Stronger communications network among European, Mediterranean states
Regional, Economics, 10/4/2000
Egypt's Economy and Foreign Trade Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali Tuesday underlined the importance of setting up a strong communications network between the European and Mediterranean countries, including Egypt, in order to push forward the European-Mediterranean partnership program (Cairo 2000).
Addressing the inaugural session of the expanded conference, held on the European-Mediterranean partnership on behalf of Prime Minister Atef Ebeid, Ghali said the program is organized in concert with the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) with the aim of updating trade and investment cooperation and transferring technology.
The success of this program rests on setting up strong institutions in order to exchange information on the possible opportunities of trade and investment between the two sides, Ghail said.
The conference was attended by 1500 businessmen from European and Mediterranean states, European Union (EU) members, heads of businessmen organizations and ambassadors of 15 EU member-states.
Ghali added that the conference aims at energizing and increasing investments between the European and Mediterranean countries.
Ambassador of the European Union (EU) in Cairo Chersitian Falkwfski highlighted the role played by the Federation of Egyptian Industries and the German-Arab Chamber of Commerce in pushing forward this partnership.
"It is considered a significant event that reflects the importance of the Egyptian market and the stability of the economy which offers a lot of investment opportunities", he added.
Chairman of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones Mohammed A1 Ghamrawy said the government drew up a plan containing projects worth LE 25 billion for the sake of the state's general development plan, and these projects' economic feasibilities are available.
Assistant Foreign Minister Gamal Bayoumi who is in charge of the Egyptian-European partnership said that the convocation of the two-day conference after 2000 hours of preparation is a success and achievement in its own.
Addressing a joint press conference held on the sidelines of the conference, Bayoumi said that the past two years were spent in collecting the names of European, Mediterranean and Egyptian companies willing to launch joint projects and investments.
The conference, that consists mainly of one-on-one meetings between businessmen, is attended by 347 Egyptian companies and 555 non-Egyptian companies working in automotive industry, construction, textiles, pharmaceuticals, electronics and IT, textile and services.
Asked on why the Egyptian-European partnership was not signed up till now and what are the problems blocking such step, Bayoumi said that all talks between the Egyptians and European were complete in 1999.
"I assure you no other talks will be held", he said.
He added that the final draft agreement was complete, no comma will be added or removed, what is hindering the signature is the presence of some articles, already approved, but the two sides want to assure that they have the same interpretation for them.
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