Japanese Ambassador to Egypt Takehiro Kagawa said that some Japanese companies are interested in applying for the facilities management and operations of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which bidding for was announced recently.
The ambassador told Daily News Egypt that his country is offering about $800m of the project’s total cost, estimated at $1.6bn, adding, “the Egyptian side has already received about $400-500m of the Japanese financial commitments for the GEM.”
On Sunday morning, the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation announced an international tender for facilities management and operations of the GEM, in collaboration with the Antiquities and Tourism Ministries. The minister on investment and international cooperation, Sahar Nasr, said that companies qualified to bid for the GEM’s operations will be announced by mid-August.
“Disbursing the rest of the Japanese committed funds for the GEM depends on the implementation process needs,” said the ambassador, noting that the Japanese side is not planning to offer further grants for the GEM and prefers to focus on technical cooperation, which includes the museum’s management system, as well as conservation of artefacts.
“We would like to continue the technical support for the Egyptian side, both with the government and the private sector, which will be involved in the museum business,” added the ambassador.
The ambassador noted that his embassy is discussing some official visits to Egypt, but he did want to reveal details about them as they are not yet confirmed, adding that Japan will prepare some visits for not only the GEM’s artefacts, but also the facilities inside the GEM, once the project’s building is completed.
“It is easy to open the project, but it takes time to prepare and introduce such advanced technology to the GEM’s guests in a different way from other museums,” said the ambassador.
Meanwhile, the Japanese ambassador said that Egypt’s macroeconomic situation is improving, as inflation is decreasing, while economic growth is increasing, adding, “I think what Egypt needs now is to increase foreign direct investments to the Egyptian market to develop business industry and manufacturing services.”