The Egyptian-Greek relations are historical ones indeed, dating back to 300 BC. And yet currently, both countries strive to maintain the strength of these relations by fostering mutual cooperation and seeking agreements that serve the interests of both countries. Among these interests are the obviously-growing investments between the two countries during the last period.
Investments between Egypt and Greece have been significantly growing since 2004. Among the most important are the acquisitions made by the TITAN Cement as well as Vardinogiannis Group’s obtaining of exploration rights, according to the Marefa encyclopedia. The Egyptian Orascom Company also bought the Greek company TIM Hellas Telecommunications for €3.4 billion in 2007.
In March 2020, Ambassador of Greece in Egypt Nikolaos Garilidis, according to al-Ahram Online, said that Egypt is a top destination for Greek investment. The fields of Greek investment in Egypt are mainly concentrated in cement manufacturing; oil and gas exploration and extraction; construction; food industry; manufacturing of building materials and paints; aluminum production; distribution and logistics; irrigation systems; banking; sea and air transportation; and training services.
Greece, as reported by the GREEK world REPORTER, is the fourth largest European investor in Egypt, with around 208 Greek companies in the Egyptian market. In an interview to Sada el-Balad English published in 2019, Vice President of the Egyptian-Greek Business Council Medhat Stefanos said the volume of Greek investments in the Egyptian market exceeded $2 billion by the end of 2018.
Egypt, Greece and Cyprus, particularly during the last six years, strived to strengthen their interrelations. During the Greek economic crisis that began in 2010, Greece moved toward establishing strong cooperation with several countries, including Egypt. This was through international initiatives and cooperation to strengthen the Greek economy. The same happened in 2014, when a tripartite summit between Egypt, Greece and Cyprus was held in Cairo as an attempt to help Egypt overcome the economic crisis. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras agreed then to encourage foreign investments in the Egyptian economy and infrastructure, and to participate in the Cairo Economic Conference which was held in 2015.
As declared by Egypt’s State Information Service, a number of cooperation agreements in the fields of industry, trade and education were signed in October 2018. They included, namely, a cooperation agreement on the technical cooperation in the customs field; a memorandum of understanding in the field of education; a memorandum of understanding to boost cooperation in the field of small enterprises and entrepreneurship; and a cooperation agreement between the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), Enterprise Greece and Invest Cyprus.
In April 2019, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, Amr Nassar; and Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Development, Yannis Dragasakis, agreed to set up a joint working group to enhance economic cooperation between both countries and identify the target sectors. In January 2020, the three countries made concerted efforts to enhance their regional cooperation in the field of natural gas in the East Mediterranean region, and to strengthen the linkages between them in the fields of petroleum, gas and attracting companies.
In May 2020, Egypt and Greece discussed ways of cooperation to return tourism between both countries amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while taking preventive measures. They also discussed arranging joint tourism programs to be promoted to the world. In August 2020, Egypt and Greece signed an agreement for the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between both countries in the east of the Mediterranean Sea—a region that includes big reserves of oil and gas.
Thus, we note that the economic relations and agreements, that brought Egypt and Greece together, have undergone considerable development during the last six years. They proceeded to cover a wide range of activities, and to open up broader prospects for pushing relations toward further development in the future.