Donna Thiessen
(703) 875-4357


CAIRO, EGYPT (August 27, 2008) – USTDA reaffirmed its commitment to Egypt’s development through two separate grants awarded today to enhance the country’s aviation and renewable energy industries. The grants, totaling $617,038, were awarded to EgyptAir Maintenance and Engineering (EgyptAir M&E), a subsidiary of EgyptAir Holding Company, and Al-Arabia for Trade and Industrial and Touristic Development (Al-Arabia), a private Cairo-based company.

The grants were conferred during a signing ceremony held at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey signed both grants on behalf of the U.S. Government. EgyptAir M&E Chairman Eng. Abd El-Aziz Fadel and Al-Arabia Chairman Mr. Zakaria Serag El-Din signed the respective grant agreements for their organizations. USTDA Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Carl B. Kress signed as a witness to the grant agreements.

EgyptAir M&E operates as one of the Middle East and Africa’s leading aircraft maintenance providers, offering services from its central operations and maintenance base at Cairo International Airport, the largest transfer hub in the Middle East. The company’s substantial technical base coordinates extensive and detailed procurements to support a diverse range of aircraft, which must be carefully tracked and managed with sophisticated information and communications technology (ICT) systems. The need to keep error-free records of ongoing engineering and maintenance activities on a per-aircraft basis is of utmost importance so EgyptAir M&E can comply with stringent air safety and sector regulations. The $444,284 USTDA grant awarded today will help EgyptAir M&E develop a state-of-the-art ICT solution in the area of aircraft maintenance that can be kept current with changes in technology and the industry’s business requirements.

The opportunity to provide the USTDA-funded assistance to EgyptAir M&E will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website at Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. EgyptAir M&E will select the U.S. contractor that will carry out the assistance.

Under a separate $172,754 grant awarded today to Al-Arabia, USTDA is funding investment analysis on the establishment of an integrated sugarcane and ethanol plant in the Kalabasha Valley near Aswan, Egypt. Egypt has an increasing internal demand for both sugar and transportation fuel. The country currently imports 1 million tons of sugar annually to supplement local production, subsidizes the sale of petroleum products, and is an importer of oil. The local production of ethanol and sugar as a fuel extender could lessen the economic burden of importing transportation fuel and sugar, and create local jobs.

Al-Arabia has secured land from the local governorate for agricultural development near Aswan. Since the project has the potential to produce sugar for sale into both the food and energy markets, the USTDA grant awarded today will determine the appropriate level of sugar versus fuel production given market conditions. Al-Arabia has chosen Agland Investment Service (Agland) of Larkspur, California, to perform the study. In addition to the USTDA grant, both Al-Arabia and Agland will contribute substantial resources toward the study’s completion.

USTDA has supported project development in the Egyptian market since 1984. Since that time, the agency has approved funding of over $10 million for feasibility studies, technical assistance programs, and other activities in Egypt. To date, those activities and visits have been associated with over $451 million in U.S. exports, particularly in the manufacturing and transportation sectors.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.


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