On Tuesday, October 11, 2016 a small group of Egyptian businessmen had the opportunity to meet the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Dr. Hahn within the scope of a business dinner organized by FEDCOC in cooperation with CEEBA.
The group that covered 3 of the 5 biggest exporters to the EU had time to discuss the current situation of Egypt and the prospective of further business development between the EU and Egyptâ€™s private sector. Commissioner Hahn emphasized that most the European Mediterranean countriesâ€™ trade is with themselves and not with more southern countries such as Egypt and this is a potential that should not be idled. Furthermore, he pointed out that the EU recently established an external investment fund to tackle the roots of migration. The fund is supposed to work as a guarantee mechanism that triggers even more investment.
The participants utilized the familiar atmosphere to talk about potential for reforms in the economy and the current IMF deal. In particular, the liberalization of the Egyptian pound and currency trading were discussed. Mr. Angus Blair, Chief Operating Officer of Pharos Holding, stressed the importance of a dual approach as Egypt â€œneeds a top down and bottom up strategy at the same time in order to implement reforms successfullyâ€ and Hazem Hassan, Chairman of KPMG Egypt, added that â€œwe need more educational cooperation between Egypt and the EUâ€. Dr. Hahn thanked the participant for their useful input and promised to put himself into service of a deepening of the Euro-Egyptian relationships. Dr. Alaa Ezz, Secretary General of CEEBA, closed the event by remembering that â€œthe Mediterranean Sea doesnâ€™t separate us; it connects us.â€