US Delegation Mulls Over Business in Egypt Post-Revolution

US Delegation Mulls Over Business in Egypt Post-Revolution

Reiterating their commitment to Egypt’s market, in a roundtable meeting ahead of a US business delegation’s visit on June 8, members of the US-Egyptian Business Council, along with the US chamber of Commerce announced the prospect of new investments in the coming period.

According to Lionel Johnson vice president of the US chamber of Commerce the American-Egyptian relationship has always been very important to the US. He stressed that promoting a US-Egypt free trade agreement is one of the US top priorities adding that what Egypt does will contribute to the entire region’s reform.

Khush Choksy, executive director of the US-Egypt Business Council also spoke. He cited that studies will be made to identify the steps necessary to be taken in order to work towards this free trade agreement which will be brought before the two governments to consider. Choksy maintained that close to $9 billion dollars out of Egypt’s $11.1 billion in annual foreign investments were in fact from US companies.

Reuters reported that executives from Google, Citigroup, Boeing and other US companies will also be part of the delegation scheduled to meet Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, other senior officials, business leaders and civil society groups. Representatives from IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Metropolitan Life and General Motors will also be on the trip to Cairo.

The official council delegation on June 8, is expected to discuss future business opportunities, and will focus on supporting the smaller businesses in order to alleviate Egypt’s unemployment. Johnson highlighted that a large number of companies, are also seeking opportunities to develop their investments.  He stressed that the creation of jobs, especially for young individuals, would be the focus of investment opportunities for the delegation. He maintained that the US business delegation has plans to assist in the transitional period as Egyptians pave their way towards democracy following the Egyptian Revolution.

Addressing public concern about the stance of the American companies planning to invest in Egypt, Choksy assured  that many of the companies, which will be participating in the delegation, have in fact been in Egypt since 1952 long before the ousted Mubarak’s era. He claimed that most of these companies’ employees are Egyptian and the money that comes out of these investments does not go to the United States.

Gerald Hawkins, Group Country Manager for Visa Inc, will also be visiting Egypt as one of the delegates of the US Chamber of Commerce delegation, which will encompass meetings with ministers, the US ambassador, emerging business and other leaders.

Osama Saleh, General Authority for Investment (GAFI), headed by chairman will also meet with the US-Egypt Business Council’s delegation, in an attempt to demonstrate the commitment of American businesses to the long-term economic well-being of Egypt.

Other attendees include Fayza Abul Naga, minister of international cooperation, US ambassador to Egypt and Steve Farris, CEO of Apache Corporation.