From June 27- July 1, 2011, USTDA hosted the Egypt: Forward Forum and Site Visits as an immediate response to support economic growth and stability in Egypt as it undergoes an historic transition. Egypt: Forward highlighted that “Egypt is open for business” and served as a platform to further U.S. engagement with Egypt’s public and private sectors. In support of this effort, USTDA hosted a delegation of 54 Egyptian public and private sector leaders in the energy, ICT, transportation, and agriculture sectors to showcase opportunities for partnership. More than 250 U.S. company representatives participated in the Forum and Site Visits, with total participation of more than 550 people.
The two-day Forum in Washington, D.C. provided an unprecedented opportunity to foster commercial and economic ties between the United States and Egypt, with sessions on specific project opportunities, doing business in Egypt, accessing financial resources and navigating the commercial process. As the first major event between the U.S. and Egypt following the Arab Spring, Egypt: Forward is spurring commercial connections that are already leading to tangible results and providing mutual benefits for both countries.
USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak launched Egypt: Forward on June 27th, highlighting the many project opportunities to be showcased during the Forum and Site Visits. H.E. El Husseini Abdelwahab, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the participants and H.E. Dr. Magued Osman, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, shared an illustrative video that captured the vibrant opportunities Egypt has to offer:
Opening the second day of the Forum, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood encouraged the American and Egyptian participants to find ways to partner together to strengthen Egypt’s infrastructure as a catalyst for growth. His call to action set the stage for a productive discussion on various financing options for infrastructure investment needed to spur long-term private sector-led economic growth.
Following the Forum, the Egyptian delegation divided into four sector-specific groups to conduct simultaneous site visits to Houston, Silicon Valley, New York and Omaha in order to meet with additional U.S. companies and present Egyptian opportunities in the energy, ICT, transportation and agriculture sectors. A hallmark of each visit was a business briefing to connect the Egyptian delegates with representatives from U.S. firms. The delegations also visited relevant sites to observe the design, manufacture and operation of U.S. technology and equipment.
Egypt: Forward will continue to provide a platform for showcasing project opportunities and facilitating relationships between the U.S. and Egypt, with the overall aim of spurring economic activity and encouraging U.S. private sector involvement in Egypt.