporters in the EU

Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), after the end of the 2nd EU-Arab Summit in Athens, Egypt’s Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil invited EU investors to put Money in Egypt underlining that due to the “extensive reforms legislated in the country recently” investment is promoted and bureaucracy can be forgotten.

Referring to Greece in particular, the minister said, “Greece is one of Egypt’s staunchest supporters in the EU, due to the complete alignment between the two countries. The EU can help Egypt a lot, significantly more than they are today. The stability of Egypt, politically and economically has a direct benefit for the EU, and for the stability of the whole region. (…) What we expect from the EU is to help us create jobs, to deepen our industry and improve the economic situation in Egypt. Security will not stop illegal migration. It will help, but this is not the main cause”.

More specifically, talking about the issue of illegal immigration, Kabil added that the best solution would be to create the necessary working circumstances so that no one would wish to leave in order to get and have a better life abroad.

“We are doing everything we can to pave the way for investment (…) This is the key for economic growth”, stressed Egypt’s Trade and Industry minister, reassuring all possible future investors from Europe of his country’s seriousness on the matter and its devotion to this goal.

“We are doing small things here and there. We signed an agreement with the EU to train 2,000 people. But training is not a job (…) We are working on easing doing business in the country by minimising bureaucracy. We’re implementing a fast-track industrial licensing law that will grant licenses in less than a week, and speed up the import and export of products.”

All of the above is depicted in Egypt’s lately developed Industrial Investment Map, that was presented by Kabil himself in Cairo last October.

Greece in focus

“Along with Alternate Minister Katrougkalos, I was happy to meet with more than 30 Greek companies that are interested in investing in Egypt, and had the chance to explain to them the economic reform program we are implementing as we speak, the new legislations that will support and facilitate the investors’ outreaches as well as respond to a number of inquiries by the participants,” Kabil said.

In view of the upcoming trilateral summit that will take place in Nicosia, on November 21, 2017, he added that, “We had many very fruitful discussions. We are completely aligned in terms of what are the next steps that we need to take.”

Photo: ANA-MPA

In particular, he gave more information about the intentions of the countries which will be represented in the aforementioned meeting in Nicosia, saying that, “We are working on how to create an energy hub for Europe between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, this work is happening as we speak. We also talked and will start working to establish a logistics and transportation hub. From our standpoint, Greece is the gateway for the Egyptian exports to Eastern Europe and from Greece’s standpoint, Egypt is the gateway to Africa and the Middle East.”

According to ANA-MPA, “The ports that are currently under discussion include Egypt’s Alexandria and Damietta Ports and Greece’s Piraeus and Alexandroupolis Ports – and optionally, the Port of Thessaloniki. The links would serve both tourist and cargo shipping lines.”

The Governor of the Bank of Greece at the 2nd EU-Arab Summit

Yannis Stournaras, the governor of Bank of Greece, said, during the 2nd EU-Arab Summit, that Greece is the perfect country for investments, especially after the completion of the adjustment program in August 2018. He mentioned that a new crisis and uncertainties are merely impossible as the compliance of Greece with EU fiscal policies and the post-program surveillance guarantee the economic stability.

Stournaras expressed the predictions of the Bank of Greece that the country will reach a growth rate of 2.7% in 2019, as long as the program is properly applied and the schedule followed, respecting the actions taken so far, which have improved economic rates, competitiveness and public finances. However, he expressed fears that in case the third review is not completed in time, then, economic recovery will be a short-term matter.

Lastly, he confirmed the importance of the new platform of electronic auctions, which are highly necessary for the third review, and for the resolution of the issue of the non-performing loans, which has created many domino effects…/IBNA