On Thursday, October 29th, the U.S.-Egypt Business Council, in partnership with AmCham Egypt, Inc., was honored to host a virtual introductory roundtable featuring His Excellency Motaz Zahran, Ambassador of Egypt to the United States. The meeting was led by USEBC Chairman and CEO and President of Apache Corporation John Christmann with welcoming remarks by the U.S. Chamber’s Senior Vice President for Middle East Affairs Khush Choksy and AmCham Egypt, Inc. CEO Hisham Fahmy.
During opening comments, USEBC Chairman John Christmann emphasized the continued steadfast commitment of U.S. companies that have longstanding ties to Egypt, regardless of the political outcome of the U.S. elections. “While there is a lot of uncertainty, what I can say for sure is that the U.S. Chamber and the U.S.-Egypt Business Council will remain focused on continuing and growing our ties between our countries. This is a guarantee,” said Christmann. “And the Apache Corporation will continue to drive this effort. We are proud to serve as the Chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Egypt Business Council, as well as Chair of the Council’s 2020 campaign: U.S.-Egypt: The Next 40 Years,” he continued.
A career diplomat, H.E. Ambassador Zahran most recently served as Assistant Foreign Minister and Chief of Cabinet at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo. This is Ambassador Zahran’s second ambassadorship, having previously served as ambassador to Canada from 2007-2017. He has extensive experience with the United States, having previously served as Political Counselor at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington from 2007-2011 and as Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the Middle East Peace Process, Palestine, Israel and the United States.
During his remarks, H.E. Ambassador Zahran highlighted the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Egypt, which is evidenced in Egypt being named the largest recipient of U.S. direct investment in Africa for the fourth year in a row, continuing to be the United States’ largest trading partner on the continent. While discussing the Government of Egypt’s response to COVID-19, the Ambassador explained that Egypt’s economic performance during recent months has been lauded by a number of international organizations, and its credit score remains unchanged despite the pandemic. H.E the Ambassador also highlighted the multiple projects happening throughout the country in several sectors, including construction, logistics, and energy, reiterated that Egypt continues to be ripe opportunities for U.S. companies looking to expand their investments in this key market of opportunity.
Following his keynote remarks, Ambassador Zahran participated in a moderated discussion with member companies, which was led by USEBC Executive Director Steve Lutes. The conversation highlighted our member companies’ steadfast dedication to continue to work closely with Egyptian stakeholders to strengthen our trade and investment ties for the benefit of both our economies.