Arab-Turkish-European integration: A project proposal by commerce chambers presidents

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

Ahmed El-Wakil and Rafat Hissar, the presidents of the Egyptian and African Chamber of Commerce and the Turkish Chamber of Commerce, respectively, have proposed a project to study the feasibility and benefits of Arab-Turkish-European integration. The project aims to link European and Turkish companies with their counterparts in Egypt, Tunisia, and Palestine, and foster trilateral cooperation in various sectors.

The proposal was presented at the fifth meeting of Arab-Turkish chambers on Saturday, 24 February 2024. El-Wakil stressed the importance of this project, which is inspired by the EU Global Bridges initiative, as a way to enhance the economic and social development of the participating countries. He highlighted the pivotal role of Egypt in this cooperation, as a country that has opened its doors to partners from various countries worldwide, especially from the Arab world and Turkey, through government and private sector partnerships.

El-Wakil also emphasized the need to integrate the ports, logistical centers, industries, services, and production inputs of the participating countries, and to work on joint manufacturing and exports to African markets, the European Union, and other regions with free trade opportunities for Egypt. He pointed out the importance of utilizing the TIR Convention for exports through transcontinental routes that will open markets in the landlocked countries of Central Africa and the new fast RoRo lines to the European Union.

Moreover, El-Wakil highlighted the importance of creating strong alliances to implement infrastructure projects in Egypt and Africa, and to reconstruct neighbouring countries destroyed by wars and conflicts. He also emphasized the importance of achieving food security through participation in the project to reclaim millions of feddans and manufacture its products to add value and create job opportunities.

El-Wakil praised the efforts of the successive governments in Egypt to create an environment for the private sector to play its role in development, with comprehensive legislative and procedural reforms, offering many incentives and facilitations. He also pointed to the promising investment opportunities offered by Egypt today in many major projects such as the Suez Canal Axis, land reclamation of millions of acres, electricity, water, transportation, and logistics projects, as well as investment in industrial, tourism, and real estate sectors.

He concluded by saying that this renaissance has enhanced the efficiency of Egyptian companies in infrastructure, road projects, sanitation, and tourism real estate investments, and enabled them to spread development and growth in the Gulf countries and Africa, with investments exceeding $3bn and $10bn, respectively. He mentioned some examples of successful Egyptian companies, such as Orascom, Hassan Allam, Petrojet, Eni, Ezz Steel, and Arab Contractors.

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