Statement by President El Sisi at Egyptian-Hungarian Business Forum
Thursday، 02 June 2016 - 03:06 PM
Your Excellency – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Your Excellency the ministers
I would like in the beginning to welcome Prime Minister Viktor Orban in his first official visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt. I would like also to welcome his accompanying delegation and the representatives of the Hungarian business community. I would like to make reference that exchanged visits by leaders of the two countries are a reflection of distinguished and time-honored relations binding Egypt and Hungary, especially that Egypt was the first Arab country to open a diplomatic mission in Hungary in 1939.
It gives me great pleasure to meet the members of the Egyptian-Hungarian Business Forum and to congratulate you over the success of the activities of your forum. I hope that this forum, with the senior businessmen it groups, would represent a real chance for having wider vistas for joint economic cooperation and laying down the basis for a serious partnership and constructive cooperation between the two countries.
Today's meeting of the Egyptian-Hungarian Business Forum comes after less than one year since holding the last joint meeting of the forum in Budapest. This attests to the fact that the vital and active role that is undertaken by the business sector in any country is the major driving force and the most effective factor in outlining trade and economic relations of the country with the outside world. Therefore, cooperation between the Egyptian and Hungarian business communities is an indispensable step for promoting economic relations between our two countries to the hoped-for level.
I have only to express all praise and appreciation for the remarkable steps that were adopted by the Hungarian government along the road of economic progress which resulted in attaining one of the highest growth rates in Europe and increasing the State's dependence on the industrial sector along with providing more jobs and increasing the financial resources of the State.
Ladies and gentlemen
The Egyptian State has completed its constitutional set-up and democratic institutions through electing the House of Representatives which is now practicing its legislative and monitoring role. This gave room to concentrate on the priorities of the coming phase atop of which comes pushing up the national economy in an effort to realize the hopes and aspirations of the Egyptian people.
Egypt has already started adopting legislative and administrative measures with a view to creating a suitable and investment-attracting atmosphere through removing all obstacles before investors. It also pooled all efforts of its sons to launch several giant national projects that will eventually place Egypt on the map of emerging economic powers. These projects include the development of the Suez Canal zone with what it includes of ports and industrial and logistical zones along with the project of reclaiming 1.5 million feddans, which is a major step for restoring the historical status of Egypt as an agricultural-oriented country. This project is aimed at increasing the arable land of Egypt by 20 percent to hit 9.5 million feddans. It also provides around 25,000 new jobs.
Ladies and gentlemen
I would like to confirm our complete commitment to the comprehensive development plan that is adopted by Egypt. This plan does not only include the projects that were mentioned but also extends to include the construction of the new administrative capital and setting up several new cities along with establishing a national roads network connecting all parts of Egypt and easing up the movement of products and row materials to and from the Egyptian ports together with setting up and upgrading several ports and airports and developing oil and natural gas fields.
We are well aware that our path is full of challenges but we are capable to achieve the Egyptian strategic goal which we have launched as part of the Egyptian Vision 2030 whereby Egypt will be one of the best 30 countries worldwide in economic development indicators and fighting corruption along with human development and market competitiveness together with the quality of life.
Also, we have already started feeling the positive results of the efforts exerted in the past time as the Egyptian economy achieved 4.2 percent growth rate in the past year. We have also succeeded to overcome the problem of energy through implementing an integrated plan for upgrading the energy sector in Egypt in a way that guarantees meeting the development needs. Meanwhile, unemployment rate has decreased in Egypt from 13.3 percent at the end of 2013 to 12.7 percent at the end of 2015 with a targeted growth rate hitting six percent by the end of 2017/18 Fiscal Year.
Ladies and gentlemen
Despite these achievements that were realized in the past year, we are still having hope for attaining more achievements in light of the available potentials in Egypt. We hope for a more active contribution by the private sector, particularly that the Egyptian government has recently exerted strenuous efforts to upgrade the economic performance and improve the infrastructure to provide a suitable investment atmosphere. I would like to underline within this framework the investment privileges that Egypt enjoys including its distinguished geographic location that is linking between Asian and Africa along with its preferential trade agreements with several Arab, European and African countries so that it could be a gateway for the markets of these countries. Egypt also enjoys one of the most important markets in the Middle East and North Africa with a population more than 90 million. It also enjoys competitive manpower while it also guarantees one of the highest investment revenues in the world according to reports by international institutions. This state of affairs makes us look forward that the Hungarian companies could benefit from the investment opportunities available in Egypt in several sectors.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the Egyptian Businessmen Association and the Hungarian National Trading House for organizing this event. Allow me to confirm that Egypt is proud of its distinguished relations with the great Hungarian State. We are looking forward for more cooperation and joint action at the economic level in several sectors.