2nd Business Council for International Understanding Competitiveness Forum

2 November 2017

Opening Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Goldberger at the BCIU Competitiveness Forum, November 2, Cairo:

Good morning. Thank you, Jeff, for that introduction. It is great to have you back in Cairo.

Minister Nasr, thank you very much for being with us today and for all your many efforts to support the U.S.-Egypt relationship in all its dimensions. Major General Tarek Ezzat, we are so glad you can join us from the Armaments Authority.

I have some very few short words, but before I do, I need to say how satisfied we are with the successful rescue of Captain al-Hayis by the Egyptian security forces, who are so valiantly giving their all to fight terrorism.

This terrorist scourge is a menace that we face together and from which none of us is safe. We had another vicious attack in New York City two days ago.

I have no doubt that working together the United States and Egypt will defeat the forces of evil and that those who pursue their evil ends will end up like all of the fanatics before them, down through the ages.

What we are doing today is part of our common effort to make the world a better place with more opportunity for people to pursue their lives and faiths free of the dark shadow of futile violence. There is no time for “business as usual.”

So on that note, I want to thank the BCIU for organizing its second Egypt Competitiveness Forum.

Egypt and the U.S. have historically enjoyed strong commercial ties and this gathering is a testament to that enduring relationship.

The United States stands with our Egyptian partners.

Vice President Pence will be visiting Cairo in late December for meetings with President Sisi and other Egyptian leaders—a testament to the value that the U.S. places on our strategic relationship with Egypt.

His visit follows the State visit by President Sisi to the White House in April and two other Presidential-level meetings since January 20.

The overall U.S.-Egypt relationship provides a solid platform for building even stronger business and economic relationships.

Our militaries are working closely together to meet the security challenges of the modern era.

The recently concluded Bright Star military exercise was an excellent example of how we are widening and deepening our security cooperation in novel and unprecedented ways.

Cultural and people-to-people relationships between our countries are growing. In addition to large educational exchanges, we have brought many American artists and cultural leaders to Egypt and supported travel by Egyptians to the United States.

Building on all of these other areas of cooperation, it’s our pleasure to be part of this gathering today to continue to advance economic and commercial cooperation.

I appreciate all of the leading U.S. companies represented today.

You have come at a time when Egypt’s economy is gathering strength as thanks to the strong economic reforms Egypt is implementing with the solid support of the United States and the international community.

These reforms are reshaping the economy and creating opportunities for the private sector, and we look forward today to hearing more about the opportunities they are opening up for U.S. business.

Building on all of these other areas of cooperation, it’s a pleasure to be part of this gathering today to continue to advance economic and commercial cooperation.

The American companies with us today have the know-how and technologies to play a vital role in Egypt’s success. I hope that we will leave today’s meetings with concrete recommendations for how Egypt can be a more competitive and attractive destination for foreign investment in general and U.S. investment in particular.

Thank you.