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EU supports Egypt with EGP 80m in tourism investments
 The European Trade Chambers have launched new projects in Egypt to develop tourism, according to Secretary General of the Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations Alaa Ezz. The projects will occur through a three-year work plan and will have with a budget of EGP 80m funded by the European Union (EU). Ezz said the projects come in the context of the EuroMed Invest II programme, funded by the EU and executed by the Alliance of the Euro-Mediterranean business federations (MedAlliance). “MedAlliance aims to attract investments and develop exports to the countries of the southern Mediterranean as well as provide technical assistance for small and medium businesses, besides raising the efficiency and capacity of trade chambers and unions and supportive government agencies in Egypt,” added Ezz. Ezz explained at the Euro-Mediterranean conference on tourism on Tuesday in Alexandria that the Alliance includes five regional business organisations. These include the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce (ASCAME), the Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises (BusinessMed), the Association of European Chambers of Commerce (Eurochambres), the German-Arab Chamber of Commerce (GACIC), and ANIMA Investment Network. “The EU is a source of more than 50% of foreign direct investment that constitutes more than 40% of the total European direct investment per Mediterranean countries,” he said. Ezz said Egypt has received over €6bn from the European Investment Bank, which exceeds 38% of the total funding provided to Mediterranean states. More than half of this funding is for the private sector, in the energy and transportation industries, and small and medium enterprises sector. Ezz further revealed that the size of trade exchange with the EU amounts to more than 32% of the total Egyptian international trade, which has increased to €23.4bn. Economic Adviser to the Minister of Tourism Adla Ragab confirmed that in October 2015 there will be a boom in US inbound tourism in the long-term, which will benefit all Egyptians. “Tourism rates in Egypt began to record a remarkable growth despite recent circumstances and travel warnings to Egypt issued by some embassies,” added Ragab. She confirmed that Egypt is still moving in the right direction to raise growth rates in this vital sector.
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