Calls for new Japanese industrial zones in Egypt, Africa

A cargo vessel container ship passes through Suez Canal, with the Al Salam Bridge behind it. (Shutterstock photo)
Updated 30 August 2019

Calls for new Japanese industrial zones in Egypt, Africa

  • Egypt-Japan ties at an exceptional phase in the history of relations

YOKOHAMA: Plans to establish new industrial zones in Egypt and Africa were on Wednesday unveiled at the opening of a high-profile business meeting in Japan.

Delegates attending the three-day Egyptian-Japanese Business Forum were told of the commercial importance of setting up a zone in the Suez Canal economic area, along with a Japanese bank in Egypt.

The forum, being held on the sidelines of the seventh session of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7), in Yokohama city, was attended by Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Amr Nassar, Japan’s Ambassador to Egypt Masaki Noki, Chairman of the Egyptian Arab Contractors Co. Mohsen Salah, along with Egyptian and Japanese business leaders and investors.

Mohamed Abou El-Enein, vice president of the Egypt-Japan Business Council, stressed that new projects and increased Japanese investment in Egypt would play a major part in further boosting relations between the two countries.

Abou El-Enein said the “great support” received from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated the high level of cooperation taking place between the nations.

FASTFACT

Egypt and Africa are seeking to emulate Japan’s experience in 12 countries and its big successes in Cambodia, India and Malaysia.

The business leader pointed out that Japan could reach Africa, Europe and the Middle East via Egypt’s unique geographical location, and he called on Japanese investors to establish an industrial zone in the economic area of the Suez Canal. He also suggested the establishment of a Japanese bank in Egypt.

Egypt and Africa were seeking to emulate Japan’s experience in 12 countries and its big successes in Cambodia, India and Malaysia through the presence of Japanese industrial zones in Africa, Abou El-Enein added.

He said that cooperation between Egypt and Japan was currently at an exceptional phase and that there was huge potential to achieve much more.

Thanking ministers Nasr and Nassar for their support of the Egypt-Japan Business Council and bilateral relations in general, Abou El-Enein added that he was pleased with the expansion of Japanese companies in Egypt.

Egyptian businessman, Ibrahim Al-Araby, said: “The road to development and progress in Africa starts from Egypt as it is the gateway to the continent. We have to utilize tax-free zones and establish a Japanese industrial zone, especially now with the Silk Road stretching across the Middle East.

“Egypt is not only a gateway to 100 million Egyptians but 1.2 billion people in the African market.”


Huawei in early talks with US firms to license 5G platform: executive

Updated 19 October 2019

Huawei in early talks with US firms to license 5G platform: executive

  • Currently there are no US 5G providers and European rivals Ericsson and Nokia are generally more expensive
  • Huawei has spent billions to develop its 5G technology since 2009

WASHINGTON: Blacklisted Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei is in early-stage talks with some US telecoms companies about licensing its 5G network technology to them, a Huawei executive told Reuters on Friday.
Vincent Pang, senior vice president and board director at the company said some firms had expressed interest in both a long-term deal or a one-off transfer, declining to name or quantify the companies.
“There are some companies talking to us, but it would take a long journey to really finalize everything,” Pang explained on a visit to Washington this week. “They have shown interest,” he added, saying conversations are only a couple of weeks old and not at a detailed level yet.
The US government, fearing Huawei equipment could be used to spy on customers, has led a campaign to convince allies to bar it from their 5G networks. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claim.
Currently there are no US 5G providers and European rivals Ericsson and Nokia are generally more expensive.
In May, Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment provider, was placed on a US blacklist over national security concerns, banning it from buying American-made parts without a special license.
Washington also has brought criminal charges against the company, alleging bank fraud, violations of US sanctions against Iran, and theft of trade secrets, which Huawei denies.
Rules that were due out from the Commerce Department earlier this month are expected to effectively ban the company from the US telecoms supply chain.
The idea of a one-off fee in exchange for access to Huawei’s 5G patents, licenses, code and know-how was first floated by CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei in interviews with the New York Times and the Economist last month. But it was not previously clear whether there was any interest from US companies.
In an interview with Reuters last month, a State Department official expressed skepticism of Ren’s offer.
“It’s just not realistic that carriers would take on this equipment and then manage all of the software and hardware themselves,” the person said. “If there are software bugs that are built in to the initial software, there would be no way to necessarily tell that those are there and they could be activated at any point, even if the software code is turned over to the mobile operators,” the official added.
For his part, Pang declined to predict whether any deal might be signed. However, he warned that the research and development investment required by continuously improving the platform after a single-transfer from Huawei would be very costly for the companies.
Huawei has spent billions to develop its 5G technology since 2009.