Hazem Hassan , Chairman of BEBA
Egypt has weathered the storm better than many predicated or feared. The commercial partnership between Egypt and Britain fared well with trade figures up. The present turbulence in world markets has caused uncertainty, but can also be seen as an opportunity for Egypt itself as an investment location.A large number of UK officials and business delegations visited Egypt this year to discuss business opportunities with the interim government. Amongst those visitors was the Lord Mayor of London, who addressed BEBA members at a special luncheon organized in his honour.
Within its framework of providing exclusive services to its members, BEBA has been working on three conferences scheduled in 2012/13; “Creating Centres of Excellence in Egypt”, “From Agriculture to Retailing” and “Creating a New Cairo”. Each conference will tackle the opportunities and challenges of its area, and will invite speakers from Egypt and the world.
Illiteracy, education and training are the challenges facing Egypt today. In order to encounter these challenges, BEBA invited companies from the business community to unite their efforts and establish a CSR committee in Egypt. Within the same line, BEBA collaborated with GAFI to integrate and engage SME’s in the supply chains of large corporations. GAFI’s responsibilities include identifying and building the capacity of SME’s to prepare them for an active interaction with international corporations. BEBA will play the role of the facilitator throughout the process.
BEBA also took the initiative and prepared, in collaboration with seven organisations in Egypt, a paper highlighting the challenges facing the business community and suggested solutions for each. This paper was presented to the Prime Minister and the Higher Military Council. Efforts must continue to ensure that business ties between Egypt and the UK remain strong and vibrant. This is the time to coordinate our efforts and to spot opportunities that will benefit British/Egyptian commercial ties and beyond. This is the role BEBA members have to play.
I would like to extend a warm welcome to the newly appointed British Ambassador to Egypt Mr. James Watt, who was keen to attend BEBA’s board meetings and to contribute to the discussions. Finally, I would like to extend our thanks to the UKTI team of the Embassy for their support to BEBA. Last but not least, I would like to recognise the dedication and effort of BEBA’s executive office that has contributed to BEBA’s success and achievements.