An Italian business delegation currently visiting Egypt has expressed eagerness concerning mutual cooperation and boosting trade exchange between the two nations.
They presented five Italian initiatives to the Egyptian cabinet in the fields of agriculture, tourism, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), bio and renewable energy as well as vocational training. “We’re eager to find partners,” said Antonio Badini,the president of the Italian Association for Cooperation and Friendship with Egypt (IACFE), during a press conference held Monday.
The delegation destined $2 billion for investment in Egypt and stressed expanding public private-partnership (PPP) investments. Badini expressed the delegation’s desire to cooperate with the Federation of Egyptian Industries towards developing vocational training of human capital. He also emphasised the need for a mutual agreement that allows duty-free exchange of goods between both nations.
The counsellor for the IACFE, Dr Nagy Albert, said that Italian SMEs were finding it more difficult to compete in a global market due to the high cost of production and taxation in Europe. In order for these companies to remain globally competitive, they needed to find ways to save on production costs. “Egypt can benefit from their technology and know-how while Italy can reduce their production cost owing to Egypt’s lower taxes.”
The president of the Italian-Egyptian Business Council, Khaled Abu Bakr, said “they [Italians] are used to investing in an instable political climate,” commenting on possible concerns that might deter investment. “For them, it’s a stable transitional period. We’re the ones who are too worried and I highly doubt that cycle of production and employment would come to a halt so long as we continue to live and work and produce and raise generations.”
Additionally, the government is in the final stages of restarting the high-speed maritime line between Alexandria and Venice, which stopped operating after the revolution, as AbuBakr reported, adding that one of the main targets of the Italian-Egyptian Business Council is to lure Italian SMEs that are closing down in Italy to come and start their businesses in Egypt rather than any other neighbouring country. “As we speak, there are factories being entirely transported to Egypt in cooperation with Egyptian investors who expressed interest in expanding their operations,” AbuBakr added.
Source: Daily News Egypt