H.E. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt today visited the ASEAN Secretariat and met with H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN.
Secretary-General Minh appreciated Egypt's keen interest in promoting good relations with ASEAN and its intention in deepening its diplomatic outreach in Southeast Asia.
Secretary-General Minh briefed President Al Sisi on the recent developments in ASEAN, including the formal establishment of its Community by the end of 2015. He further conveyed that ASEAN is working on the Post-2015 Vision, in which a key element is the expansion of ASEAN's external relations to reach out to new and emerging partners in Africa and Middle East.
President Al Sisi noted the strong and historical relations with several ASEAN Member States and the growing trade ties between the two sides. He highlighted Egypt's economic potential and their efforts to promote trade and investment in the country including a new legislation to protect and support foreign investors. President Al Sisi also informed the Secretary-General on the recent development in Egypt, including the newly inaugurated Suez Canal in early August this year and its next phase of redevelopment. He believes that the new parallel canal will improve regional and global trade and will have a positive impact on Egypt's economy.
Secretary-General Minh highlighted the economic potential of the ASEAN region with the vast market of 625 million people and combined GDP of over USD 2.5 trillion and noted the economic benefits of cooperation with Egypt.
Both sides agreed to also further explore closer cooperation in areas such as education, tourism, cultural heritage conservation and security including the fight against terrorism and violence. ASEAN and Egypt will also explore activities and exchanges to increase mutual understanding through business-to-business networks and people-to-people linkages.