Calls for new Japanese industrial zones in Egypt, Africa

A cargo vessel container ship passes through Suez Canal, with the Al Salam Bridge behind it. (Shutterstock photo)
Updated 30 August 2019

Calls for new Japanese industrial zones in Egypt, Africa

  • Egypt-Japan ties at an exceptional phase in the history of relations

YOKOHAMA: Plans to establish new industrial zones in Egypt and Africa were on Wednesday unveiled at the opening of a high-profile business meeting in Japan.

Delegates attending the three-day Egyptian-Japanese Business Forum were told of the commercial importance of setting up a zone in the Suez Canal economic area, along with a Japanese bank in Egypt.

The forum, being held on the sidelines of the seventh session of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7), in Yokohama city, was attended by Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Amr Nassar, Japan’s Ambassador to Egypt Masaki Noki, Chairman of the Egyptian Arab Contractors Co. Mohsen Salah, along with Egyptian and Japanese business leaders and investors.

Mohamed Abou El-Enein, vice president of the Egypt-Japan Business Council, stressed that new projects and increased Japanese investment in Egypt would play a major part in further boosting relations between the two countries.

Abou El-Enein said the “great support” received from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated the high level of cooperation taking place between the nations.

FASTFACT

Egypt and Africa are seeking to emulate Japan’s experience in 12 countries and its big successes in Cambodia, India and Malaysia.

The business leader pointed out that Japan could reach Africa, Europe and the Middle East via Egypt’s unique geographical location, and he called on Japanese investors to establish an industrial zone in the economic area of the Suez Canal. He also suggested the establishment of a Japanese bank in Egypt.

Egypt and Africa were seeking to emulate Japan’s experience in 12 countries and its big successes in Cambodia, India and Malaysia through the presence of Japanese industrial zones in Africa, Abou El-Enein added.

He said that cooperation between Egypt and Japan was currently at an exceptional phase and that there was huge potential to achieve much more.

Thanking ministers Nasr and Nassar for their support of the Egypt-Japan Business Council and bilateral relations in general, Abou El-Enein added that he was pleased with the expansion of Japanese companies in Egypt.

Egyptian businessman, Ibrahim Al-Araby, said: “The road to development and progress in Africa starts from Egypt as it is the gateway to the continent. We have to utilize tax-free zones and establish a Japanese industrial zone, especially now with the Silk Road stretching across the Middle East.

“Egypt is not only a gateway to 100 million Egyptians but 1.2 billion people in the African market.”


Lufthansa to freeze hiring, cut costs over coronavirus

Updated 26 February 2020

Lufthansa to freeze hiring, cut costs over coronavirus

  • ‘All new hires ... will be reassessed, suspended or deferred’
  • Lufthansa has also slashed connections with Hong Kong in the face of reduced demand

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: German airline Lufthansa said Wednesday it would freeze new hires and use unpaid leave and additional short-time work to cut costs to help cushion the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.
“To counteract the economic impact of the coronavirus of the early stage,” the group, which also owns carriers Austrian and Swiss, said in a statement that “all new hires ... will be reassessed, suspended or deferred.”
Employees would be offered unpaid leave and more part-time work and the group would also seek to cut administrative costs, it said.
“It is not yet possible to estimate the expected impact ... on earnings,” the group said, adding that it would provide more details at its annual results press conference on March 19.
The Frankfurt-based group said 13 of its aircraft were grounded, after it canceled all flights to and from mainland China by its flagship airline, as well as Austrian and Swiss until March 28.
Lufthansa has also slashed connections with Hong Kong in the face of reduced demand “and additional frequency adjustments to and from Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich are planned,” it said.