Turkish-Egyptian business councils meet for first time in years
CAIROThe Turkish-Egyptian Business Council has met in Cairo for the first time since the military coup in Egypt in 2013, calling for a revival of bilateral economic and trade ties.
A Turkish delegation, headed by Mesut Toprak of the Turkish-Egyptian Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), visited the Egyptian capital on March 12, according to a follow-up DEİK release.
After a meeting with Turkish businesspeople who have investments in Egypt at a breakfast, hosted by Turkey’s charge d’affaires in Egypt, Ali Rıza Güney, the delegation held the 15th Turkey-Egypt Business Council Joint Meeting with top representatives from the Egyptian Business Association (EBA).
Toprak underlined the continued importance of bilateral economic and trade ties between the two countries, according to the statement released on March 15.
“Despite a slight decrease in our bilateral trade ties in recent years, Egypt is the top market for Turkey in the region. Our Economy Ministry has designated Egypt as a priority investment country for the 2016 and 2017 period, which shows that our ties will see a further boost,” he said.
While Turkey’s exports to Egypt were worth $2.7 billion in 2016 with a 12.7 year-on-year decrease, its imports from Egypt saw a 19 percent increase in the mentioned period and hit $1.4 billion.
Saying that more than 200 Turkish companies are operational in Egypt with more than $2 billion investments, Toprak added that Turkish construction companies finalized 26 projects worth $1 billion in the country.
Invitation for Turkish firms to invest in Egypt projects
The co-head of the council, Adel Abdou El-lamei, said they were happy to see the council come together after a long time, voicing their intention to further boost ties.
He called for Turkish investors to take part in Egypt’s leading infrastructure projects planned to be realized in the country’s new development plan, including the East Port Said Port.
The council members vowed to increase the frequency of their meetings, with the next meeting planned to be held in Turkey in June, according to the statement.
This marked the second visit in less than two months by a Turkish business delegation to Egypt.
A Turkish business delegation, led by the head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), on Jan. 30 attended a one-day forum organized by the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC).