The Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr revealed that negotiations undergone by MIIC and the Ministry of Transportation with General Electric (GE) on the procurement of 100 GE ES40ACi Light Evolution Series train carriages included increasing the local component from 35% to 50%. 
 
The Minister emphasized that GE proposed that the local component would be 35%; however, following negotiations, the local component was increased to 50%. She indicated that the agreement witnessed by PM Sheriff Ismael came as an outcome of President El-Sisi’s meeting with Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, during the former’s official visit to the US capital Washington, D.C. during the first week of April 2017. She also pointed out that MIIC coordinated with the Minister of Transportation Dr. Hisham Arafat who developed a map for the development of Egypt’s railways sector. 
 
Further, the Minister noted that the agreement came to reinforce strategic relations between Egypt and the US and to highlight Washington’s keenness on injecting investments in Egypt during the upcoming period, following the summit held between President El-Sisi and the US President Donald Trump. She expressed her pleasure with cooperation between MIIC and the Ministry of Transportation, while explaining that comprehensive development required increasing connection networks.  
 
As stated by Dr. Nasr, the agreement included a long-term 15 year maintenance for providing spare parts and technical support to new carriages and existing 81 ones. The agreement also included using the GE Transportation Training Program as a platform for training more than 275 engineers and technicians in the Egyptian National Railways (ENR), in addition to comprehensive and competitive financial solutions proposed by GE through Export Development Canada (EDC) for financing projects.
 
On the sidelines of signing the agreement, The Minister and Mr. John Rice, Vice Chairman at GE and President of GE Global Growth & Operations, discussed increasing cooperation between the government and GE during the upcoming period and increasing the latter’s investment in Egypt. 
 
On his part, Dr. Arafat pointed out that the agreement would contribute to maximizing ENR’s role in transporting goods in light of GE’s 400 horsepower carriages, noting that the first delivery including 25 carriages would be conducted in 2018. 
 
“The significance of such partnership is due to our ability to provide comprehensive solutions and we work with the Ministry of Transportation and ENR on all aspects of the projects, including providing sustainable financing solutions, manufacturing and maintaining our carriages, and providing long-term services, besides training and developing technical capacities. This is within the framework of our commitment to Egypt and keenness on offering integrated solutions. The GE Transportation Training Program is considered a platform for building on GE’s innovations and ideas,” said Mr. Rice. 
 
“I would like to express my pleasure with signing this agreement which reiterates success of the President’s visit to Washington,” added Mr. Rice, while laying emphasis on the significance of developing Egypt’s infrastructure.