Sunday,17 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1318, (3 - 9 November 2016)
Sunday,17 December, 2017
Issue 1318, (3 - 9 November 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Building ties with Singapore

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Al-Ahram Weekly

SINGAPORE is one of the largest Asian countries investing abroad, but so far Egypt has had only a meagre share of these investments. In 2014, Singapore invested $40 billion worldwide out of which Egypt received only $7 million. Looking at ways of increasing these investments was the focus of Singaporean President Tony Tan’s three-day visit to Cairo this week.

During the visit, Tan met President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and held a joint press conference. The visit saw discussions to set up projects in nine sectors including water desalination, logistics and ports management, civil aviation, vocational education and small and medium sized enterprises. Talking at the press conference Tan said Singapore was at the heart of international trade, and Egypt’s Suez Canal made cooperation between the two countries especially important, including in projects such as the Suez Canal Development Corridor.

Talking at the press conference, Al-Sisi said he discussed with his counterpart plans to promote bilateral trade relations in addition to briefing him on the investment opportunities in Egypt in the new mega projects. 

He also said that Egypt is interested in making the most of Singapore’s experience in transport and education.

 Tan told reporters Singapore was at the heart of international trade, and Egypt’s Suez Canal made cooperation between the two countries especially important, including in projects such as the Suez Canal Development Corridor.

Tan was accompanied by a delegation including representatives from Singaporean companies who attended a meeting of the Egyptian-Singaporean Business Forum intended to introduce businessmen from both sides. Representatives of 30 Singaporean companies covering a wide array of sectors like logistics, machinery and shipping and agriculture attended the Forum, according to Ali Eissa, head of the Egyptian Businessmen’s Association that organised the event with the General Authority for Investment (GAFI).

“The economy of Singapore is highly developed, and we have seen how Singapore went from being a developing country to a first world diversified economy in a matter of just three decades,” Eissa commented. “We can definitely build on Singapore’s experience in the logistics sector in the development of the Suez Canal Corridor.” The Singaporean delegation also visited the Sokhna Port in the part of the Corridor that is currently fully operational and ready to receive investment.

There are 59 Singaporean companies currently working in Egypt with total investments of $338 million. Trade volumes between the two countries amounted to $522 million in 2015 compared to $671 million in 2014. Egypt was the first Arab country to recognise the independence of Singapore, and Singapore President Tony Tan’s visit to Cairo this week commemorates the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Egypt and Singapore.

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