Hossam Heiba, the CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), has met with Switzerland’s State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Helen Baudler. The discussions, held on the sidelines of the African Intra-Trade Fair hosted by Egypt, focused on activating a memorandum of understanding aimed at promoting and attracting foreign investments, particularly in the realm of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
During the meeting, attended by Evelyne Baumann, Switzerland’s Ambassador to Egypt, and Simon Weiss, Head of the Swiss Agency for Investment and Trade, the participants explored avenues to implement the memorandum of understanding, emphasizing its relevance to promoting foreign investments, especially for SMEs.
Heiba participated in a reception organized by the Swiss Chamber of Commerce, where he engaged with prominent Swiss companies operating in Egypt, as well as Egyptian and African firms. The event aimed to bolster trade and investment relations between Egypt and Switzerland.
Highlighting Egypt as Switzerland’s largest trading partner in Africa, Heiba acknowledged the significant presence of Swiss companies in the Egyptian market. Despite economic challenges, he emphasised Egypt’s position as a key investment destination and the primary gateway to Africa. He noted that, amidst the economic challenges, Egypt remains a crucial investment destination and the primary gateway to Africa. The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area, one of the world’s largest free trade areas, presents immense opportunities for investment and trade expansion on the continent, with a consumer base exceeding 1.3 billion and a market size exceeding $3.4trn.
Helen Baudler remarked: “It is no coincidence that Egypt was chosen to host the African Intra-Trade Fair. Egypt not only stands as an economic giant in Africa but, due to its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, it has the potential to become the preferred entry point for companies seeking to conduct business in Africa.”