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.
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.”