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[Bridge to Africa] Egypt aims to strengthen ties with Korea on digital capacity building, AI

By Sanjay Kumar

Published : June 11, 2024 - 14:19

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Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat speaks in an interview with The Korea Herald at Conrad Seoul in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul on Wednesday. (Sanjay Kumar/ The Korea Herald) Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat speaks in an interview with The Korea Herald at Conrad Seoul in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul on Wednesday. (Sanjay Kumar/ The Korea Herald)

Egypt aims to boost cooperation with Korea in digital capacity-building, artificial intelligence, electronics design and manufacturing, according to the Egyptian minister in charge of communication and information technology.

Speaking with The Korea Herald on Wednesday, Minister Amr Talaat expressed optimism about creating synergy with ICT potentials between the two nations, after a forum held on the sidelines of the inaugural Korea-Africa Summit last week where he met his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong-ho.

“My (South Korean) counterpart and I see eye to eye on the necessity of having the ICT sector as one of the prime locomotives for the advancement of the Korea-Egypt relationship, which has been progressing steadily over the past few years,” he said, stressing that the two countries are poised to work on joint projects.

Under the Egypt Makes Electronics strategy, the country plans to organize meetings between the Information Technology Industry Development Agency and Korean companies to forge stronger bilateral ties and technological collaboration.

“We are exploring areas of common interest where we can initiate projects, whether in R&D, software development or the digitalization of government services,” he said.

The two countries have already been cooperating to develop AI in medicine and agriculture, electronic design and chip production, and autonomous vehicles, he said, adding that those projects are set to be expanded.

Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat speaks in an interview with The Korea Herald at Conrad Seoul in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul on Wednesday. (Sanjay Kumar/ The Korea Herald) Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat speaks in an interview with The Korea Herald at Conrad Seoul in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul on Wednesday. (Sanjay Kumar/ The Korea Herald)

According to Talaat, while Korea has advanced technologically, the country seems to be facing a scarcity of human resources in critical ICT fields, and this is what Egypt can offer, as the country has rich human resources, with capacity and trained professionals.

When asked about the security concerns of Korean companies and tourists due to tensions in Gaza, Talaat reassured them that Egypt remains safe and secure.

The war in Gaza does not affect the safety of Egyptian cities like Cairo or Luxor, the minister said.

"Security in Egypt is impeccable ... I invite anyone with doubts to visit and see for themselves,” he said, inviting Korean tourists to experience Egypt’s attractions and golf courses near the pyramids.

When questioned about the possibility of direct flights between Korea and Egypt, Talaat acknowledged ongoing discussions led by the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation.

“With increasing travel between our countries, the feasibility of a direct flight is logical and expected to materialize soon."