Interviews

US companies willing to inject green investments into Egypt: Head of GreenTech Business

Published on : 2022-05-17

In an interview with Ahram Online on the sidelines of the luncheon event the American Camber (AmCham) in Egypt organised on Monday in collaboration with the US Chamber of Commerce, Durbin added that the mission's companies are willing to inject new investments in Egypt’s green economy. 

The two-day event hosted by the US- Egypt Business Council, was held in partnership between AmCham Egypt and the US Chamber of Commerce.

“Our member countries and private sector companies are making significant commitments in terms of reducing emissions and decarbonisation. Our delegation is here to support Egypt’s efforts in its way to COP27 that it will host in November and to highlight the important role the private sector can and must play in this regard; especially in the green investments and the related green tech business, as well as financing, deploying, developing and commercialising the technologies in this respect,” Durbin stated.

He added that the private sector has a supportive role to play with the government in terms of financing green and clean energy projects as well as expanding their current investments in this field.

“We brought 40 companies with us here in Egypt to explore the opportunities that we can seize for the sake of meeting the global obligations committed in COP26 held in Glasgow last year,” he noted.

Durbin said that Egypt has a significant leadership role to play by hosting the anticipated COP27 on the local, regional, and global levels regarding fighting climate change risks.

“Energy security is a much more important issue around the world and it points out the need to accelerate energy transition. US companies are here to work on and engage with the government to do so. Egypt enjoys plenty of resources for solar and wind energies as well as a natural gas industry that can enable the country to play a role to provide other countries with different sorts of clean energies amid the ongoing challenges imposed by the war in Ukraine,” he explained.

“There is a reason for optimism based on the engagements the delegation had during its two-day mission with the prime minister, seven Egyptian ministries, in addition to the Suez Canal Economic Zone and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt,”, he added.

At the convention, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly called on US companies to expand their investments in Egypt and benefit from the new economic strategy Egypt announced on Sunday. The new strategy involves raising the private sector's share in Egyptian economic activity to 65 percent, up from 30 percent, along with other incentives.

Madbouly added that there are great opportunities to be tapped in the Egyptian market in terms of green investments, pointing out that Egypt targets to increase the renewable energy usage by 42 percent by 2035 in line with its Egypt Vision 2030, as well as to increase water and waste management projects.

“The strategic dialogue between Egypt and the US has resulted in two milestones; the first is creating the US-Egypt working group on climate and the second is the high-level economic committee that will start its activities going forward,” Madbouly noted. 

Madbouly was leading a delegation including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Ressources Tarek El Molla and a group of government officials and businessmen.

Leading the mission for the US government was Ambassador David Thorne, special advisor for climate, and Jake Levine, Chief Climate Officer at the International Development Finance Corporation.

The delegation comprised senior representation from leading US government financing agencies and other organisations, including the Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). 

Also in attendance were senior US government representatives from the departments of state, commerce, and energy, in addition to senior representatives from US Companies, ranging from multinationals to SMEs, across a wide array of sector focuses, including agriculture, aviation, construction, digital, energy, finance, healthcare, transportation, and water resources management. 

Leaders of the mission from the US Chamber included Durbin and Khush Choksy, senior vice president for international development. 

During the event, the delegates explored opportunities for green investment within a wide range of sectors, including power, renewables, agriculture, ICT, manufacturing, aerospace, transportation, and finance. 


New investment opportunities

Thorne affirmed that the US business community welcomed the policy that Egypt announced on Sunday regarding expanding the share of the private sector, and that it stays tuned regarding investment opportunities.

“Egypt has been taking important actions with regards to boosting the role of the private sector, which is very important for the country’s economy,” he said during a press conference after the event.

“I have a long history of working with Egypt and the business community. I have the honour of having played a leadership role in the largest ever US trade mission to Egypt and now am adding the honour of leading the US government delegation to what might be the largest US green business trade mission ever. It's also the first green business trade mission ever,” he added.

Thorne also said that the companies participating in the GreenTech Business Delegation came to Egypt because they are looking for opportunities here in Egypt to apply their investment know-how to deliver green growth and climate solutions.

“Last year, $86 billion was invested in US climate start-ups. Green investment is an enormous business opportunity. Those who get in early will enjoy huge investment benefits,” he expounded.

The ambassador added that COP27 is a great economic opportunity for Egypt to put it on a sustainable path, noting that the conference comes in a pivotal moment to put the pledges and commitments of COP26 in implementation.

“We can not achieve the global climate ambitions without the support and partnership of the private sector,” he asserted.

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