21 January 2021 – The UK government has pledged to help exporters across the country take advantage of new trade deals which will unlock UK expansion into Africa.
A consortium led by UK based Bombardier Transportation has confirmed a deal with the Egyptian Government to build two new monorails thanks to £1.7-billion backing from UK Export Finance (UKEF), the largest amount of financing it has ever provided for an overseas infrastructure project, as new trade deals unlocks UK expansion into Africa. UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency. It exists to ensure that no viable UK export lacks for finance or insurance from the private market, providing finance and insurance to help exporters win, fulfil, and get paid for export contracts.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss yesterday announced the government guarantee, which will support highly skilled jobs in Derbyshire as the UK builds back better in the aftermath of Covid-19.
Bombardier’s consortium was named preferred bidder for the project at the 2020 UK-Africa Investment Summit and, with UKEF’s guarantee, has secured the financing needed to fulfil the contract and start production. Bombardier can now invest in its manufacturing centre in Derby where the trains for the Egyptian monorails will be designed and built.
This will be the UK’s only monorail car production line and will directly support 100 UK jobs at the company and many more in its UK supply chain.
This news was announced during the Africa Investment Conference held yesterday (20 January 2021), its first major international investment conference as an independent trading nation. The UK-Africa trade relationship was valued at £35-billion in 2019, with around £54-billion of bilateral investment stock on top of that. The UK is by far the biggest foreign direct investor in Egypt and continues to aspire to be its trade and investment partner of choice, and UKEF will play a key role in this shared vision for growth.
According to Truss, trade is an incredibly powerful way to propel growth and create jobs as the world recovers from the pandemic. “This deal shows why we are so determined to get businesses to grasp these opportunities and take advantage of the support available from Government,” says Truss.
One third of the UK’s economy is exports and support from the export credit agency is vital. It will help the UK get a bigger slice of the global economic pie, secure jobs across the country, and make the most of the UK’s newfound independence as a trading nation.
According to Matt Byrne, president of Bombardier Transportation (UK and Ireland) the Cairo Monorail export win, against international competition, shows that that the UK rail sector can fight and win in key growth markets such as sustainable transport. “This is the first UK export since our Derby-built trains were exported to South Africa for the Gautrain project in 2008. Thanks to UKEF’s support and those working in Embassies across North Africa, this new deal will bring sustainable benefits to Egypt and create job opportunities in the UK,” says Byrne.
Bombardier employs 4000 people in the UK, with around 2000 in Derby including over 400 specialised engineers, who develop and build trains for rail franchises across Britain.
This expertise will be used to build and maintain two electrified monorails that together will transport millions of people every year in the Cairo metropolitan area. The new lines will connect the New Administrative City with East Cairo and 6th October City with Giza.
The monorails are a part of Egypt’s plans to build a sustainable transportation infrastructure that can cope with its growing population while reducing climate change impacts.
About UK Export Finance
UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency. It exists to ensure that no viable UK export lacks for finance or insurance from the private market, providing finance and insurance to help exporters win, fulfil and get paid for export contracts.
About Bombardier Transportation
Bombardier Transportation is a global mobility solution provider leading the way with the rail industry’s broadest portfolio. It covers the full spectrum of solutions, ranging from trains to sub-systems and signaling to complete turnkey transport systems, e-mobility technology and data-driven maintenance services. Combining technology and performance with empathy, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility by providing integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers, and the environment. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Bombardier Transportation employs around 36,000 people and its products and services operate in over 60 countries.