Interview- Jaber: UAE Won’t Let Egypt Down, Aids Still Ongoing

The Egyptian economy has not yet obtained the appropriate opportunity to develop its potentials…the security and political stability is the backbone to activate the economic schemes.

Egypt is the Safety valve of the Arab countries .. and it should be supported and helped in this hard phase.

All the supportive projects have been studied to ensure achieving its goals… and visits are ongoing to follow up the implementation of projects for supporting the development program.

Tourism, Financial services, Energy and Transport are the most important promising sectors in the Egyptian market.

Al-Beblawi’s interim government is acting seriously in solving dilemmas which faced by Gulf investors … and it received Serious desire from UAE businessmen for investing.

I call the government to develop the investment map and to provide motivating methods and appropriate advantages.

In the UAE, Jaber says; our ancestors used to tell us that Egypt is the “Safety valve of the Arab countries”. Egypt will be able to cross its current crisis and to return to its leadership place.

Jaber has quoted Amwal Al Ghad expressing his serious desire concerning the strong  Egyptian-UAE relationships , noting that the projects will reflect positively on the Egyptian people, not only in providing aids and solving problems but also in creating new job opportunities which related to human developments, needs and services.

Jaber said the Egyptian economy has not obtained an appropriate opportunity to develop its potentials in the last phase, noting that security and political stability is the backbone for activating  the economic schemes.

 He emphasized that UAE has recently provided Assistance package to Egypt reached around US$7 billion, in addition to encouraging UAE investments for the Egyptian market in several sectors, stressing on the continuation of stimulating Cairo’s economy.

Over more than four decades Egyptian-UAE ties are historical  and Authentic including many aspects and sectors so How do you can evaluate these relations  at the political and economic levels currently?

The two countries have bilateral distinct ties which  supported by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE president and all the country’s leaderships and officials .

At present, UAE is still completing its supportive relationship with Egypt, it works to be beside the choices of the Egyptian people.

In September 2013, Al Nahyan asserted in his key note speech at the UN General Assembly,  that Egypt is a ‘Pivotal country’, and the UAE is standing by the sovereign measures which were taken by the Egyptian government to ensure its security and stability.

Al Nahyan urged the international community to support Egypt and its government during this critical phase in order to ensure consolidate stability, development and constitutional regime in the country.

Egypt appreciates UAE’s political, economic roles after June30 uprising beside the financial aids that have been provided by UAE, Is there an intention to provide new aids to Egypt?

The aids are ongoing and it will not  stop unless Egypt will restore its balance again, we will not let Egypt down for any reason, and we are currently acting with the Egyptian side so as to provide several projects which will affect positively on the Egyptian people, not only in the provision of aids and solving some urgent problems, but also in terms of creating new jobs, and providing durable solutions for the dilemmas which related to human developments.

We have projects for establishing 25 Silo to store wheat and grains which will solve dilemmas, including the loss of wheat as a result of poor storage conditions.

There is an ambitious project to build 78 units ( Family Medicine ) , in 23 governorates across republic , and these units will provide integrated health service to population areas that lack health care .

The services  will include the preventive health fields , awareness and health education , the services will provide therapeutic services to tens of thousands of the people in those areas ,

There is another project to develop and secure the crossings railway, being built 100 schools across nationwide, at a cost of US$ 58 million as a contribution from UAE in achieving sustainable development in cooperation with  the Egyptian armed forces, and another project to build 1668 classrooms at 18 governorates, along with a  project to build more than 50 thousand units , in integrated communities obtaining the highest level of services.

How do you evaluates the Egyptian economy situation during the current period after 2 uprisings in less than three years, and do you see that the country’s economy is  still has potentials  to allure foreign investment?

The Egyptian economy is the broader among the region’s markets, and the economic structure characterized by its diversity.

There is strong service sector, and good investment opportunities in ICT sector , as well as industry, agriculture sectors

Egypt has a real estate development ,wide potentials, and promising tourism sector focused on a package of competitive advantages that are difficult to find in other markets.

Egypt’s economy suffered over the past years and it has not get an appropriate opportunity to develop its potentials and Optimize using of comparative advantages, so the Egyptian government realized that it is necessary to move ahead with directed schemes to enhance the transparency of infrastructure investments beside opening up to meet with all the economic performances, review the risks and open great opportunities.

What are your own recommendations to the Egyptian government regarding the development of foreign investments and  restore Egypt to a more attractive destination for investing ?

The relationship between the foreign investor and the state has to open and transparent, targeting to achieve balance interests and thus imposes obligations on both.  The investors must understand the investment environment and realize the nature and privacy of that environment.

In addition to  respecting the laws system, and seeks to choose projects which have sustainable impact and help to enhance the development , progress  and stable goals for the country.

The state where wishing to enhance the investment flows should develop its law system so as to form an effective and attractive legislative framework, facilitate the measures for investors and ensure protecting their capitals.

I noticed that this equation is verifiable, especially many Gulf investors have shown their interests in investing in Egypt. I also heard from My colleagues in the Egyptian side who  gave me the impression that they are aware of the need to work to enhance the attractiveness of investments in Egypt.

What about the challenges which are facing the foreign investments in Egypt, and how we can face?

The political and security stability is the  most important factors for activating the economic schemes.I understood from many Egyptian officials that they are so serious in working and overcoming all of these challenges and risks to remove the investment obstacles and solve dilemmas.

Why UAE conditioned to direct its aids for specified programs to develop the sectors facilitate and improve the living conditions and human development?

All the ongoing projects which implement by UAE in the framework of supporting Egypt are agreed with the Egyptian officials and undergone to study and review by the both sides, there are key factors which should be provided for these projects, most notably the projects’ Sustainability.

These projects also Characterized by the wider geographical scope as it extends to include more than 23 governorates as well as the Border provinces, stressing that the projects will be also focusing on assistance programs so as to match the government’s policy in targeting the neediest categories most notably the villages where lack Sanitation, or health care or those where suffer from repeated accidents because of frequent malfunctions railway crossings.

What are the aspects of support to be provided by UAE to Egypt in the field of renewable energy?

UAE owns pioneering experiment for using renewable and clean energies through Masdar institute which contributed in verifying the energy sources and reducing the carbon emissions.

Egypt has promising abilities in this field especially in solar and wind energies.

In December 2013, Three Egyptian ministries including environmental, energy , tourism and electricity signed a protocol for enhancing the tourism projects with clean energy.

We seek to provide all of these developments aiming to expand in using clean energy in order to meet with the highly demand and contribute in making the best use of environmental, tourism and health sectors enormously.

We attempt to develop the Egyptian-UAE cooperation in the field of renewable energy.

Is the upcoming phase will witness the entry of new UAE firms to invest in Egypt?

There are many gulf and UAE investments in Egypt since a long period whether by the institutions or by the individuals, and this confirms that investing in Egypt is a strategic direction for the government and a lot of businessmen in the UAE.

It touched a great attention from several UAE businessmen to invest in Cairo and this attention will definitely grow whenever the Egyptian government succeeded in its schemes for alluring investments.

What are the most prominent sectors that UAE investments will focus on  in the Egyptian market?

There are plenty of promising sectors in Egypt such as energy, tourism, industry, financial services, transport and logistics.

Investors determine the projects which they plan to invest in accordance with their interests and expertise, their decisions will be based on the attractiveness and the opportunities of each sector.

Certainly, the government and the business community in Egypt would be interested in developing an investment map, and it  may be proposed to encourage appropriate  advantages  that suit for some important sectors to the Egyptian side.

Are there any efforts with the government to solve UAE firms’ dilemmas in Egypt most notably ‘Al Futtaim Properties’?

The Egyptian officials are working to find solutions for all the dilemmas which facing the Arab and foreign investors from various nationalities. I think there is a serious commitment in this affair, as when investors feel that the officials in the state where they have been invested are serious in resolving their outstanding problems, it gives a great boost for investing and it will create new job vacancies that reflect positively on the economy.

 Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber; in Brief

The minister of state in the United Arab Emirates and the managing director and chief executive officer of Masdar, a company located in Abu Dhabi specializing in clean technology, renewable energy, and sustainable development. He also serves the chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) as well as the UAE’s special envoy for energy and climate change.

In addition to currently serving as its head, Al Jaber was instrumental in the founding of Masdar in 2006. In 2009, he led Masdar’s participation in the successful bid by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. IRENA’s headquarters will eventually move to Masdar City.

Masdar city is designed to be a hub for environmentally responsible businesses and a model forcarbon-neutral development. In the words of Dr. Al Jaber, “Masdar City is a low-carbon, low-waste urban development that will be one of the most sustainable cities in the world. It not only embodies Abu Dhabi’s commitment to a sustainable future, but also pioneers best practises in sustainable urban planning, design and construction.

Before his work with Masdar, Al Jaber worked on projects in energy, utilities, and other industries at the Mubadala Development Company. Masdar is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala, where as of 2013 Al Jaber still serves as a senior adviser.

In 2009, Al Jaber was appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to his Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), which published its final report in 2010.[1][5] The recommendations from this report form the basis of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative launched in 2011.

Al Jaber’s work to advance renewable energy and clean technology led to his appointment in 2010 as the UAE ‘s special envoy for energy and climate change. As special envoy, Al Jaber was responsible for helping to formulate and advocate for the UAE’s diplomatic positions and public policy with respect to energy and climate change.[1] In the Huffington Post[6] he wrote:

 In the UAE, we have embarked on a program to transform our economy from one based on resource depletion to one based on resource enrichment. By focusing on education and developing our tremendous human capital, we are working to empower our most important resource — our people — with the knowledge, skills and abilities to lead in the new energy economy. To do so, we are investing in the full value chain of a renewable energy industry. And as a result, the UAE is responsible for 68 percent of the Gulf’s renewable energy capacity.

In 2011, Al Jaber was selected to serve on the United Nations Secretary General’s high level group on sustainable energy for all It is an effort initiated by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to ensure universal access to modern utilities, double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and double the global market share of renewable energy by 2030.

In 2012, Al Jaber was named one of the Champions of the Earth by the United Nations. Al Jaber received his award in the category of “Entrepreneurial Vision.

On 12 March 2013, Al Jaber was named minister of state and joined the UAE cabinet. Al Jaber’s appointment was approved by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s president. Speaking of the appointment of Al Jaber and other ministers, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, said the new cabinet has “young faces with new ideas and energy to keep up with the rapid changes and to deal with our people’s top priorities.

Al Jaber’s comments on the energy and climate change have been frequently featured in numerous media outlets such as Time Magazine, The Financial Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, CNN, Sky News, CNBC and the BBC.

Board positions

Al Jaber serves on numerous corporate and non-profit boards where he provides advice on issues related to economics, infrastructure, sustainability and energy. He is chairman of the board for the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), Sky News Arabia. He also serves on the boards of ALDAR Sorouh, and ZonesCorp.

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