Al Habtoor Group Chairman Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor held one-on-one talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi at the Presidential Palace in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Sunday December 6, 2015.
They discussed the current political and social climate in Egypt, as well as the investment arena. Al Habtoor praised al-Sisi for restoring order in Egypt and for encouraging investors back to the country. He commended the President’s “great efforts to invigorate the Egyptian economy” with mega projects, such as the expansion of the Suez Canal Area Development Project and development in the energy sector.
However, he said more confidence is needed to lure in big investors, and stressed the need for creating investor-friendly incentives to encourage more foreign direct investment to the country. “I commend President al-Sisi on implementing procedures to issue trade licenses for foreign investors in less than three days. That being said, as a potential investor myself, I would like to see additional investor-friendly initiatives like tax incentives and guaranteeing that repatriation of funds is given priority by the Central Bank of Egypt.”
The Chairman added, “I would like to emphasize that individuals and businesses in the GCC are eager to invest in Egypt, including myself. There is huge untapped potential as well as access to a vast consumer market - as long as there is stability.”
Al Habtoor said infrastructure investment is key to Egypt’s success. “I would encourage investment in infrastructural projects. This would help bring the country’s infrastructure up to date and create much-needed jobs. This is a key driver for economic growth. It will significantly increase productivity and lower production costs. It is a win-win situation.”
The President, who has been credited for returning stability in Egypt, expressed his appreciation to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its continued support.