Speech by Ambassador Paul Garnier at the SEBA Gala Dinner on 2 April 2019 in Cairo

Local news, 02.04.2019


Dear representatives of the Egyptian government and of the Swiss business community in Egypt,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I would like to thank all of you for joining us tonight at the 2019 SEBA Awards and Fundraising Gala Dinner and for making this a remarkable event in a very nice setting. I am delighted to enjoy this evening in such inspiring company. 

The celebration today is an opportunity to acknowledge those who contribute to the enhancement of Swiss-Egyptian business relations. We also appreciate SEBA’s commitment to pave the way for new projects in education and for people with disabilities. CSR is an important aspect of business activities. 

Tonight, I would like to share with you a few insights of the visit of our Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis, Minister of Foreign Affairs, last week:

  • The Foreign Minister celebrated 110 years of business relations, where he met Egyptian Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr.
  • Above all, he met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. The focus of his talks was on the various areas of bilateral relations.
  • A Joint engagement for peace and stability was discussed and even put on paper within the framework of the Egyptian Presidency of the African Union. 

The overall impression of the Minister after his visit was very positive and he assured his interlocutors of the continuation of multi-faceted Switzerland cooperation efforts with a possibility of even increasing them. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are also very proud of the accomplishments of Swiss companies and investors in Egypt over the past years and we should work together to get more investments in the years ahead. 

Education and Training are topics on which Egypt and Switzerland are keen to work on and the Swiss private sector has expertise to offer. 

The Egyptian Government has declared 2019 “The Year of Education” and we should have our footprint in it. 

The Swiss private sector in Egypt is already very active in this domain. Over 1000 Egyptian students and teachers across different governorates in Egypt are being trained and educated on a yearly basis by Swiss companies. However, there is a strong need of having a systematic, clear cooperation and integration into the Egyptian Education System.

Therefore, the Swiss Government, together with SEBA, strongly supports a cooperation between Swiss businesses in Egypt and the Egyptian Government in the area of Technical and Vocational Education (TVET).

This program shall in particular provide placement services and training opportunities for skilled workers at Swiss companies in Egypt. 

I am confident, Ladies and Gentlemen, that together we can provide greater opportunities for the Swiss business community and the economic development of Egypt. 

This evening’s Gala is a testimony of SEBA’s continued convening power, which is based on your support. 

Last but not least, I would like to thank Marwa Taher, Executive Director of SEBA and all members of SEBA for their continuous efforts during all these years.

In addition, I extend a special thanks to the SEBA Board of Directors and all of the Gala Sponsors.

I thank you for your attention and wish you an excellent evening.