Japan will provide the Egypt with $360 million financial support in the energy sector, marking the development of the relations between both countries. The financial aid will include other sectors such as infrastructure and technology, part of a total aid package for the Middle East amounting to $2.5 billion.
Japan has new policies regarding leaders of the Middle East, said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday, during a conference organised by the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council.
Abe said the Middle East is very important to Japan, which provides support to the region’s stability, especially its war against terrorism and extremism.
Abe added that Japan is determined to contribute to achieving stability and will provide aid estimated at $2.5 billion to the Middle East in different sectors over the next few years. This will not include military aid, he said.
He explained that Japan and Egypt will cooperate in finishing work on the Japanese-Egyptian Museum and the Japanese Association in Cairo. Abe also asserted the importance of overcoming the terrorism Egypt is currently experiencing.
Abe, who is on a two-day visit to Egypt with a large business delegation, believes the independence and stability of Egypt will contribute to that of the wider Middle East. He added that Japan will contribute to the expansion of the Borg El-Arab Airport and provide financial aid to many projects, particularly in the energy field.
Abe said that that his country has allocated nearly $200 million to support Arab countries fighting the Islamic State to speed up the process of reaching social and political stability.
He added that his country currently supports confidence-building in the Middle East and will continue to contribute to the field in the future, as the region is suffering some of the worst crises in its history.
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb said that Egypt has begun a new chapter in recent years, starting a future based on justice, freedom and economic prosperity. He stressed that the people have supported the current regime through the results of the referendum and other items on the roadmap.
The government is currently encouraging economic growth through integrated cooperation with several countries worldwide, especially Japan, and will use Japanese experience in growth and development as an inspiration, Mehleb said.
He added that Egypt seeks to free the economy from the current obstacles through legislative and administrative reforms that will help mobilize the largest possible amount of foreign investments.
Acts of terrorism across the Middle East are crimes that must be fought with global cooperation, Mehleb said, praising Japan’s role in denouncing these acts in Egypt.
The prime minister called upon Abe to effectively contribute to settling Palestinian issue and limit blood shedding from recent clashes between Israel and Palestine.
He also requested an effective contribution from Japan to Egyptian economic development, as well as support for the March Economic Summit. The government will present its economic reforms and projects at the conference, which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Ibrahim Al-Araby, head of the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council, said that relations between the two countries are strong on all commercial and industrial levels. He called upon the Japanese business and finance sectors to increase investments and deepen trade relations between both countries, especially in the field of infrastructure.
Al-Araby also called upon the government to overcome all obstacles in the way of Japanese and global investors by improving the business environment. He added that the Egyptian-Japanese Business Council will hold consultations with the Japanese delegation in order to introduce the government’s economic and political reforms.
There are 50 Japanese companies working in Egypt in different sectors, and total Japanese contributions to capital are estimated to be worth $203 million.
Source: Daily News Egypt
Photo: Youm 7 (Mehleb receives Shinzo Abe)