CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with an Italian business delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda Monday, stressing that Italian investments are “always welcomed in Egypt,” according to a statement issued by the presidency.
Italy is Egypt’s largest European trade partner, and the delegation included bankers, representatives of financial institutions as well as major Italian companies operating in heavy industry, energy, construction, railways, cotton, insurance and fisheries, the statement read.
Egypt’s Ministers of Trade and Industry, Investment and the Italian Ambassador to Egypt Maurizio Massari attended the meeting.
During the meeting, Sisi underscored the “strong relations” between the two nations on both the official and popular levels, Presidency Spokesman Ambassador Alaa Youssef stated.
“The president called on the Italian business community to capitalize on investment opportunities and increase their investment in Egypt,” added Youssef.
Sisi added that the Egypt Economic Development Conference scheduled in March will provide an adequate opportunity for reviewing the economic reform program for the coming four years. “Around 15 to 20 projects are to be presented at the conference,” said the president, adding that the feasibility studies these projects have been finalized including energy and infrastructure projects.
“Calenda stressed that Italy is committed to actively participating in the economic conference in March and added that it looks forward to enhancing its relations with Egypt at both the political and economic levels,” added the statement.
He added that the delegation included representatives of 80 companies and financial institutions with a market capital of 150 billion euros.
Monday’s meeting was a follow-up to Sisi’s previous meeting with the Egyptian-Italian Business Council during his last visit to Rome in November.
The president further reviewed the latest developments on the economic side, noting that Egypt is currently finalizing a unified investment law, and solving problems faced by investors since the January 25 Revolution, and streamline contracting procedures for investors doing business in Egypt, the statement read.
During the meeting, a number of Italian businessmen reviewed the projects that are being considered in Egypt in a number of fields. Further, Italian banks and financial institutions’ representatives reviewed the possibility of financing a number of investment projects, including SME’s.