Swiss visit by Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr to Bern

On November 15, 2019, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), received Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation of the Arab Republic of Egypt for a bilateral meeting in Bern. The talks focused on developing bilateral economic relations and Switzerland’s cooperation programme in Egypt.

The meeting between Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin and Minister Sahar Nasr provided an opportunity to review bilateral economic relations between Switzerland and Egypt. The two ministers welcomed the encouraging results of the Swiss cooperation programme in Egypt, and also discussed the general conditions for investment and business opportunities for the Swiss private sector.

Guy Parmelin

Switzerland is a major investor in Egypt, where around seventy Swiss companies are established. In 2018, Egypt was Switzerland’s leading export market on the African continent, with exports valued at CHF 972 million. With a free trade agreement (via the European Free Trade Association), an agreement on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments and a double taxation convention, economic relations between Switzerland and Egypt are conducted within a solid bilateral legal framework.

Egypt has been a priority country for the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in terms of economic cooperation and development for 40 years. SECO’s projects place particular emphasis on basic infrastructure, urban development, creating more and better jobs, financial services and governance conducive to private sector development. SECO’s support is part of the Federal Council’s North Africa Programme of 11 March 2011, implemented jointly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Political Directorate of the FDFA, the Human Security Division (HSD) and the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

Dr. Nasr earned her Professorship from the Supreme Council of Universities. She is a Professor of Economics at the American University in Cairo and a Lecturer at several Egyptian and foreign universities. Throughout her academic career, she published over 60 research papers, technical reports, and books merging her technical and practical expertise in the fields of international finance, economic development, private sector, and SME development, as well as the fields of financial reform, the labor market, women empowerment, and economic legislation. These papers and reports were published in scientific periodicals, including those of Cambridge and Oxford University in the UK, Berkley University in the USA, and scientific periodicals published by the World Bank. Some of these studies and research papers have contributed to drafting and structuring economic policies in various developing countries and emerging markets, including Egypt.

Her Excellency Dr Sahar Nasr was sworn in as the Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation on September 19, 2015, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation on February 16, 2017 and reappointed on June 14, 2018.