Below please find a summary of news you may have missed in the last week about Egypt, the Egypt-U.S. partnership, and other relevant issues. In this issue:
- President El Sisi Meets with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence
- IMF Issues Article 4 Consultation Review of Egypt
- Egyptian Exports to U.S. Increase by 17.5% In 2017
- Foreign Minister Shoukry Receives Call from Secretary of State Tillerson
- International Companies Look to Increase Acquisitions in Egypt to $4.2 Billion
- ‘Long Live Egypt Fund’ Launches Humanitarian Fund Targeting 2.1 Million Poor Families
- President El Sisi Addresses Police Academy on Anniversary of 25 January on the Occasion of National Police Day
- Ramses II Statue Arrives at New Grand Egyptian Museum
We hope you enjoy. Please let us know if the Embassy can be a resource.
PRESIDENT EL SISI MEETS WITH U.S. VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE
On Saturday, 21 January, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his accompanying delegation in Cairo. According to a statement released by the Office of the Presidency, President El Sisi “affirmed the strategic relations that bind Egypt and the U.S. that are based on a long history of cooperation.” President El Sisi also “stressed that Egypt looks forward to enhancing these relations through tangible measures that reflect the priorities of both sides and each party’s vision on how to address current challenges.” The talks also touched on the issue of Jerusalem. President El Sisi “noted that resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will only take place through negotiations that are based on the two-state solution,” and “affirmed that Egypt will spare no effort to support this solution and that all international parties that seek to realize this goal ought to adopt measures that help both sides to reach a solution that ensures peace and security to all the region’s peoples.”
IMF ISSUES ARTICLE IV CONSULTATION REVIEW OF EGYPT
This week the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its Article IV Consultation Review of Egypt, writing that “Egypt’s economy is recovering, supported by prudent macroeconomic policies and initial bold reforms aimed at addressing the major challenges that have confronted the economy in recent years.” The IMF reported that Egypt’s GDP growth accelerated from 3.5% to 4.2% in the latest fiscal year and is projected to increase to 6% in the medium term. The IMF also noted that Egypt’s primary fiscal deficit fell from 3.5% of GDP to 1.8% of GDP in the latest fiscal year and will reach a surplus in the current fiscal year. Subir Lall, head of the IMF team for Egypt, stated, “This macroeconomic turnaround at home and the supportive global economic environment provide a unique opportunity to carry the reform momentum into areas that have historically been hard to tackle.”
EGYPTIAN EXPORTS TO U.S. INCREASE BY 17.5% IN 2017
Al Masry Al Youm reported that Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil announced that non-oil exports to U.S. markets saw significant growth during 2017, rising by 17.5% to reach about USD $1.3 billion, compared to USD $1.1 billion during the same period in 2016. He also referenced the ongoing negotiations on the Framework Agreement on Trade and Investment with the United States (TIFA), which when complete will be a major tool to remove obstacles to trade between the two nations and to facilitate the flow of intra-regional trade. “TIFA will contribute to a breakthrough in the level of economic relations between Egypt and the United States soon,” Minister Kabil said.
FOREIGN MINISTER SHOUKRY RECEIVES CALL FROM SECRETARY OF STATE TILLERSON
On Wednesday, 24 January, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry spoke by phone with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. According to a release by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Minister Shoukry and Secretary Tillerson “discussed the various aspects of bilateral relations and the course of cooperation between the two countries, particularly in light of the recent visit of the US Vice President to Cairo.” They also “examined the latest developments in the region, mainly the developments of the situation on the Syrian scene, while underscoring the importance of coordinating efforts aimed at supporting finding a political solution satisfactory for all parties to the crisis.”
INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES LOOK TO INCREASE AQUISITIONS IN EGYPT TO $4.2 BILLION
Al Mal reported that international law firm Baker McKenzie estimated that foreign companies increased their acquisitions in the Egyptian market by 150% to USD $1.5 billion in 2017, up from USD $550 million last year. Baker McKenzie’s report predicted that the pace of foreign acquisition will accelerate this year by 180% to reach USD $4.2 billion due to favorable macroeconomic conditions in Egypt.
‘LONG LIVE EGYPT FUND’ LAUNCHES HUMANITARIAN FUND TARGETING 2.1 MILLION POOR FAMILIES
Al Masry Al Youm reported this week that the ‘Long Live Egypt Fund’ launched a humanitarian campaign dubbed Bel Hana wel Shefa (Bon Appetit) in several governorates to distribute free food to poor people in cooperation with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The campaign is part of the Fund’s strategy to support parts of society that cannot afford their daily needs. The campaign’s first stage aims to support more than 2.1 million poor families and was established by President El Sisi in 2014 to support Egypt’s economy and support social justice. Since its inception, the fund has launched several humanitarian campaigns since its establishment in cooperation with NGOs and contributed to national projects, including contributing EGP 185 million for projects in North Sinai town after Al-Rawdah mosque attack.
PRESIDENT EL SISI ADDRESSES POLICE ACADEMY ON ANNIVERSARY OF 25 JANUARY ON THE OCCASION OF NATIONAL POLICE DAY
On Wednesday, 24 January, President El Sisi spoke at Egypt’s Police Academy in commemoration of the 66th National Police Day. During the ceremony, the President also saluted Egyptians on the anniversary of the 25 January revolution, stating, “The noble blood that was shed for the sake of freedom, dignity and decent standard of living for the Egyptian citizens gave us the cause to create another reality that Egypt deserves.”
RAMSES II STATUE ARRIVES AT NEW GRAND EGYPTIAN MUSEUM
On Thursday, 25 January, a colossus of pharaoh Ramses II arrived safely at its new display area in the atrium of the Grand Egyptian Museum, in preparation for the museum’s soft opening later this year. According to Al Ahram, senior officials were in attendance for the official unveiling, and the statue was preceded on its journey by 11 Egyptian horsemen in ceremonial military dress. The trip marks the fourth time that the colossus has been moved in its history. The Grand Egyptian Museum, located on the Giza Plateau, will feature an atrium, a grand staircase, and the Tutankhamun Hall. When the museum opens later this year, the entire Tutankhamun collection will be put on show for the first time, including a total of 5,200 artifacts.