CAIRO: An estimated 20 major Japanese corporations and government-related organizations will attend the Egypt Economic Development Conference beginning Friday, trade attaché at the Japanese Embassy in Cairo Toyokazo Nagamune told Youm7 via email.
“The conference will be a great occasion for Japanese companies to find new business opportunities through presentations by the government of Egypt as well as contacts and interactions with business people from various sectors,” said Nagamune.
Despite affirming that Egypt is moving into a new stage of growth and development, Nagamune said many challenges still remain, such as security instability.
“But I would like to stress that Egypt witnessed the fourth consecutive year of increase in Japanese investment from 2009/10 to 2012/2013, while the total investment from the rest of the world decreased, and Japanese investment in 2013/14 amounted to 66.4 million USD, which was the largest investment among Asian countries,” he said.
He added that security is one of the key elements that will affect Japanese companies’ attitude toward investment in Egypt, expressing his hope that with the security situation improving, there will be a more positive trend of investment in Egypt.
Japanese companies are facing a lot of problems in their business due to the difficult business environment in Egypt, he said, adding that they are suffering from a lack of transparency and stability in the legal system and procedures regarding business activities as well as a lack of foreign currency including a problem of payment arrears from the Egyptian General Petroleum Company (EGPC).
“I hope that the new investment law will solve the above mentioned problems immediately and encourage foreign private companies to do their business more smoothly and actively in Egypt,” he said.
Nagamune added that the energy sector provides one of “the most promising investment opportunities particularly because the consumption of electricity in Egypt has been growing around 7 percent per year. Japan wants to contribute to solving the problem by using the world’s most advanced and eco-friendly technologies such as ‘clean coal technology.'”