Kenya Egypt Business Council will include 10 businesses from each country to help deepen bilateral ties via quarterly meetings
High-profile government and business leaders revitalized a key African trade and investment relationship Tuesday at the Kenya-Egypt Business Forum in Nairobi, sponsored by Qalaa Holdings. The one-day summit concluded with an announcement that the two countries had formed a new permanent bilateral council to promote trade and investment.
The high-profile gathering saw companies from Egypt accompany Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Abdelnour to Nairobi for talks with of their Kenyan counterparts, who were led by Kenya Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Amina Mohamed.
Speaking at yesterday's opening session, Foreign Minister Shoukry noted: "Kenya and Egypt share many things in common. We are at a similar level of development; we have a young population; we have an abundance of natural resources and our governments have big visions for our future. We have the potential for a win-win collaboration because of our deep similarities. "
Shoukry specifically noted that while Egypt has a "wealth of expertise in the energy sector" to share with Kenya, the latter "has been a pioneer in the mobile money and mobile telecommunications sectors, and these are areas about which Egypt can draw lessons from the Kenyan experience. "
Foreign Minister Mohamed rolled out the welcome mat for Egyptian investors, a high-profile example of which is Qalaa Holdings, which operates Rift Valley Railways, the national railway of Kenya and Uganda, where it arranged full financing for a US $ 287 million turnaround program .
"We encourage our Egyptian counterparts to venture into our country, take advantage of our vibrant economy and reap handsome returns," said Mohamed.
Added Moses Ikiara, CEO of the Kenya Investment Authority: "Kenya is a country of unlimited possibilities, and if there ever was a time to invest in this market, it is now. Every sector, from financial services to ICT, is rife with opportunities and the returns are very high. "
Announcing the formation of the Kenyan Egyptian Business Council, Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Abdelnour said: "As recognition of the fact that trade is an engine of growth, I am pleased to announce the formation of the Kenyan Egyptian Business Council. This will bring together 20 businesses - 10 from each country - to promote trade opportunities, which each group will need to present to their government on a quarterly basis in order to help drive the execution of projects. "
Qalaa Managing Director Karim Sadek, who has led the firm's push into East Africa, applauded the move, noting: "Kenya is an ideal market for investment. Not only is it a gateway to the rest of East Africa, but it is also extremely dynamic with a hard working employee force. The government is also very clear about encouraging investments and working with companies - both locally and internationally - to drive capital for growth and development. "
Qalaa Holdings is an African leader in infrastructure and industry, with business units operating in the energy, cement, agrifoods, transportation & logistics and mining sectors.
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Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is an African leader in Infrastructure and industry. Formerly known as Citadel Capital, Qalaa Holdings controls subsidiaries in core industries including Energy, Cement, Agrifoods, Transportation & Logistics, and Mining. To learn more, please visit qalaaholdings.com.
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