America is Egypt’s largest trading partner
Cairo - Akram Ali
A trade delegation from the United States will visit Egypt this week, in a visit aimed at improving business ties between the two countries.
Deputy undersecretary of the US Ministry of Commerce Ken Hiatt will arrive in Egypt on Friday ahead of a two-day visit.
Hiatt will be accompanied by nine US companies looking to secure deals in a range of sectors including computing and technology, construction, renewable energy and security.
“The trade mission affirms America’s commitment to deepening long-term business relations with Egypt,” sources told Arabstoday on Thursday.
Hiatt has expressed his hope to work through “challenges and opportunities” with Egyptian officials.
The United States is Egypt’s largest trading partner, exchanging $8.4bn in trade exchanges in 2012.
US foreign direct investment also reached $11.7bn in 2010.
US President Barack Obama hopes to double US exports to Egypt by the end of 2014, supporting economic growth and employment opportunities in the North African country.
The announcement comes the same day Libya granted Egypt an interest-free loan of $2bn to help battle a growing economic crisis.
The loan is to be repaid within five years, with a three-year grace period, an unnamed official is quoted as saying.
The news comes as Cairo holds difficult talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a loan of $4.8bn as part of a financing programme to lift Egypt's economy out of crisis.
The size of the loan may change, IMF officials have said, without elaborating.
Egypt's authorities believe the loan will help restore investor confidence in the country, where unrest that accompanied the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak has caused a significant drop in revenue from the once-lucrative tourism industry.
Foreign reserves have plunged from $36bn to some $13bn in two years, and the budget deficit is increasing.
Energy-rich Qatar announced on Wednesday it would buy bonds from Egypt worth $3bn over and above a previously announced aid package amounting to $5bn.