Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil and his Turkish counterpart Recep
Akram Ali – Cairo
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyep Erdogan inaugurated on Sunday morning the Egyptian-Turkish Economic Forum. The event was attended by the ministers for investment,
housing, industry and commerce, along with 200 Turkish businessmen.
Speaking at the forum, Egyptian Investment Minister Usama Saleh said that the Egyptian government is “careful to improve the climate for the performance of investment and investors.”
The minister described measures taken to achieve this, listing the reduction of red tape, creating a healthy climate for investment, amending the investment law to allow for the settlement of previously-signed contracts so they are not affected by events that have taken place after Egypt’s revolution and allowing for conciliation with businessmen who are accused of crimes.
Saleh stressed the government’s support of small and medium-scale enterprises in Egypt, believing them to be the key to future job opportunities for young people.
Referring to an “improved” climate for investment, Saleh pointed out that Egypt’s growth rate has risen from 2.2 percent last year to a targeted 3.8–4 percent by the end of the current year. Saleh put the prospective growth rate of 7 percent in the next few years, returning to pre-revolutionary rates. This, he said, would reduce unemployment which is now at 12.7 percent.
Touching on Egyptian-Turkish relations, Saleh said they have flourished in both commercial and cultural fields.
The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries, according to Saleh, is $5 billion, with $300 million of Turkish investments in Egypt at a current market value of $1.5 million. The investments come in the form of 441 companies, 82 percent of which working in the industrial sector.