On Tuesday, the US Ambassador to Egypt, Jonathan Cohen, said that Egypt and the United States have strong strategic relations, noting that the US companies are very interested in pumping major investments in the Egyptian market, which has many advantages, the most important of which are the vital geographical location and its economic diversification.
In remarks during his meeting with the members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, Cohen stated that Egypt is strategically positioned to lead the African and Middle East data center markets, which are expected to grow by double digits over each of the next several years.
He noted that the United States has provided longstanding assistance to Egypt’s military, economy, and cultural institutions, helping make the country more resilient through our security partnership, educational and cultural exchanges, and development work.
The ambassador also pointed out that the U.S. government provided robust support for Egypt, both bilaterally and through multilateral institutions, and has invested over $80 billion in Egypt over the last 43 years, stating that his country also helped deliver clean water and electricity to millions of Egyptians, created jobs, conserved important archeological sites, and addressed many of Egypt’s most pressing public-health challenges, including during the COVID pandemic.
“Our cultural and educational programs have introduced thousands of young Egyptians each year to new ideas, and to new ways of seeing the world. We select hundreds of Egyptians annually for in-person and, now, virtual exchanges. We conduct cultural, English language, and skill-building programs that reach thousands of Egyptian youth and young professionals each year,” he added.
Cohen said that the US is also committed to protecting Egypt’s rich cultural heritage, as illustrated by my team’s work to coordinate the return of over 5,000 papyrus fragments and artifacts only a few weeks ago.
He confirmed that the United States and Egypt have a great deal in common when it comes to our diplomatic engagement as well. On all the major regional issues today – from finding a political solution in Libya, to making progress toward Middle East peace, to working to find a solution to the GERD – the United States and Egypt share a commitment to forging diplomatic solutions that enhance regional stability.
“So, regardless of what else may have changed over the past year, that commitment to building our shared prosperity and advancing our mutual interests remains,” he added.
He also said that the US is looking forward to working with its partners in the business community and the Egyptian government to make the most of them.
“While the whole world has grappled with the worst pandemic in a century, Egypt has weathered the crisis far better than most, the ambassador stated.
The government’s economic reforms, those difficult policy choices President Sisi and Prime Minister Madbouly carried out to pull Egypt’s economy back from the brink of crisis between 2016 and 2019 — combined with the government’s ambitious Vision 2030 development plan and some well-considered programs in direct response to the pandemic, created the buffer that cushioned Egypt from the worst of COVID’s economic impacts.
He also noted that Egypt is the only country in the region whose economy actually grew over the past year, despite the pandemic. pointing out that it is the top destination for foreign direct investment in Africa for the fifth year in a row in 2020, and one of the top regional destinations for venture capital, financial technology, and information and communication technology investments.
Egypt is investing in its economic future, by launching new transportation and infrastructure projects linking Egyptian cities and ports with global markets;
Cohen said that Egypt’s location at the nexus of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, and its global connectivity to 18 major international data cable systems make it a very attractive market in the Middle East region.
Despite the pandemic, U.S. agricultural exports to Egypt increased by a remarkable 23 percent in 2020, to nearly two billion dollars, led by soybeans, grains, dairy, and tree nuts. Egyptian agricultural exports to the United States also increased 22 percent during the same period, reaching a record high of $220 million.