(as of July 2005)
Japan - Egypt : Bilateral Economic Relations
Japan and Egypt have long enjoyed good and friendly relations.
Japan regards Egypt as its key Arab partner and as a vital country
in the Middle East. The holding of the 2nd Japanese - Arab
Dialogue Forum in March 2004 in Alexandria reflects this. Although
the economic relationship has not yet realized its full potential,
some recent efforts, both at governmental and private levels, have
started to strengthen and promote bilateral trade and investments.
Bilateral trade between Japan and Egypt has decreased in recent
years. While Japan continues to enjoy a bilateral trade surplus
against Egypt, the overall value of its exports to Egypt has
been recovering toward the level of the
1990s to US$787
million in 2004. Egyptian
exports to Japan have continued to fall, dropping to a value
of US$ 59 Million in 2004.
While major Japanese commodities exported to Egypt include
transportation equipment and electronic machinery, major Egyptian
commodities exported to Japan are petroleum and petroleum products
and cotton and cotton textiles.
( value in : US$ million )
Japanese Direct Investment to Egypt
Despite the government of Egypt’s strenuous efforts to improve its
investment environment, foreign direct investment to Egypt is not
growing very much. It is said that this is partly due to the
crisis in the Middle East. The total value of Japanese investment
from 1974 till 2003 is US$108.3 million. The most recent event was
the launching of expand of operation in Egypt by Nissan.
Investment Projects in Egypt ( value in
: US$1,000,000 )
Source:Central Bank of Egypt, Monthly Statistical Bulletin
In recent years, the increasing visits at both governmental and private
levels seem to have deepened bilateral relations in the field of economic
The year 2003 witnessed active official visits between Japan and
Egypt. In February, Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali, the Egyptian
Minister for Economy and Foreign Trade, visited Japan to attend
the WTO Informal Ministerial Meeting held in Tokyo, while in June,
Mr. Mogi, Japanese Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited Egypt
to attend the WTO Informal Ministerial Meeting held by the
Government of Egypt. In May, Mr. Junichiro Koizumi, the Japanese
Prime Minister and in October, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, the Japanese
Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited Egypt. On both occasions, it
was agreed that bilateral economic relation should be further
strengthened. In the field of economic cooperation, Mr. Kawakami,
the President of JICA, and Mr. Shinosawa, the Governor of JBIC,
visited Egypt in June 2003 and Mr. Watanabe, chairman and CEO of
JETRO in June 2004.
As for private economic cooperation, the visit of President Mubarak,
the President Egypt to Japan in 1999 resulted in the
re-establishment of the Japan-Egypt Joint Business Council. Since
its re-establishment, the Joint Business Council Meetings have
been held alternately in both countries with the participation of
many businessmen. They have agreed to exchange ideas and opinions
to promote bilateral economic cooperation. The 6th meeting of this
Business Council was held in Tokyo in April 2005. Dr.Fayza Aboul
Naga, Minister for Int'l Cooperation and Dr.Ziad Baha El-Din
participated in this event.
Mr.Carlos Gohn visited Egypt in June 2004 and announced Nissan's
plan to expand its activities in Egypt and to invest $100 million
by 2010. Nissan Egypt launched its production in early 2005.
Egyptian consumer electronics company El-Araby, undertechnology
licence by Sharp, started operation of its new air conditioning
factory in Mubarak Industrial City in Quesna in April 2004.
Egypt is one of the world’s most attractive countries for
Japanese tourists for its relics of the ancient civilization. Internal and regional events, such as the Luxor
attack of 1997, 9/11 2001 in the United States and the recent Iraq
War, have had a negative influence on the number of Japanese
tourists visiting Egypt. However, it has been resurging since the
Autumn of 2003. In 2004, Egypt received 71,000 Japanese tourists
which stands 25th worldwide.
Egypt Air operates 5 weekly direct flights between Japan and Egypt,
3 Narita-Cairo flights and 2 Kansai-Cairo flights.