CAIRO,7 October 2019: Celebrating 40 years of Swiss-Egyptian development cooperation, Ambassador Raymund Furrer, Head of Economic Cooperation and Development at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), will visit Cairo from 7-11 October to meet with Egyptian officials, visit the sites of Swiss development projects in Egypt, and discuss continued cooperation in the future.
Ambassador Furrer will inform key government stakeholders about the strategic priorities of SECO as well as the opportunities and challenges of the SECO portfolio in Egypt.
Alongside his meetings with top officials, he will also visit El Sewedy Technical Academy, where a project co-financed by Switzerland and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is being implemented to enhance employability and job market access of young women and men in Egypt. Ambassador Furrer will moreover attend a high-level panel discussion on trends, perspectives and solutions related to urban inequalities in Egypt, to be held at the premises of the Swiss Embassy.
“We can achieve positive and tangible results together with the Government of Egypt and our project partners that make a difference to the lives of many ordinary Egyptians,” said Ambassador Furrer.
Forty years ago, in 1979, Switzerland and Egypt concluded a partnership to stimulate economic cooperation and investments, and bring support to the most vulnerable people among the Egyptian population. Projects at the time focused on infrastructure. Today, Switzerland’s development projects in Egypt have expanded greatly to include diverse activities in the fields of democratic processes and human rights, inclusive sustainable economic growth and employment, and migration and protection. Switzerland supports Egypt’s comprehensive reform agenda as set out in its 2030 Egypt Vision.
Ambassador Furrer will also address the guests of the Swiss National Day reception at the residence of Swiss Ambassador to Egypt Paul Garnier on October 9 around the landmark 40-year celebration of Swiss-Egyptian development cooperation. Throughout this 40-year timeframe some 700 million Swiss francs have been invested in more than 200 projects across Egypt to boost infrastructure, develop the private sector, and empower civil society, among other initiatives. Some of the highlights of Switzerland’s development programme successes in Egypt include provision of reliable radiology services that have benefitted 1.8 million patients and provision of support to three microfinance institutions with 450,000 clients and an outstanding portfolio of 110 million Swiss francs.
Ambassador Furrer has been Head of SECO’s Economic Cooperation and Development division since 1 October 2015. He is also Delegate of the Swiss Federal Council for Trade Agreements. SECO’s focus areas for Egypt for the 2017-2020 period include infrastructure financing, private sector investments, trade promotion and macro-economic support. The last bilateral official visit of Ambassador Furrer to Cairo was in May 2018.