John Casson moved to Cairo from 10 Downing Street where he was the Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Private Secretary from 2010 to 2014. His career has had a strong focus on the Arab world, including as Deputy Ambassador in Jordan, as Head of the FCO’s Near East and North Africa Department, and accompanying the Prime Minister on his visit to Egypt in 2011. From 2002-2005 he held the high profile role leading the US political outreach of the British Embassy in Washington.
He has also worked in the UK Representation to the EU in Brussels and as Senior Policy Adviser in HM Treasury. Before entering Government he worked as a Research Assistant at Cambridge University and in the House of Commons. He moves to Cairo with his wife Kathryn Casson, who has been Private Secretary to the Development Secretary from 2011 to 2014.
Why should UK companies invest in Egypt?
Recently declared the second largest economy in Africa by KPMG, Egypt is a growing market keen to attract foreign investment. A young, educated workforce and government trade incentives provide an ideal climate for this. Commitments have been made by the Egyptian government to increase transparency, and political and economic stability is a focus given the turbulence of the Arab Spring and wider tensions in the region.
Additionally, the newly extended Suez Canal is a hub for the world’s maritime traffic, and the strategic location of Egypt allows close links with African, European and Asian markets. UK exports to Egypt were worth an estimated USD $1.4bn, proving it is a lucrative market for foreign investment.
Key sectors include: financial, legal and professional services; education; ICT; power; infrastructure; advanced engineering; and construction. The UK government is keen to facilitate trade engagements post-Brexit and Egypt has already been a focus. Government investment, connectivity, increased stability and growth make now the ideal time for UK companies to invest in Egypt.
Our Challenging Perception series is designed to encourage an exchange of views that compare the perceptions of businesses of a particular geography or sector, with those of the UK’s most senior Diplomat in that location. These have been lively and entertaining discussions to date (most recently Iran and Zimbabwe) and Egypt will be no exception.
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