29 Mar 2019
Egyptian ambassador to South Africa Sherif Eissa has proposed that South Africa and Egypt work to boost their relations, namely in bilateral trade, investment and political cooperation.
Engineering News reports that when speaking at the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) Trade and Investment Forum in Johannesburg, Eissa said: “We have big economies – we can work together. Why should we see such a small volume of trade between our two countries? We have never seen Egyptian investment in South Africa.”
He went on to say that he hopes advanced trade relations would benefit the people of Egypt as well as all of Africa. “We’re working for all of Africa, not just for Egypt,” he said.
FEI African Cooperation Committee chairperson Dr Sherif El Gabaly backed the proposal, expressing his support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s policy related to strengthening the country’s ties with the rest of Africa. “We’re giving South Africa great importance, we have a great role to play in Africa,” he said, adding that the two countries had not shared enough contacts and their relations suffered in the past – despite introducing some major projects.
Eissa said: “Egypt is building 20 new, fourth-generation cities. Twenty! Seven are almost complete.
“Egypt is very strong in chemical industries. We have discovered big gasfields (in the Mediterranean Sea) - Egypt is becoming a hub of energy in the Middle East today.”
However, South African companies have had minor involvement in these projects, as well as other key Egyptian plans.
“We have the potential; we need to have the will,” Eissa added. “Let’s urge the businessmen in Egypt, and in South Africa – this is an opportunity.”