Mubarak, US Treasury Secretary discuss economic cooperation
Egypt, Economics, 6/19/2000
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak received Sunday morning US Secretary of Treasury Lawrence Summers, who had arrived Saturday on a visit of several days to Egypt.
Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Botrous Ghali and US Ambassador in Cairo Daniel Kurtzer attended the meeting.
Summers' visit to Egypt is part of an African tour that will also take him to Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique.
"President Mubarak and US Secretary of Treasury reviewed global, regional and local changes," said Economy Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali.
"The rise in growth rates in Egypt leads to a rise in growth in the region. Egypt is capable of playing a key role in world economy," added the minister.
Ghali, who attended the meeting, added that Mubarak and the US official had reviewed changes experienced by Egyptian economy.
Egypt has launched a successful economic reform progamme underpinned by deregulation and privatization since the early l990s.
Summers lauded the revolution witnessed by the Egyptian economy over the past 10 years and the success of the economic reforms implemented during that period.
Discussions, said Ghali, also covered the role of the Group 15 in changing the world views of the Third World.
He said he had briefed Mubarak on the outcome of an African tour and cited identical views on the necessity of easing the burden of the debt-ridden countries.
Summers said he had congratulated President Mubarak on the successful deep changes experienced by the Egyptian economy over the past 5 to 10 years.
He added that those changes helped provide the chance to harness the potentials of the private sector.
The US official said that the meeting had also covered Egyptian-US partnership and relevant steps taken in the wake of President Mubarak's recent visit to Washington. A number of US companies have promised to help develop the software industry in Egypt.
Summers said that President Mubarak had expressed interest in fulfilling more trade integration between the two countries and providing more openings for the Egyptian exports to the USA.
The US Secretary of Treasury has hailed the positive developments currently being witnessed by the Egyptian economy.
Meeting Sunday with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, with a large number of Egyptian and American business people attending, Summers said that Egyptian economy had enormous inherent potentials of growth, especially in terms of human and natural resources.
Summers, who is in Egypt as part of an African tour, said his meetings in Cairo, and particularly Sunday's meeting with President Hosni Mubarak, left him convinced of the Egyptian government's strong commitment to further developing and activating national economy.
Moreover, Prime Minister Atef Ebeid held a session of talks on Sunday with US Secretary of Treasury and his accompanying delegation.
The meeting was attended by Economy and Foreign Trade Minister Dr. Youssef Boutros Ghali, the Planning Minister, the Governor of the Central Bank and the US Ambassador to Egypt.
Emerging from the meeting, Summers said he reviewed with Ebeid the success the Egyptian economy realized during the recent period due to the implementation of economic reform programmes.
He stressed the continued cooperation between his country and Egypt in the financial and trade fields.
Furthermore, Foreign Minister Amr Moussa discussed during his meeting with Summers on Sunday trade and economic relations between the two countries.
Emerging from the meeting, Summers termed his talks with Moussa as deep, large and very cordial.
"The meeting dealt with a number of international economic issues of mutual interest with emphasis on the economic situation in Egypt," he added.
"Egypt and US agreed on the importance of opening the door to the private sector," Summers said.
On the possibility of setting up a US-Egyptian free trade zone, he said that there is a lot to do in the domain of boosting trade exchange between the two countries, noting that there is a strong desire in the US to set up strong trade relations with Egypt.
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