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January 14, 2013

Egypt is Open for US Businesses – Guest Post

Egypt as a location in which to do business shouldn't be dismissed out of hand because of the political and economic difficulties the North African country is presently facing. These are short term problems, all of which will be overcome if the prism of historical perspective is any indicator. For the country has faced tough challenges before and the resilience and friendliness of its people –  its greatest asset, according to many commentators – has always helped see it through. The people will help it do so again.

Egypt-business with the US

An Egypt bank which has played an important role in the development of business is the award-winning multinational giant HSBC, The Banker magazine naming it “Bank of the Year” on a number of occasions over the past few years. Indeed, entrepreneurs and investors looking for start-up capital, up-to-date business and financial services, or the latest in business intelligence and local know-how would do well to consider business banking from HSBC as a matter of course.

HSBC, unsurprisingly, is not the only bank of note in Egypt. There are other multinationals present, too, such as Barclays, Citibank, Standard Chartered and others, as well as many fine home-grown banks such as National Bank of Egypt, Banque Du Caire and Banque Misr. So finding a decent business bank account shouldn't present much of a problem.

America has always been a strong partner of Egypt over the years, underlined recently by the visit of a delegation of senior executives from dozens of leading American companies. The visit was organized by the the United States Chamber of Commerce, the US-Egypt Business Council, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.

It was the largest business delegation to the region ever organized by the US Chamber, and the second largest in the 100-year history of the institution.

The delegation made clear afterwards even as Egypt's transition to democracy continued to unfold, the country remained open for business. However, the international community had a major stake in helping to stabilize and to grow Egypt's economy for the benefit of all of its citizens.

In a statement, the delegation said an expanded Egyptian-American commercial relationship could play a positive role in helping Egyptians to address their most pressing development challenges, to establish new businesses, and to create new private sector jobs during this critical period in their history.

The statement said, “We are committed to forging a new relationship with a new Egypt and to building a future of more widely shared prosperity, growth and development. With a newly democratically elected Egyptian government now in place, we believe that it is critical to take concrete steps to broaden and to deepen the Egyptian-American economic relationship.

“Above all else, we believe that our relationship needs to be focused on helping Egypt create high-quality jobs so that a greater number of Egyptians have the opportunity to productively participate in their economy and society. In this effort, we are particularly focused on increasing opportunities for Egyptian small and medium sized enterprises, including through participation in our member companies' global supply chains.”

Some of the companies which made up the delegation included Microsoft, Google, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, General Electric, Boeing, Chrysler, The Coca-Cola Company and Citi.

Read about the visit in the report, Investing in a New Egypt: Revitalizing the Egyptian Economy by Rebuilding the U.S.-Egypt Relationship.

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