CAIRO - 5 November 2020: Total trade volume between Egypt and Britain hit £1.2 billion during the first eight months of 2020, Chairman of the Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce Ian Gray told Egypt Today (ET).
“The total trade volume between Egypt and Britain has steadily increased over the last few years and crossed the £2 billion in 2019 (£2.1 billion in 2019, +9 percent from 2018),” Gray added.
He stated that there are already over 900 UK-invested companies operating in Egypt, according to GAFI, the Egyptian General Authority for Investment & Free Zones. Well-known names include BP, Shell, Vodafone, HSBC, GSK, AstraZeneca and Unilever, among many others, in particular there are now many UK retail brands trading successfully in Egypt, Matalan opened its doors in Egypt earlier in 2020.
Chairman of the Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce noted that Egypt’s economic reform program has supported increased inflows of FDI from the U.K., which stood at $6.3 billion in 2018/19. While the majority of inflows are in the upstream exploration sector, we are witnessing a gradual diversification of investment in sectors ranging from construction, agriculture, health, manufacturing, renewables and transport.
As for sectors British investment focus on in Egypt, Gray said that British investment focus is not very different from any other country. It is about matching the potential of the market with the skills and capability of the investing country. However the investment is all going to come from U.K. based companies not the Government.
“Fortunately, one of the greatest strengths in the U.K. is the financial sector which can provide funds for investing in almost any sector where the opportunity to grow is good. This is why the Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce has just launched in cooperation with Egyptian trade bodies the online Trade Accelerator to provide a ‘shop window’ for companies in both countries to display their interests and opportunities,” he clarified.
Moreover, Gray referred to investment opportunities in Egypt, saying that the real opportunities of the natural resources of wind and sunshine in Egypt are ideal with the World heading towards green sustainable economies. Adding to this the geographic location and trade agreements makes Egypt a potential business gateway to both Africa and the rest of the Middle East. The other great asset in Egypt is the potential workforce of many well-educated staff.
According to Gray, the best opportunities will come not just from trying to serve within Egypt as a market but using the resources available in Egypt to trade in other countries.