Hossam Heiba, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), met with John Karubi, head of the Japanese side of the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council, and head of Toyota Tsusho Automotive Industry. The meeting was held in the presence of Ibrahim El-Araby, head of the Egyptian side of the Business Council and head of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, and Ahmed Sherine, deputy Chairman of GAFI.
Heiba said that the government is interested in attracting new Japanese investments, for its distinguished role in sustainable development and transferring Japanese expertise and technology to the Egyptian market. He also pointed out that this year will witness a government focus on the Japanese market, as the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council will be held next August, and a promotional visit will be organized.
Additionally, in September, the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) will organize a visit by a Japanese businessmen delegation to Cairo to boost trade and investment between the two countries.
The CEO of the Authority discussed the latest developments in Egypt, the most important of which was establishing the golden license unit, which is granted by the Council of Ministers to companies within only 20 days. It is a comprehensive license for all permits required to start activity and establish companies.
Heiba stressed that the state’s launch of the state ownership document will contribute to the sustainability of economic growth and increase the private sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product to 65%. The state has already begun to put the document into effect.
He added that the country’s launch of a number of national strategies contributes to achieving sustainable development using highly efficient methods, and increasing the attractiveness of the sectors related to these strategies. The launch of the national strategy for developing the automotive industry in 2022 managed to attract several companies operating in the automotive components industry, the most important of which is the Japanese company Sumitomo, specialized in the automotive industry.
The CEO of GAFI also proposed a sustainable partnership between the two countries to conquer the African market, utilizing the technological, investment and export capabilities of Japan, and the Egyptian capabilities in developing African infrastructure, in addition to the Egyptian experience in the African market and the distinguished and well-established relations with the leaders of the business community within the continent.
He emphasized the Egyptian government’s openness to the proposals of the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council to improve the investment environment. A few of the council’s proposals were included in the legislative and executive development undertaken by the Egyptian government to make the economic reform program a success.
For his part, John Karubi said that Toyota Tsusho is looking to achieve a renaissance in the auto industry in the African market. The company will establish two factories within the continent, with a production capacity of 100,000 cars annually each, in addition to its factories located in a number of countries on the continent.
He pointed out that Egypt is one of the preferred locations to establish a factory. The reasons for that are the availability of feeder industries, its qualified manpower, and the efficiency of the investment environment in Egypt. Toyota Tsusho will rely on local expertise after a limited time of training and qualification at the hands of Japanese experts, as the company aims to prepare Egyptian experts in the auto industry, which means that Egypt has taken the basic steps to localize the auto industry.
It is noteworthy that Toyota Tsusho has been operating in Egypt for more than 40 years, and it is one of the ten largest companies in the world in terms of market value.