Khaled Nossier, chair- man of the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) - Egypt Today
Adelegation of companies is heading to the UK from November 8 to 10 to pres- ent investment opportunities in mega projects, infrastructure, financial ser-
vices, as well as new and renewable energy and petroleum sectors. With a mission to present in- vestment opportunities in Egypt, the delegation will include representatives from relevant min- istries and the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI). Khaled Nossier, chair- man of the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA), chats with Business Today about the de- tails of the delegation.
How many companies will participate in the delegation?
The delegation will include 40 Egyptian compa- nies and investors. We have programs for each sec- tor as we are scheduling meetings between these companies and UK firms working in these fields. The visit will include cities outside London such as Aberdeen, which is a hub for energy, oil and gas.
Can you name some of the participating com- panies?
We are taking companies that have been pres- ent in Egypt for several years and have a success story to share; this includes Vodafone, HSBC and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), who will review their business in Egypt to give more cred- ibility with regards to the investment climate.
What is the goal of these meetings?
The goal is to have a presence in the UK, meet as large a number of companies as pos- sible and create links with multinational com- panies who are taking the UK as their center of operation. The participating companies from Egypt will showcase the latest developments and reforms resulting in fiscal and economic stability to encourage UK investors to invest and open new cooperation channels.
Are you meeting UK officials as part of this visit?
We are not meeting officials, but we are meet- ing associations of businessmen, chambers of commerce and think-tanks who design public policy in the UK. We are also targeting correct- ing the false image of Egypt some of these com- panies have had since 2013. We will also meet representatives from international financial institutions.
Which national projects will the delegation focus on?
The delegation will present opportunities in the New Administrative Capital, the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), power plants, ag- riculture, transport, financial services and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects. The time of the visit is also crucial because there is currently a chance to benefit from the eco- nomic system changes in the UK after Brexit comes into effect. Investors there are looking for new markets and opportunities as they are still unsure how the industrial sector and free trade agreements with the EU will become. It is now a good time to present Egypt as an invest- ment-attracting destination.
What are other items on the delegation’s agenda?
The delegation, along with BEBA, will take place in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Britain Trade Expo 2017, which will be held on November 10 in London. We succeeded in making Egypt one of the countries in focus at the conference, along with Tunisia and the UAE. We have only half a day allocated to present opportunities in Egypt by GAFI and some Egyptian companies. There will also be one-on-one meetings between investors and members of the delegation.
UK trade envoy Jeffrey Donaldson was visit- ing Egypt in late September, along with 14 UK firms. Can you tell us about the result of this visit?
This delegation was aiming to investigate the current situation in investment and trade, while also looking for local partners in Egypt. We are always in coordination with the UK trade envoy even in the upcoming visit to the UK; we have Jeffrey Donaldson, a keynote speaker, in a num- ber of events.
How do you measure the success of these visits?
It can’t be measured by a scale. However, the impact can be indirect, as these visits could lead to a contract or to an increase in bilateral trade and investments. If this happened, we can say the visit has succeeded because the real benefit is marketing Egypt.