Moataz Raslan: The Egyptian-Canadian Business Council aims to increase trade exchange between the two countries by 10%

Moataz Raslan, head of the Egyptian-Canadian Business Council, confirmed that the council intends to increase trade rates between the two countries by 10% during 2022.

He added – in his interview with Al Mal – that the volume of trade exchanges between the two countries recorded $ 1.958 billion, according to the latest statistics released by the council, and pointed out that he strives to increase it by 10% , saying: “If we can implement it, it will be a great achievement.”

He explained that the trade balance between Egypt and Canada tends in favor of the former, indicating a significant increase in trade relations between the two countries in recent years.

He continued, “Gold accounted for 90% of Egyptian exports to Canada, in addition to textile and materials exports.”

Regarding Canadian investments in Egypt, he said they are approaching $ 1.5 billion, and are represented in the “mining, gas and oil exploration, and petrochemical sectors.”

On the other hand, Raslan has revealed that a high-level Egyptian delegation, including representatives of the Investment Authority and the Suez Canal Economic Zone and a number of businessmen, is preparing to visit Canada at the end of this month to discuss new cooperation opportunities and increase investment between the two countries in a number of economic sectors.

He added that during the forthcoming meeting with the Canadian side, the focus will be on discussing opportunities for joint cooperation in the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, timber and infrastructure sectors, in addition to reviewing the latest developments in Egyptian infrastructure development processes and programs and its impact on the volume and rate of investments.

He continued, “This delegation will include a number of timber importers from the Egyptian side, due to their desire for trade cooperation with Canada in this area, especially as it is one of the most important timber producing countries.”

He explained that the delegation would also include a group of Egyptian drug manufacturers to hold consultations with the Canadian side with the aim of acquiring agencies for the major brands in the field of medicine.

He added that the role of the Business Council is to offer all the opportunities available to Canadian companies to invest in the Egyptian market, and the competitive advantages that Egypt possesses, which are considered attractive factors for investors.

Among the competitive advantages that Egypt enjoys, according to Raslan, are low-paid labor and a large population that makes Egypt a major consumer market, as well as its geographical location as a gateway to Africa, along with the free trade agreement.

Raslan expressed his hope that the government would contribute to the business council to attract new investment by providing more incentive packages than the existing ones, for example: providing exemptions on industrial grounds and facilitating access to them, and the quick completion of the investor’s procedures and the implementation of its investment project.

He said there are many investors who are frustrated and have abandoned their projects due to the slowdown in procedures, which calls for swift action to get rid of bureaucracy and invent other methods that attract foreign direct investment.

He stressed that the one-stop shop should include all licenses for investors, manufacturers, utilities, as well as taxes, so that a single window is created for the investor to trade with, as is applied in all countries instead of the plurality of agencies what the investor is dealing with.

He demanded that the Investment Authority be the authority responsible for all procedures for dealing with the investor, as his role should not be limited to the termination of paper services for businessmen, leaving them to the routine of the rest of the other government agencies alone.

Raslan pointed to the feasibility of stimulating and encouraging foreign investment, especially as it adds a cash balance of hard currency and links Egyptian products to foreign markets, maximizing their export opportunities.

He added that the main companies investing in Egypt are Methanex, which is one of the giant companies in the petrochemical sector, and Bombardier, which works in the transport sector and participates in the implementation of the Monorail Express project, as well as the large mining companies classified as one of the largest mining companies in the world that has signed an agreement with the Mineral Resources Authority for gold exploration.

He explained that the main obstacles facing the increase in trade exchanges between Egypt and Canada are the high volume of trade between Canada and America, which is one of the largest markets in the world, as well as its participation in the land borders with Canada. . , which facilitates trade exchange between them.

He said the value of trade exchanges that take place daily between Canada and the United States of America is equal to the value of exchanges between Egypt and Canada annually, so we are trying to make double efforts to lure Canadian companies to the Egyptian market.

On the promotion of tourist destinations in Egypt and the opening of new European markets, including Canada, to be an alternative to the Russian and Ukrainian markets, which have been affected by the ongoing war, especially as they are responsible for most of the number of incoming tourism to Egypt, Raslan said: I am not optimistic about tourism cooperation with Canada, because of its small area, is surrounded by many nearby tourist outlets.

He pointed out that the council aims to entice Egyptian communities immigrating to Canada to invest in Egypt, in addition to owning real estate assets, which will gain popularity, and this is done in collaboration with the Ministry of Immigration.

According to the latest statistics, the volume of Egyptian imports from Canada recorded $ 711.5 million. The most important Canadian imports from Egypt are iron, steel and specific types of legumes.

A high-ranking delegation will visit Canada at the end of the month to discuss investment opportunities in 4 sectors. These include representatives of the Investment Authority and the Suez Canal Economic Zone and a number of businessmen

$ 1.5 billion in joint investment in mining, gas, petroleum and petrochemicals

Research collaboration in petrochemicals, medicines, wood and heavy equipment

◗❙ The one-stop shop must be activated to be a window with which the investor can trade

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