AmCham-Egypt mission knocks U.S. doors, concurs to IMF-WB Spring Meetings

A delegation of around 40 top-level executives representing businesses in Egypt will start Sunday their visit to Washington, D.C. for the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt’s (AmCham) Annual 39th Doorknock Mission.

Delegates, who are AmCham members, are scheduled to meet with members of the U.S. Congress, administration officials, think tanks, media, and leaders from the U.S. business community and international financial institutions.

The delegates represent Egypt’s various economic sectors; energy, oil and gas, banks, agriculture, food industries, and petrochemicals.

The visit comes just two weeks after Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) led a Congressional delegation to Egypt.

Congressional delegation to Egypt

On April 2nd, Graham headed a U.S. Congress delegation for a two-day visit to Egypt during which delegation members met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi.

Graham is the chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. He is also a member of the Committee on Armed Services.

The meetings focused on security aspects. The delegation with Minister Sedki Sobhi tackled the exchange of visions about the development of the situation in the region as well as international efforts in the war against terrorism.

The Republican senator said at a press conference after meeting with President Sisi that Egypt’s stability “is more important than any other time,”

He also said that the success of Egypt is fundamental for the world, pointing out that conditions in Libya and Syria have deteriorated since his last visit to Cairo and charged that Iran is working on shaking the stability of the region.

The congressional delegation visited development projects by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which focuses on programmes in health, education and economic growth.

They also visited projects “designed to protect Egypt’s cultural heritage and support its economic development,” a US embassy in Cairo statement read.

Following his Mideast visits, Graham said he would seek an emergency appropriation of “multiple billions” of dollars to help Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon as they try to cope with the fallout from the war with Islamic State.

AmCham Preparatory Meeting

Meanwhile, the AmCham-Egypt held a preparatory meeting with the media delegation accompanying the chamber’s Doorknock mission.

This mission is the most important and eager to improve the bilateral relations between Egypt and the United States. It comes after Egypt had implemented its commitment to a roadmap adopted after the June 30 uprising, Anis A. Aclimandos, AmCham president, told the media delegation.

Several economic and social files will be top of the agenda for the AmCham mission to Washington, notably the human rights conditions in Egypt as well as the government’s economic reform and monetary policies to solve the country’s dollar shortage, Aclimandos stated.

In the past two years, the Egyptian government has come under the criticism in Egypt and internationally over alleged human rights violations such as “enforced disappearances”, extrajudicial detention, extended periods of pre-trial detention and a purported crackdown on the freedom of belief and expression.

More recently, a number of media reports have accused Egyptian security forces of torturing Italian Ph.D. student Giulio Regeni to death and dumping his body in a roadside ditch on the outskirts of Cairo, which the Egyptian interior ministry has repeatedly denied.

Last March, US secretary of state John Kerry issued a statement expressing deep concern over the human rights situation in Egypt in recent months on the back of reports on new wave of prosecution against NGO workers in Egypt.

That’s why this year’s mission will discuss with the U.S. officials the truth about number of hot controversial topics in the North African country.

Moreover, Aclimandos said the mission would tackle the investment climate in opportunities for the U.S. business community to pump new investments in Egypt.

The visit will include a breakfast event on April 18th hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, featuring the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, Tarek Amer. The event is open to members of the press.

Amer is taking part in the World Bank’s 2016 Spring Meetings in Washington.

As uncertainties prevail across the region, including the Islamic State (ISIS) and low oil prices, attention is focused on how Egypt is overcoming these challenges and strengthening its role as a steadfast U.S. partner in a tumultuous region.

On the economic level, Egypt has embarked on a series of reforms aimed at reducing the budget deficit, creating jobs and attracting foreign investment. The Government has successfully increased electricity production by 150 percent, decreased fuel subsidies, enhanced food supply and implemented policies to encourage private investment in renewables, such as the introduction of a feed-in tariff. The Government has also demonstrated its commitment to the political road map, by holding parliamentary elections as scheduled last December.

However, serious challenges do remain on the economic, security and social levels.

“In spite of the challenges, Egypt’s private sector is committed to supporting the country’s economic transition. Members of our delegation are here to share their experiences and insights as well as convey a message of optimism for economic recovery and an enhanced relationship with the United States-Egypt’s long-time strategic alley and partner”; Hisham Fahmy, CEO, AmCham Egypt said.

From his part, Omar A. Mohanna – Chairman of Egypt-US Business Council (EUSBC) – told the media delegation that this year’s mission comes at a critical time notably as the United States prepares for the presidential elections.

U.S. presidential elections are on the top of the delegation’s agenda to be discussed with the American side, Mohanna added.

“Much attention is focused on how Egypt is overcoming its challenges and resuming its role as the most reliable U.S. partner in a tumultuous region particularly during this time of elections in the U.S. AmCham continues to play a role in bridging the gaps in understanding with Egypt’s different stakeholders in the U.S.” Aclimandos stated.

The AmCham president further said the chamber had recently held high-level meetings with the Egyptian government representatives to discuss the latest developments in the country’s legislative schemes and mega projects.

The Egyptian government is keen to boost trade ties with the United States and to remove all the obstacles in the road of the Egyptian agricultural and textile exports to the U.S. markets, the Egyptian official added.

The government also plans to adjust the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) treaty, to include reducing the required Israeli component in products exported to 8 percent, from 10.5 percent, Aclimandos said.

World Bank-IMF 2016 Spring Meetings:

This year’s doorknock mission coincides with the 2016 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington between April 15 and 17.

The annual Spring Meeting of the World Bank and the IMF which brings together ministers of finance and central bank governors from all over the world, is taking place amidst growing global economic uncertainty, sluggish growth, and uncharted monetary policy path.

Egypt has already sent a delegation headed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, Tarek Amer, to represent Egypt in the IMF meetings. As being Egypt’s governor at the World Bank, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr chairs her country’s delegation the WB Annual Meetings.

During the Spring Meetings, the delegation is set to showcase the government’s economic reform programme, its priorities for the upcoming period and potential contributions of various financial institutions to help the state implement its ambitious development plan and achieve social justice.

Egypt in numbers:

In 2015, Egypt’s exports to the United States have totalled around $1.4 billion out of which exports under QIZ treaty have seized 71 percent share, to record $1 billion, approximately.

Data compiled by the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry showed that the U.S. total investments in Egypt are currently estimated at $22 billion.

Below are names of AmCham members taking part in Door Knock Mission:

Name

Position

Mr. Ahmed Issa Abu-Hussien

Head of Strategic Planning at Commercial International Bank – Egypt

Nevine Loutfy

CEO and Managing Director of ADIB Egypt

Seif ElDin Saad ElSadek

CEO of Agrocorp for Agriculture Investment

Dina H. Sherif

Co-Founder of Ahead of the Curve

Alex Shalaby

Chairman of Orange Egypt

Sherif El Kilany

Managing Partner at Allied for Accounting and Auditing- Ernst & Young

Mohamed Reda

Founder and CEO of Allied Group

Alaa El-Afifi

Managing Director of Qalaa Holdings Mining Division

Patrick K. Brennan

Commercial Manager of Apache

Dalia Wahba

Chairperson of CID Consulting

Curtis A. Ferguson

President of Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Business Unit, Coca-Cola Company

Mohamed Abdalla Moawad

President & CEO of Coldwell Banker, Egypt

J. Michael Lacey

Managing Partner of Dentons Cairo office

Sharif El-Akhdar

Partner of Beltone Private Equity

Moustafa​ El Chiati

Director of Banking Division at EFG Hermes Investment

Hatem El Ezzawy

Managing Director of PICO Agriculture

Mohamed El-Kalla

Managing Director of Cairo for Investment and Development (CIRA)

Somaya El Sherbini

Talent Acquisition Lead of Microsoft – Middle East and Africa

Hesham ElAmroussy

Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil Egypt

F. Scott Gallo

Strategic Security and Operations Director of Coca-Cola Egypt – Atlantic Industries

Guy M. Bourn

Vice President of Land Warfare Systems ATK Washington Operations

Alaa Hashim

Board Member & Treasurer at the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES)

Ahmed Abou Ali

Partner at Hassouna & Abou Ali Law Offices

Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee – AmCham Egypt

Hisham A. Fahmy

Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham Egypt)

Tarek Tawfik

Vice Chairman & Managing Director of the International Company for Agricultural Production & Processing

Chairman of the Agriculture and Food Security Committee – AmCham Egypt

Hatem Kheir

General Manager of Kheir Group

M. Gamal Moharam

Chairman of MGM Financial & Banking Consultants

Past President of AmCham Egypt

Amr Allam

Managing Director of Misr Sons Development – Hassan Allam Sons

Member of the Board at AmCham Egypt

Yasmine Mowafy

Director of Investment Banking at Beltone Financial

Said M. Hanafi

Chief of Staff and General Counsel at Orascom Hotels and Development

Vice President of Legal Affairs – AmCham Egypt

Ahmed El Sheikh

General Manager of North East Africa Business Unit at PepsiCo

Karim Kamel

Country Manager-Near East of Procter & Gamble Egypt, Ltd.

Ahmed R. El-Sharkawy

Chief Executive Officer of RAMW for Tourism and Hotels

Adel Danish

Chairman and CEO of Smart Villages Company

Omar A. Mohanna

Chairman of Suez Cement Group of Companies
Member of the Board, and Past President of AmCham Egypt, and
Chairman of Egypt-US Business Council (EUSBC)

Sylvia Menassa

Chief Operating Officer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt

Tamer El Naggar

CEO at AmCham Egypt

Sherif Kamel

Dean of the School of Business, at the American University in Cairo

Anis A. Aclimandos

President of AmCham Egypt

President of Transcentury Associates

Tarek Mohanna

Associate of White & Case LLP

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