Ahmed Samir, Minister of Trade and Industry, said that Lebanon ranks 13th for countries investing in Egypt, with investments amounting to 1.2 billion dollars, and about 1,904 Lebanese companies whose investments are concentrated in the financial, industrial, service and real estate sectors.
Samir added, during the activities of the Sixth Egyptian-Lebanese Business Forum in Cairo, that the volume of bilateral trade rose last year to about 580 million dollars, compared to 420 million dollars in 2020, a growth of 35.4%, pointing out that the value of Egyptian imports from Lebanon rose to 228.5 million dollars, compared to 131 million dollars. .
The Minister of Trade and Industry called on the Lebanese companies to establish joint partnerships with their Egyptian counterparts to start exporting in the countries in which Egypt participates in trade agreements.
Eng. Fathallah Fawzy, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian-Lebanese Businessmen Association, said that the Egyptian-Lebanese Business Forum comes as an embodiment and consolidation of what distinguishes the Egyptian-Lebanese relations, which are always characterized by privacy and complete agreement, and reflects the keenness of the political leadership and the state to advance all aspects of cooperation in order to achieve The interests of the two great peoples.
He stressed that the Egyptian-Lebanese Businessmen Association is fully prepared to assist its brothers in dear Lebanon, through the technical and administrative expertise and competencies capable of assisting all Lebanese businessmen wishing to invest in Egypt, noting that the association commends the efforts of the Commercial Office at the Egyptian Embassy in Lebanon headed by Lebanon. Counselor Tamer El-Sayed in advancing relations between the two countries.
Lebanon’s ambassador in Cairo and permanent representative to the Arab League, Ali al-Halabi, said that it is no secret to anyone that diplomacy constituted a motive for the two countries towards economic integration, noting that the Lebanese embassy in Cairo is a link between the private and public sectors in the two countries.
Al-Halabi added that the embassy is currently seeking to convene the higher committee soon, pointing out that the concerted efforts of Egypt and Lebanon reflected positively on the level of the volume of bilateral trade and the increase in investments.
For his part, Minister of Trade Commissioner Yahya Al-Wathiq Billah, Head of the Commercial Representation Authority, said that the Ministry of Trade and Industry currently has about 122 industrial investment opportunities, including preliminary feasibility studies, stressing his readiness to provide all facilities to investors, especially in light of the measures taken by the government to create a climate Investing in Egypt.
Al-Wathiq Billah added that there are many opportunities available for projects ready for Lebanese investment through the Egyptian Sovereign Fund, in addition to the economic zone of the Suez Canal, and projects for the General Investment Authority, in addition to the state submitting a state-owned political document for national discussion with the aim of offering it for investment.
Dr. Rabih Hassouna, head of the Lebanese-Egyptian Business Council, stressed the importance of the sixth session of the recipient and to come up with recommendations to advance intra-trade and economic integration, especially at this stage, praising President Sisi’s actual positions of solidarity with Lebanon and its people.
Mohamed Choucair, head of the Lebanese economic bodies, said that the Lebanese private sector continues to move and take the initiative with all determination and will and in all directions, indicating that measures and steps are required to move to new horizons in our economic relations and move in taking measures and implementation.
Choucair added, “We count a lot on increasing trade exchange, and we need to achieve this to facilitate the flow of Lebanese products that enjoy high specifications to the Egyptian markets, and we also need a joint investment vision that identifies feasible opportunities in the two countries to work on them jointly.”
For his part, Raouf Abu Zaki, CEO of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group, said that the forum, in its sixth session, is a platform for meeting, exchanging observations and proposals, and presenting developments. Lebanon, despite the difficult circumstances.
He stated that the Egyptian-Lebanese relations, whether in their bilateral or joint aspects, have broad prospects for growth and expansion, helped by the vitality of the Lebanese private sector and the improvement of the investment climate in Egypt in light of the increasing official interest in foreign investors and the political will determined to proceed with a comprehensive reform workshop led by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi He added that Egypt has turned into an international regional center for various activities, and its hosting of the upcoming global climate summit next November is proof of that.
Dr. Khaled Hanafi, Secretary-General of the Union of Arab Chambers, called for the establishment of an Egyptian-Lebanese strategic alliance that would achieve opportunities for all and establish pivotal focal points that go to the reconstruction and eastern Mediterranean markets.
Hanafi explained that Lebanon has strong opportunities to establish fulcrums, and in return, the Egyptians have opportunities for growth and export by virtue of the Egyptian bounties.
Mohamed Amin El-Hout, head of the Industry Committee of the Egyptian Lebanese Businessmen Association, said that the Egyptian economy confirmed its steadfastness in the face of all challenges, adding that Egypt is the land of real opportunities, and it has taken the path of construction and growth, which has not stopped until now.
Al-Hout added that in light of the major economic transformations the world is witnessing today, we all have to integrate and join hands, hand in hand, the state and the private sector, to cross these conditions and take advantage of them to turn them into opportunities, in addition to searching for other ways to increase production.
The head of the industry committee in the association said, I take this opportunity to congratulate Minister Ahmed Samir, Minister of Industry, and I hope that he succeeds in his great task, and I assure him and all the officials that we are with you and support you in order to achieve the ambitions of industrialists in industrial development.
Engineer Majd El-Din El-Manzlawy, Secretary-General of the Egyptian-Lebanese Businessmen Association, said that the industry faces many challenges and also has the opportunity to grow in light of the conditions imposed by the conditions in which the world is living.
Al-Manzlawy added, that the Egyptian economy, with its diversity and distinction, was able to deal with great flexibility, especially in the Corona crisis and the subsequent crisis of the Russian-Ukrainian war, stressing that the economy and the productive sector are in a crisis that requires providing new solutions and supported moves by all parties to support the industry, facilitate procedures and remove obstacles to the movement of Trade between Egypt and Lebanon and between all Arab countries.
George Nasrawi, Vice-President of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists and President of the Syndicate of Food Industries, stressed the importance of advancing relations and industrial integration between the two countries in a number of strategic industrial sectors, pointing to the importance of activating the efforts of the two countries and removing obstacles to exports and imports.
During the session on the construction and building sector, Eng. Mohamed Tarek Kamel, Executive Director – North Africa Region, CCC, spoke about the company’s experience as the largest Lebanese company present in Egypt for more than 25 years and is a role model for Lebanese investment and one of the main players in the field of construction and construction.
Kamel called for building on the success stories of Lebanese companies in Egypt through the state’s promotion of partnership opportunities between the Egyptian-Lebanese private sectors.
Ahmed Zuhair, Director General of the External Promotion Sector at the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, indicated that the economic legislation in Egypt has witnessed a significant improvement over the past years, pointing to the new investment law that provided many guarantees, incentives, freedom to transfer profits, and tax incentives, as well as launching the investment map, which showed a number of Among the specific opportunities in the construction sector, such as the projects of the new administrative capital, in addition to projects ready for feasibility studies.
Dr. Ahmed El-Shennawy, Chairman of Adfa for Real Estate Development, a member of the Egyptian Businessmen Association, said that the real estate development industry has changed during the ten years, and the state’s orientation has become towards the fourth and sustainable generation and reaching 40 new cities in Egypt’s Vision 2030 to increase the rate of construction to 17%, and currently we have reached more than 12%.
El-Shennawy added, in light of the state’s support for the real estate development sector, the private sector and real estate companies have gained extensive experience, in addition to the skills and capabilities to advance the urban development industry in Egypt and abroad, pointing out that collective action between countries, especially sister Lebanon, in light of difficult economic conditions is necessary in addition to the implementation of Goal No. 17 Sustainable Development Goals and Partnerships.
Elie Gabriel, Chairman and CEO of Arga Group, pointed out the need to pay attention to development and modern thinking in designs for large projects, as well as the components used to keep pace with the modern era.
The Sixth Lebanese-Egyptian Forum participated in the Association’s Board of Directors, Dr. Nejad Shaarawy, Treasurer, Alaa Al-Zuhairi, Secretary-General, Dr. Zainab Al-Ghazali, Omar Balbaa, Head of the Relations and Media Committee, Marwan Zantout, Head of the Economic Committee, Adnan Shatila, Engineer Ali Issa, President of the Egyptian Businessmen Association, and Mahmoud El-Hilali, President of the Egyptian Businessmen Association. The Board of Directors of Lemans Group, Major General Nour El Din Darwish, Head of the Automotive Division of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, Danny Shoaib, Financial and Administrative Director of CCC, Khaled Hegazy, CEO of Business Sectors – Etisalat Egypt, and Al Moataz Bahaa El Din, CEO of CBC Egypt Development The industrialist and Muhammad Khattab, the managing director of Sphinx Glass Company, Bechara Al Asmar, president of the General Labor Union in Lebanon, Medhat Saber, the managing director of Arope Insurance, Wael Shukri Bey, the deputy managing director and CEO of Arope Insurance, and a group of Lebanese investors and members of the association from the Egyptian and Lebanese private sectors The meeting was organized by Amr Fayed, Executive Director of the Association.