Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour announced a series of visits to European countries, the United States and Russia in February and March in order to attract investments.
The minister decided to embark on his tour following the approval of the new constitution, deemed the first step of implementing the political road map adopted after the removal of former President Mohamed Morsi from power on 3 July, he said.
Abdel Nour pointed out, in a Wednesday conference, that foreign countries “misunderstood” the situation in Egypt post-30 June. In addition to promoting foreign investment, the minister stressed that he will hold conversations “to clarify the real image” of Egypt’s situation.
Paris will be Abdel Nour’s first stop, where he will meet with French ministers of Industry and Trade to hold talks regarding boosting economic relation and bilateral trade. Abdel Nour will be accompanied by members of the Egyptian-French Business Council.
On 5 February, Abdel Nour will visit Germany’s capital of Berlin to discuss possible cooperation with German officials. In addition, he will attend a conference on agricultural industries “in order to benefit from German technology in the agricultural sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abdel Nour’s visit to United States on 11 February will involves meeting the American Minister of Trade and head of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to discuss obstacles facing the purchase of Egyptian merchandise in the US.
On 20 February, Abdel Nour will meet with European Union (EU) officials in Belgium’s Brussels to discuss economic issues.
He will then continue to London and Moscow in March.
During the conference, Abdel Nour expressed the government’s aspiration to end fuel shortages by 2016, when local oil production can be increased. “The government is now working on diversifying the sources of fuel in order to meet the shortage in factories’ supply of energy,” he detailed.
Using coal as an alternative source of energy is one of the proposed solution to reduce the negative effects of fuel shortages on factories, Abdel Nour said. However, he pointed out that Minister of Environment opposes this suggestion.
Abdel Nour revealed that the government is currently focusing on bringing investments to its “big developmental projects” such as the Suez Canal Development Project and the “Golden Triangle” Project in Upper Egypt.
When asked whether the government is still expecting to increase the economic growth rate by 3% by the end of current fiscal year, Abdel Nour said that the outcome of the economic stimulus package will be felt in the coming months.
“If the growth rate will not be increased, at least the 14% budget deficit will be reduced to 10%, as promised,” Abdel Nour highlighted.
Abdel Nour stressed during the conference the importance of the “rule of law” to investment growth in Egypt.