Levelling the playing field is vital to boost foreign Investment in Egypt: German Ambassador 

Taha Sakr
4 Min Read

Foreign companies in Egypt seek legal assurance and commitment to fair international market conditions as well as equal treatment and a level playing field in comparison to the present domestic companies that may have a military background, German Ambassador to Cairo Frank Hartmann told Daily News Egypt.

“It is all about equal treatment and investment conditions. I think the industry is willing to engage more. There are a lot of talks with Egypt and discussions in general future projects,” Hartmann said in an interview.

German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock will pay her first visit to Egypt from 11 to 12 February 2022.

Baerbock intends to meet her Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry as well as other members of the Egyptian government.

She plans to discuss Egyptian-German relations and important regional issues that involve Egypt and Germany. She will also explore areas of cooperation in connection with the upcoming 27th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change (COP 27) that will be hosted by Egypt, according to Hartmann.

“I’m very happy that she can come to Egypt so soon to resume the political dialogue,” Hartmann said.

When asked about the issues that will be discussed during the visit, Hartmann said that there are three axes that will be covered, the first being bilateral relations, as Germany is celebrating the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations with Egypt, which began in 1952.

The second will be discussing regional issues of mutual concern, such as Libya and the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

The third will be discussions regarding the COP 27.

Hartmann noted that Baerbock will be heading the German delegation during the COP 27 that will be held in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh this November.

Regarding the MENA region, Hartmann explained that Egypt is playing a crucial role in the region’s crises, highlighting that the country has been exerting much effort on the situation in Palestine and Israel and establishing channels with Hamas to stabilise the ceasefire in Gaza.

“We fully appreciate Egypt’s efforts in this regard, we actively want to engage with Egypt and other neighbours to stabilise and move forward the Middle East peace process,” Hartmann stressed.

Concerning Libya, Germany urged parties in Libya not to deviate from the Berlin Conference and Paris-Libya Conference.

“We encourage fair elections, and we will exchange views with Egypt regarding this issue,” Hartmann said.

As for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis, Germany is encouraging multilateral negotiated solutions with Ethiopia.

Hartmann stressed that Germany does not take sides in particular issues pertaining to the dam but can only encourage all parties involved to sit down and come to an agreement.

“I would assume that Egypt will raise the issue during Baerbock’s visit,” Hartmann explained.

On the bilateral economic relations between the two countries, Hartmann stressed that economic cooperation is going tremendously well, noting that trade exchange is currently a little less than €5bn.

“Last year, new contracts were signed with a value exceeding €5bn. [The agreements encompass] huge investments for the energy, transportation, green hydrogen, and training sector,” Hartmann concluded.

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