7th November 2016
The Egyptian Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Soha Gendi, met a group of Irish companies at the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce (AICC) recently to brief them about business opportunities in the Egyptian market.
The companies represented a cross section of business sectors and varied from established exporters to those looking at the region for the first time.
Joe Geoghegan, Chairman of the AICC, H.E. Soha Gendi, Ambassador, Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Ahmad R. Younis, Secretary-General & CEO of the AICC and Mr. Mostafa Mohamed Youssef, Consul, Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The AICC Chairman, Joe Geoghegan, pointed out that Egypt is the third largest market for Ireland in the Arab world with merchandise exports of €305m in 2015, representing an increase of 83% over the previous year.
Ambassador Gendi told the meeting that Egypt has a population of 92 million people, more than twice that of the next most populous Arab country, Algeria, with 40 million. This fact alone, she said, indicates the significant untapped potential which Egypt offers now and into the future.
She also briefed the meeting about the significant opportunities for investment in the country noting that a new Double Taxation Agreement has been put in place between Egypt and Ireland. This is expected to encourage more investments and joint ventures involving Irish businesses in the years ahead.
The Egyptian government has embarked on various large infrastructural projects in recent years, such as widening the Suez Canal, and more are in the pipeline including the construction of a new Administrative Capital. These big projects offer exciting possibilities for Irish companies which offer the specialist expertise and broad range of products and services they will need.
The plans to upgrade Egypt’s main airports will also offer opportunities ranging from security systems to airport retailing; from mechanical and electrical services to ICT infrastructure. Egypt also offers big opportunities for the food sector including beef and livestock, dairy ingredients, infant formula and branded consumer products.
Ambassador Gendi also encouraged Irish travellers to again consider Egypt as a holiday destination, noting that its reduced security risk is now being acknowledged by travel advisory services. She also referred to the importance of direct flight connections between Ireland and Egypt and said that this matter is under active consideration following a recent formal agreement between both countries.
The positive discussions at the meeting led to the conclusion that a trade study visit to Egypt by a group of Irish companies in early 2017 should be considered.
Joe Geoghegan confirmed that the AICC supports this suggestion and undertook to discuss the matter with Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia at an early date.
Attendees at the Business briefing with H.E. Soha Gendi, Ambassador, Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt.