By Doaa Farid
The chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, Ahmed El-Wakil, announced on Sunday the launch of eight new regional projects valued EGP 260m funded by the European Union, according to a press statement.
According to the statement, the head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries Mohamed El-Sweidy explained in the conference of launching these projects that they aim to support the sectors of food industry, tourism, textile, solar energy and environment, as well as the construction and modernisation of schools. He added that these projects gather 76 partners from the chambers of commerce of Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Portugal to exchange experience and develop the partnerships.
El-Wakil noted that these new projects are integrated with the “EU Invest-in-Med” program, where several projects have been implemented in the past two years in the sectors of industry, commerce, tourism, transport, agriculture and small and medium enterprises.
Meanwhile, head of the Egyptian-European Chamber of Commerce Nader Reyad said that these projects include many activities aimed at raising the competitiveness of Egyptian products and their compatibility with international standards in order to open up EU markets.
Alaa Ezz, the Secretary General of the Egyptian-European chambers, said that these projects constitute 40% of those approved, with the management of the programme having received more than 3,000 projects from 14 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
El-Wakil stressed the importance of these projects “because the EU is the first trade, investment and tourism partner to Egypt” he said, explaining that the EU is the source of 50% of foreign direct investment (FDI) which constitutes 40% of the total direct European investment for all Mediterranean countries, read the statement.
Egypt has received more than EUR 6bn from the European Investment Bank, which exceeds 25% of the total funding for Mediterranean countries, and more than half of this funding was directed to the private sector in the fields of industry, energy and transport, according to El-Wakil.
He also noted that the bilateral trade with the EU accounts for more than 32% of Egypt’s total trade with the world.