CAIRO: Wind and solar power swept into the spotlight as Marc Franco delivered his address this week in his new capacity as European Union Ambassador and Head of the European Commission Delegation in Cairo.
Confederation of Egyptian European Business Association (CEEBA) Chairman Mahmoud El Kaissy welcomed Franco in the Marriott Zamalek Hotel to discuss the new phase of European-Egyptian Cooperation. The ambassador outlined his visage of drawing closer relations between Europe and Egypt, building upon previous key achievements to date, and recalling further proposals to come.
Franco highlighted the positive economic impact of EU investment, trade promotion, and recently implemented policies in Egypt, but added that there is further room for improvement for Egypt to distinguish itself as a modern economy of the 21st Century.
Franco commented on Egypt s recent successful ICT industry performance, describing it as “one of [Egypt s] quickest growing sectors. Wind and solar energy markets received strong emphasis as emerging technology development streams for Egypt where further investment would be required if Egypt is to remain at the “forefront of North African technologies.
Egypt s unique location – bridged between Europe, Asia and Africa – is an opportunistic geographical competitive advantage in itself. In addition to investment in renewable energy resources, Egypt must also look to attract foreign investment and joint-initiatives from its surrounding nations in order to drive a stronger market position.
Earlier this year Cairo hosted the 1st Euro-Mediterranean Conference and Exhibition on Donor Funding, Banking and Novel Financial Instruments (MEDA Finance 2009). Keynote speakers, including Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif met to discuss the opportunities to access the $22 billion available in the form of grants, preferential lines of credit, soft loans or non-banking financial instruments.
The CEEBA was founded in 2004 to create a stronger platform for Euro-Egyptian relations. Areas of activity include the provision of advocacy on business related issues, the creation and development of Egyptian-European Associations, and to enhance support for all EC programs.
Other key CEEBA objectives include the promotion of pan-Euro trade, investment and technology transfer, outreach to EU economic programs, the implementation of Egyptian-European projects and to also act as a chamber of commerce for EU member states which do not hold one.