President Abdel Fattah El Sisi stressed the importance of the private sector in pushing forward economic and social development in Egypt and Africa.
The private sector contributes to creating jobs, promoting the trade exchange movement and integrating Africa into the global economy, the president said during a meeting with a group of Egyptian and foreign businesspersons participating in the “Africa 2016" forum in Sharm El Sheikh on Sunday.
Egypt is committed to openness to African countries and working jointly for construction and development, Sisi said, noting that the volume of Egyptian investments in African countries had hit $8 billion, presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said.
Sisi welcomed African and foreign investments in Egypt, the spokesman said, adding that the president reviewed the state’s economic plans and structural and legislative reform measures aiming at easing investment procedures and set a business-attractive stage in parallel with a comprehensive national plan for urban, agricultural and industrial development.
The state has launched a large number of mega projects that would create promising chances for investment in several production and service sectors after the state succeeded in securing its energy and gas needs to fulfill the growing demands of the industry and investment sectors, Sisi said during the meeting that was also attended by the ministers of investment, international cooperation and trade.
The business community representatives, meanwhile, hailed Egypt’s organization of “Africa 2016” forum and its pivotal role in connecting African investors with the international community, the spokesman has said.
The meeting also stressed the need to exploit Egypt’s distinguished geographic location and logistic capabilities in turning it into a portal for African countries to Arab Gulf, European and Asian markets, especially after the opening of the new Suez Canal and the start of development projects in the Suez Canal region, the spokesman added.
The president also listened to their notices and proposals to bolster economic and investment relations between Egypt and African countries
In this context, Sisi said he had asked African funding institutions to offer credit facilitations to carry out regional projects that link African countries together, noting that Egypt is ready to establish a road extending to Ethiopia through Sudan within one year.
In response to inquiries by the business representatives, the Egyptian leader said the River Nile was the only source of fresh water for Egypt, affirming the need to promote cooperation among Nile basin countries to attain mutual interests as the Nile is a source of cooperation and development.
Sisi reviewed current steps taken to carry out a national project for the reclamation of 1.5 million feddans with the aim of establishing integrated urban and development projects besides the agricultural activity and its relevant industries.
A new company, the “Egyptian Rural Development Company”, has been created to execute and run the project under the highest standards of quality, Sisi said.
Egypt welcomes investors willing to build factories in new industrial zones that are currently under establishment and install their public utilities for their immediate operation, Sisi added.
Egypt is also attaching special importance to small and medium enterprises for their vital role in offering employment opportunities to the youths, he said.