Egypt sees Biden’s visit to the Middle East as a chance to attract more US investment

CAIRO: In May, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly told a visiting U.S. trade delegation that the total value of U.S. investments in Egypt in the 2021-22 fiscal year was $24 billion.

He said the amount represented an increase of about $15 billion from the figure for the same period in 2020-21, and that the investments were mainly concentrated in the areas of energy, petrochemicals, infrastructure , tourism, agriculture and industry.

At the time, Madbouly called on American companies to partner with the Egyptian government and invest in the energy sector and green projects.

He pledged that his country’s authorities would provide all possible support and assistance to encourage such investments, in line with the government’s economic strategy for partnerships with the private sector.

Egyptian and American businessmen engage in a dialogue in this file photo. (Twitter: @amcham_egypt)

During his visit to the Middle East (July 13-16), US President Joe Biden is expected to meet his Egyptian counterpart in Riyadh. The face-to-face meeting provides President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi with an important opportunity to discuss increasing US investment in Egypt.

The United States is a major strategic partner for Egypt, and Cairo aims to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation with Washington, according to Medhat El-Bassiouni, an Egyptian economist.

Speaking to Arab News, he said the visit of a US trade delegation to Cairo in May reflected the strength of US-Egyptian relations and US investment is expected to increase in the energy, communications and infrastructure.

The US delegation included representatives from 40 companies operating in various fields.

During their visit, organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, they discussed investment opportunities in clean projects covering sectors such as energy, education, health and waste recycling.

According to El-Bassiouni, despite the effects of the pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine, Egypt expects a breakthrough in the coming year in terms of investments abroad, in particular from the United States.

He said that the Egyptian government is currently focusing on opening the way for more foreign investment, both direct and indirect, whether through government cooperation or by allowing private sector companies to participate in joint ventures. investment projects in which the Americans are the main partner.

Omar Muhanna, head of the Egyptian side of the Egyptian-American Business Council, also predicted growth in US investment levels and said El-Sissi’s meeting with Biden this month will help support that. He added that the reforms undertaken by Egypt have created more opportunities for foreign investors.

The current growth in US investment is a positive sign of US support for the Egyptian market, Muhanna said, and he predicted that cooperation between the two countries will be further strengthened, perhaps after COP 27, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change 2022, which will be hosted by Sharm el-Sheikh in November, and that future investments would be concentrated in the green economy.