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    Dr. Kamel Gives a Keynote Speech on Egyptian-US Cooperation in ICT

    Cairo, 12 April 2010

    Dr. Kamel: Egypt, in Cooperation with Partners, Turned into a Technology Innovation Hub Serving ICT Industry, Development Goals

    Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr. Tarek Kamel gave today a keynote speech on the Egyptian-US cooperation in information and communication technology (ICT).

    Dr. Kamel gave the speech during a meeting of members of the US Egypt Business Leaders Forum, formerly known as the US-Egypt Business Council, held in Egypt for the first time.

    Leaders of major 24 American companies, Minister of Trade and Industry Eng. Rachid Mohamed Rachid and US Ambassador to Egypt Ms. Margaret Scobey took part in the meeting.

    The forum is co-chaired by Mr. Taher Helmy and Mr. Steven Farris, Chairman and CEO of Apache Corporation Petroleum Company.

    Dr. Kamel highlighted the importance of ICT in bilateral trade activities, affirming that such an industry will witness a new maturity phase of collaboration and partnership.

    Minister Kamel referred to the progress witnessed by the Egyptian-US relations, especially after the visit of President Barack Obama to Cairo last June and his meeting with President Hosni Mubarak.

    President Obama confirmed the significance of starting international partnerships as well as establishing a technology innovation fund and excellence centers.

    Dr. Kamel spoke about a new stage for the development of bilateral relations in ICT, especially on the governmental level, referring to the effective dialogue that had already begun during his official visit to Washington and New York last June with a delegation of Egyptian ICT companiesí leaders.

    Dr. Kamel met a number of senior US officials and politicians involved in ICT and internet policies. A number of other meetings were held with the regulatory authorities of the industry.

    It has been agreed during the business trip to the US to form a high-level committee on ICT policies joined by heads of concerned official entities in the two countries.

    Dr. Kamel further shed light on the cooperation between Egypt and the US over the past eight years in the form of strategic partnerships between the Egyptian Government and major American technology producing and developing companies.

    Egypt has signed a number of framework agreements important for carrying out the countryís socio-economic agenda. Also Egyptian companies made use of such deals in the development of their businesses in the region.

    Minister Kamel pointed out that several US companies invested in Egypt including Microsoft Corp., which chose the Smart Village as a venue for its headquarters. Microsoft Corp. entered into an agreement with Telecom Egypt through Xceed Contact Center to outsource the companyís technical support operations in the region as well as Europe.

    Another company, he added, IBM Corp., established a technology development center in Egypt in 2000. A total of 600 specialists have been working for the company so far.

    A third company, Minister Kamel noted, is Cisco Systems, which contributed to implementing the Egyptian Education Initiative (EEI) as well as connecting 2000 schools with ADSL internet. The company trained, in collaboration with other firms, more than 150,000 teachers and school administrators on IT basics.

    Other companies like Oracle established an international customer care center in Cairo. In addition, Intel built a software development center. Also Google has started operations in Egypt to carry out an ambitious project for increasing Arab online content.

    All these companies and their leaderships, Dr. Kamel pointed out, decided capitalize on the investment opportunities offered by Egypt. They realized Egyptís competitive advantages including geographical location, trained human calibers, suitable business environment and advanced infrastructure, Dr. Kamel explained.

    According to Dr. Kamel, the Egyptian ICT sector has managed to keep growing from 12-15% even during the World Financial Crisis.

    Minister Kamel stressed the close collaboration and the ongoing dialogue with the US, especially with regards to key international issues like cyberspace security, internet governance and child protection online.

    Dr. Kamel confirmed the success of the Egyptian experience in boosting business process outsourcing industry (BPO). Egypt, he explained, succeeded in promoting this industry, turning into a hub for international companies that aim to expand their activities globally.

    The country will be promoted in the coming phase as a hub for technology innovation in cooperation with international partners represented by world companies, academic institutions and other entities concerned with innovation development, invention and R&D to serve the ICT industry and development goals.

    In this respect, Dr. Kamel referred to the current collaboration with IBM Nanotechnology Research Center in Egypt established cooperatively with Thomas J. Watson Research Center, the companyís Research Division.

    Additionally, Cairo Microsoft Innovation Center was established in the Smart Village where 30 specialists work hand-in-hand with the companyís centers in Redmond, USA. Another center was founded in Germany for joint projects, training and knowledge and expertise transfer.

    Mr. Craig Mundie, Chief Research and Strategy Officer of Microsoft will visit Cairo this month to follow up the centerís progress.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Kamel announced that Nile University was selected to join the Global Entrepreneurship Program as part of an alliance involving American University in Cairo and Young Entrepreneurs Association.

    Dr. Kamel concluded his speech by saying that ICT is featured by being and industry of minds and that the bases of its economies depend on knowledge, development and the exchange of such factors on the web.


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