UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Egypt, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, has held a virtual meeting with Yehia Zaki, Chairperson of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), to discuss UK-Egypt bilateral trade relations.
Also present at the discussions was Omaima Hatem, Chancellor of the Global Academic Foundation (GAF).
During the meeting, Donaldson expressed the UK’s commitment to increase investment in Egypt, with the aim of becoming the largest Group of 7 (G7) investor in Africa by 2022. He also encouraged UK companies to be part of building Egypt’s future through investing in its latest transformational mega projects.
Moreover, he welcomed Zaki’s views on priority projects and explained the support that UK Export Finance (UKEF) could provide. Donaldson also discussed the UK’s plans for the UN Climate Conference (COP26), which will take place in Glasgow in November 2021.
Zaki said, “We truly appreciate and value the British interest in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and this virtual meeting is part of our ongoing dialogue.”
“We remain keen on updating Sir Jeffrey Donaldson on the latest developments the zone is witnessing on various levels,” he added, “This is in infrastructure, connectivity, flow of investments, targeted sectors in addition to the recent progress achieved in implementing SCZone’s strategy for 2020-2025.”
During her meeting with Donaldson, Hatem shared the success story of the opening of the University of Hertfordshire’s new branch campus in Egypt. They also discussed ways to encourage investors to partner with UK education institutions and to bring high quality UK education to Egypt.
Donaldson said, “Egypt is the UK’s third largest business partner in Africa, and we remain committed to developing our partnership further.”
“I strongly support the UK companies contributing to building Egypt’s future through investing in its new transformational mega projects,” he added, “The UK has recently provided £1.7bn backing for a deal with Egypt for the Cairo Monorail project, the largest amount of financing it has ever provided for an overseas infrastructure project.”
An additional £1bn of UK Export Financing support is available to facilitate UK exports to Egypt, Donaldson also said.
Between financing for infrastructure projects, and the UK’s support for quality education in Egypt through university branch campuses, the country is committed to supporting Egypt’s economic and social development.