US investors urge Egypt to maintain free market policies

Investors and the representatives of a number of US companies have said that more American investments in Egypt are contingent on the government’s adherence to free-market policies and the promotion of the private sector.

During Thursday's US-Egyptian Business Forum, which is organized by the General Authority for Investment, Steven Farris, the CEO of wildcat oil exploration company Apache, said that US businessmen want Egypt to proceed with free market policies.

Farris called for opening the door to the private sector so that US companies could contribute with wide-scale investments.

Revoking contracts affects the investment atmosphere, especially when there are no rights to claim, according to Farris.

Recent press reports said the Egyptian government is considering amending or nullifying some contracts made with local and foreign investors, and voices reservations on many of their provisions.

The investment authority’s director, Osama Saleh, said that all of the members of the US delegation had exhibited a desire to invest in Egypt.

Saleh added, in an opening speech, that the size of US investments in Egypt stands at US$7 billion, with 147 American companies operating in the country.

The US delegation taking part in the forum is the second to visit Egypt after the revolution. Another delegation representing 12 companies visited Egypt in April.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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