Egypt: Statement By Abdel Fattah El Sisi At the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council

Statement by H.E. President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah El Sisi at the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council

Tokyo, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

In The Name of Allah the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Ladies and gentlemen… dear guests;

I would like in the beginning of my speech to express my great pleasure for talking to you today in my first official visit to Japan addressing this honourable group of the most active players in the Egyptian-Japanese economic relations from the public and private sectors and from the heart of Tokyo which is one of the most important economic decision-making centers in the world.

Japan has been and is still an inspiring economic example to several developing countries where it succeeded to overcome immense challenges after World War II and turned into an economic miracle depending on its human capital. It managed to combine both material progress and human grace while achieving justice in distributing wealth among its citizens through handling some negative aspects of the capitalist system. Also Japan has instilled in its citizens the love of the homeland and appreciation of collective work together with modesty for attaining high goals.

History bears witness to the excellence of Egyptian-Japanese relations which go back to more than 150 years ago when Japan dispatched a high level mission to Egypt in 1862 to study the progress of different nations around the world. It stopped then at Egypt to get acquainted with our development in several domains at that time. The picture of the Samurai at the Pyramids stands as a witness to this human interaction where its continuation is a source of our pride until now.

The Egyptian-Japanese relations have largely developed in the past year where the two governments exchanged visits; the most important of which was that of Japanese Prime Minister Abe to Cairo in January 2015. Also several other visits were paid from representatives of the private sector in both countries. These visits invested bilateral relations with a strong momentum that should be capitalized for increasing investments and trade exchange. My current visit to Japan is aimed at activating the strategy of the Egyptian government for opening to the most important international partners and diversifying a network of foreign relations in all domains.

Ladies and gentlemen;

The Egyptian people succeeded in reconstructing the State’s constitutional and democratic institutions. The House of Representatives which represents all segments of the Egyptian society started undertaking its job equipped with massive powers to be able to monitor the performance of the government. This way, Egypt has succeeded in setting up one of the most important examples for democratic change in the region despite the difficulties facing us. The government also managed to restore the prestige of the State and the coherence of its institutions in standing up to terrorism and extremism. This led to establishing peace and security and helped the economy restore its vigor. It also led to creating a suitable atmosphere for local and foreign investments.

On the other hand, the government started implementing a comprehensive program for sustainable development until the year 2030 that is aimed at attracting more investments and encouraging investors to operate in a safe and stable atmosphere through reviewing all investment-related legislation. Atop of this legislation was the new unified investment law and other laws in addition to intensifying efforts for ending red-tape and steering away from the traditional way of doing business and administration through applying innovative ideas and encouraging the private sector to participate in the implementation of the government’s plan to push forward the economy.

Praising the Egyptian economy by international institutions was the best evidence of the remarkable development of the Egyptian economic performance where economic indicators improved and the Egyptian credit rating was upgraded according to reports by international institutions. This largely contributed to our recent success in turning Egypt into a State of operations for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This means opening new windows for project funding in Egypt and reflects an international recognition by all member-states of the Bank of the soundness of the political and economic transformation track in Egypt.

Egypt also launched several mega development projects to be the driving engine for development. On top of these projects was the New Suez Canal that was inaugurated in August 2015. It was a practical epitome of the Egyptian citizen’s confidence in his government when Egyptians purchased investment certificates at a value of 8.6 billion dollars in only eight days to provide funding for the project. It was also an expression of the Egyptians’ ability to contribute to and implement such a giant project in one year only achieving, this way, unprecedented rates of accomplishment to grant a gift from Egypt to the whole world.

Our view regarding the New Suez Canal surpassed only setting up an additional waterway for ships. So, we have announced at the onset of the project establishing also another project of developing the Suez Canal zone including several other infrastructure projects whose feasibility studies were compiled in detail. These projects offer a promising opportunity for Japanese companies not only for contributing to infrastructure projects but also as an international center for production, re-export of Japanese products to various world countries.

We are now bent on implementing other important projects such as the national road network along with reclaiming 1.5 million feddans, which is aimed at establishing new integrated urban and development communities in addition to several other infrastructure projects, especially in the sectors of traditional and renewable energy and setting up the new administrative capital in line with the highest international standards.

Ladies and gentlemen;

Egypt is passing through a genuine economic revolution and a new age of development. Egypt is looking forward to promoting cooperation with its partners and friends in the world atop of which comes Japan as we consider Japan a major partner and true friend that we can depend on its support for the best interest of both sides.

Egypt is seeking a true partnership with the Japanese side where Japan, with its public and private sectors, could support the development process in Egypt at a time when Egypt would offer excellent opportunities for the Japanese private sector.

Within this framework, I would like to confirm the importance of cooperation for providing the required funding for Japanese investments in Egypt. I would like also to invite both the Egyptian and Japanese sides to intensify their talks over the coming period to ease up the access of Egyptian exports into the Japanese market.

Several agreements on joint cooperation in important sectors were signed during the visit. Atop of these sectors are electricity, renewable energy, transport and other vital domains within a framework of the remarkable relations between the two countries.

Ladies and gentlemen;

The Egyptian government is fully aware that there have been recently some temporary hindrances that faced foreign companies in Egypt, including the Japanese corporations. I am determined over the coming period to following up with the government continued efforts seeking swift and sustainable solutions to these problems as part of the government’s plan to create a suitable investment atmosphere and supporting the contribution of foreign investments to mega projects that are carried out in Egypt now.

I am looking forward to the positive outcome of your meeting today. I hope the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council would undertake its responsibilities and float practical proposals for increasing investments and trade exchange along with maintaining contacts between the private sectors in both countries for pushing up bilateral economic relations to wider horizons that are commensurate with the aspirations of the two peoples.

Source: All Africa