CAIRO, Feb 12 (Aswat Masriya) - UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and over 40 delegates from British companies arrived to Egypt this week “to assess new trade and investment opportunities and identify potential Egyptian partners.”
In what the British embassy describes as “one of the UK’s biggest trade delegation to date”, British companies arrive to Cairo and Alexandria to explore investment deals, many of them for the first time.
The delegation includes the Invest Northern Ireland Trade mission, whose companies cover numerous sectors including Energy, Healthcare, Food and Drink, Environment, Waste Management, Construction and Engineering. This is in addition to companies under the auspices of the Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce (EBCC).
According to Donaldson, 2016 saw investments from UK companies reaching over $30 billion.
British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson said, “We are seeing growing British appetite as Egypt implements its economic reform programme.”
Egypt embarked on an economic reform programme that included the introduction of the value-added tax, cutting subsidies and adopting a flexible exchange rate regime.
The country managed to secure a three-year $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in November just a week after it announced the flotation of its national currency.
The Egyptian pound has started to slowly regain its strength in banks over the past few days, with the U.S. dollar being bought for around 17.7 pounds, down from around 18.75 last week. This comes as foreign investor confidence picks up and demand for dollars starting to slow, especially from importers on non-essentials, Reuters reported.
Egypt and Britain are natural economic partners with $2bn of trade each year and $30.5 bn of investment powering the Egyptian economy since 2011, according to the embassy’s press release.