General Electric (GE) plans to invest $340m in the Egyptian market this year, $200m of which will be directed to establish a multi-modal manufacturing and training facility in Suez.
In an interview with Daily News Egypt, GE President and CEO for North East Africa Ayman Khattab said the company is currently in negotiations with a foreign oil company operating in Egypt to participate in the development of the oil field in the Mediterranean.
Can you detail your career and experiences before you were appointed as CEO of GE?
I began my career in 1987 as a field engineer at Schlumberger and assumed several leadership positions at the company in more than 14 countries around the world over 21 years. I joined GE in 2008 as general manager of the Oil and Gas sector in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. From 2013 to 2016, I worked for Basin holdings, an investment group focusing on manufacturing and providing services to the emerging companies in the oil and gas sector. I am now the CEO of the company for North East Africa region, which includes Egypt, Libya and South Sudan.
In which areas can Egypt benefit from the company?
We are ready for any business in the field of infrastructure, especially in the energy sector. We have the capabilities to help in the field of oil exploration, and electricity production and distribution, as well as delivering it to houses, in addition to the provision of services in the field of transport and health. For example, we have acquired more than 60% of the engines of EgyptAir’s fleet. The company has significant experience, which can help it provide many technological solutions that suit the Egyptian market.
Moreover, we implemented a project in cooperation with the Ministries of Health and Communication to link six hospitals in remote places to radiology centres in Cairo, to provide citizens with ease of access and for doctors to have support in these diagnoses. Currently, there are about 24,000 devices produced by GR in Egyptian hospitals.
What investment opportunities are there in the Egyptian market?
Egypt is currently filled with many opportunities, especially as the government is looking to improve the services provided to citizens. There are opportunities in the areas of health, transport, and electricity, especially as Egypt needs to increase the efficiency and productivity of its electricity network. In the oil field, of course, there are opportunities in the new gas field, Zohr, in the Mediterranean. The government is jumping on the trend to mix new and renewable energy sources.
GE is in negotiations with a foreign company in Egypt in the oil sector to participate in the development of an oil field in the Mediterranean. Currently, GE has about 550 employees in Egypt, 70% of which are young people.