A Russian industrial zone focused on producing agriculture machinery and equipment will be established in Egypt, an official statement issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade said Wednesday.
Russia will assist Egypt in the development and modernisation of the Egyptian Iron and Steel Helwan Factory, El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company and Egypt’s large aluminium production company, Egyptalum, located in Nag Hammadi. Russia will also aid in the development of the Aswan Dam’s electricity power plants.
The announcement came following a meeting between Egyptian Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour and Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Valentinovich Manturov.
Earlier this week, Abdel Nour headed to Moscow to attend the Egyptian-Russian official joint committee meetings, which took place between 23 and 26 March in Moscow. The Egyptian foreign minister headed the Egyptian side of the negotiations while Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolay Vasilyevich Fyodorov headed the Russian side.
The Russian government has approved the Egyptian government’s proposal to begin negotiations regarding the establishment of a free trade zone between Egypt and the countries of the Customs Union, which include Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The minister has requested that negotiations commence in July, following the presidential elections in Egypt.
A number of protocols and agreements will be signed between the two countries in the fields of agriculture, industry and trade, Abdel Nour added.
Fyodorov pointed to the importance of cooperation between the two countries as a way to increase the bilateral trade volume to $5bn during the upcoming period.
The Russian agriculture minister added that Egypt should make procedures involving participation in tenders “easier, in order to encourage Russian companies to invest in the Egyptian market”.
No information was provided by the industry ministry regarding whether or not the two parties have reached an agreement for a long-term contract to supply Egypt with wheat. However, the Russian side will research the possibility of offering “financial facilities” for wheat imports, according to the ministerial statement.
The ministerial statement added that Egypt is studying the possibility of buying liquefied natural gas from Russia in order to meet the needs of the Egyptian market.