New Dialogue for a New Era in the U.S.-Egypt Economic Relationship

Monday, July 27, 2015 - 2:00pm

New Dialogue for a New Era in the U.S.-Egypt Economic Relationship: Working Together to Strengthen Ties

Recommendations from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S.-Egypt Business Council, American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt & Egypt-U.S. Business Council

The relationship between the United States and Egypt stands at a critical juncture. Today, there is an opportunity to begin a new era in the relationship between the United States and Egypt and build a new partnership based on mutual respect, common interests, shared prosperity and cooperative security.  While not diminishing the significance of long-standing security cooperation and other key facets of the historic relationship between the two countries, it is imperative that this new partnership prioritize a critical ingredient: economic engagement. Healthy societies are built upon economies driven by free market principles and a centerpiece of the U.S.-Egypt strategic conversation should be the expansion of the bilateral economic relationship based on a mutual respect as well as the desire of the United States to positively impact and directly contribute to Egypt’s economic resurgence led by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

As home to the U.S.-Egypt Business Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, working in close cooperation with its partners, the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham Egypt) and the Egypt-U.S. Business Council, is eager to work with the governments of Egypt and the United States to enhance the crucial bilateral economic relationship and unleash the innovative and dynamic forces of the private sector to help reform and modernize the Egyptian economy and set it on a sustainable path of extended economic growth.

We strongly believe that American companies can help Egypt achieve its objectives in a number of critically important sectors. Whether it is producing new levels of electricity to ensure supply to meet peak demands during the summer period or bringing new technologies to the table in the form of an integrated food security network for grain storage, U.S. companies are already making a crucial difference in Egypt. And it’s not just in power generation and food security. From healthcare, information technology, energy, financial services and tourism, to aviation, defense, infrastructure, manufacturing and transportation/logistics, American businesses have and will continue to do important work. Opportunities for U.S. companies in Egypt are vast across these and other sectors, and we will continue to encourage an expansion of trade, investment and commercial activities and support those companies willing to escalate their work in Egypt.  

Throughout Egypt’s transition, the U.S. Chamber has remained confident in Egypt’s economic potential and is committed to expanding American commercial ties with the country. To this end, the U.S. Chamber consulted with our members, colleagues at the Egypt-U.S. Business Council and AmCham Egypt, and economic experts to develop this white paper which contains the following sections:

  • Economic Realities provides context for the arduous road ahead by describing the bleak economic environment inherited by the Sisi Administration.
  • Bilateral Objectives introduces areas where the two governments can operate collaboratively to strengthen economic ties and improve Egypt’s economic performance.
  • Collaborative Policy Priorities highlights key areas where U.S. emphasis and Egyptian reform can significantly stimulate trade and investment.
  • Suggested Egyptian Initiatives highlights the key areas of local reform which the Government of Egypt could launch with relatively immediate positive impact.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-Egypt Business Council, in cooperation with AmCham Egypt and the Egypt-U.S. Business Council, look forward to continuing to work with the Governments of Egypt and the United States to strengthen our trade and investment relationships and to help transform Egypt into a thriving private sector-led market-based economy that provides jobs and shared prosperity to all its citizens. And we believe that a healthy and active economic pillar of the U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue, which will provide systematic engagement by both governments on key economic issues, is essential to ensuring our bilateral economic relationship realizes its full potential and Egypt and its people achieve greater economic security and prosperity. 

Many have said that as Egypt goes, so goes the Middle East. It has been the historic leader in the MENA region and what it does on the economic front can be a model for other countries in the region. This is well understood and appreciated by the Gulf countries, the United States, Europe, and the international financial and development institutions. It is, therefore, in the world’s interest that Egypt is successful on its new path to economic prosperity.

We believe the magnitude of this endeavor is immensely vital. There is a window of opportunity to take substantial action and demonstrate tangible progress. We are fully committed; we believe failure is not an option; and, we look forward to working in cooperation with the stakeholders in the Egyptian and U.S. public and private sectors to create the conditions that kindle a new era in Egypt defined by growth, job creation, and shared prosperity that ensures a bright tomorrow for future generations and serves as a foundation for a stronger partnership between the United States and Egypt.