Managing Director and Head of Global Banking at HSBC Egypt Helmy Ghazy (r), BEBA Chairman Khaled Nosseir (center), and CEO of Vodafone Egypt Alexandre Froment-Curtil - Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Aziz
CAIRO - 21 November 2018: The British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) held on Wednesday the preparatory session of the Door knock Mission that will head the United Kingdom by the end of November.
Executive Director of BEBA Nadia Lamloum - Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Salam
“We have to clarify that Egypt is the key of Africa for its free trade agreements with the continent's countries like COMESA,” Executive Director of BEBA Nadia Lamloum said. Managing Director and Head of Global Banking at HSBC Egypt Helmy Ghazy said that the delegation will highlight the fall in inflation rates and the shrinking budget deficit.
Managing Director and Head of Global Banking at HSBC Egypt Helmy Ghazy - Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Salam
Ghazy revealed that “investors always ask about the currency” and that BEBA representatives “will tell them it has been available since floatation.” Ghazy stated that 40-50 percent of recent FDI in Egypt are British.
“We will emphasize opportunities in the sectors of infrastructure, education, health, and financial services, BEBA Chairman Khaled Nosseir stated saying that the association may hold the Door Knock Mission more than once per year. He added that one of the mission’s goals is “attempting to put Egypt on the investment map for British SMEs.”
BEBA Chairman Khaled Nosseir - Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Salam
“We succeeded in dispelling misconceptions about the investment environment in Egypt,” Nosseir said uncovering that a number of British investors closed partnership deals with the Egyptian side last year.
However, "some Egyptian investors don’t reveal their deals with British partners so we do not always have cut clear figures on recent investment inflows from the United Kingdom," Nosseir added. The BEBA chairman also underlined that there are British investors who partnered up with Egyptian counterparts and penetrated Gulf markets, Nosseir said.
Brexit is considered an opportunity for Egypt whose agricultural goods can substitute European ones, Nosseir explained saying that British investments are currently concentrated in the sectors of telecommunication and energy. The size of British investments in Egypt is $5.6 billion.
“British tourism is almost back to its previous rates to all destinations in Egypt except for Sharm El Sheikh,” Nosseir stated saying that there are over 40 flights to the country per week. As for diplomatic support, Nosseir said that “the British ambassador in Egypt is very enthusiastic to cooperate.”
The session was attended by CEO of Vodafone Egypt Alexandre Froment-Curtil who said his company has been working in Egypt for 20 years investing LE45 billion ($2.5 billion) and employing 15,000. “When talking with British investors in Egypt or Britain, we tell them our story,” the Vodafone Egypt CEO said.
CEO of Vodafone Egypt Alexandre Froment-Curtil - Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Salam
"The return on investment in Egypt is very good," Froment-Curtil stated. “The Egyptian market is not saturated,” he added. Talking about the telecommunication sector as an example, Froment-Curtil said, “50 percent of mobile phone users do not use mobile internet. Household internet is not dominant either.”
“We invest in human capital and not just infrastructure. We employed 1,000 this year, and put LE4.5 billion to renovate the network,” the Vodafone Egypt CEO stated.
“HSBC is the largest foreign bank in Egypt...We are among the banks capable of funding mega projects. We partially fund Siemens plants whose cost is €6 billion” Ghazy said. As for future plans, he commented revealing, “We will focus on internet banking and programs for SMEs.”
The mission will include Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr; Minister of Finance Mohamed Moeit; Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed; Deputy Minister of Housing for National Projects Khaled Abbas; Chairman of the General Authority for Investments (GAFI) Mohsen Adel; Chairman of Egyptian Exchange (EGX) Mohamed Farid.