Efforts to establish an American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt date back to the 1950s, when Hassan El Abd initiated the idea. But political changes within Egypt kept the idea dormant until 1974, when President Anwar El Sadat initiated the "Open Door" policy.
A by-product of the policy was the formation of the Egypt-U.S. Joint Business Council. Twice yearly, this group of top-level Egyptian and American business executives met to discuss Egyptian business issues. The first resolution of the Council in 1974 called for the creation of an American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.
Finally, after seven years of intermittent efforts to found the Chamber, some substantive progress was made in 1981 under the organization of George DeBakey of Rockwell International. He recruited prominent Egyptian and American business leaders who shared his commitment to a chamber. In October 1983, the first board meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt was convened.
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