Rachid: We’re always trying to get a better deal for ourselves
CAIRO: A senior Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) official denied Thursday that Egypt, Israel and the United States have agreed to lower the required Israeli input into Egyptian textile exports to the US under the Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) Agreement from 11.7 percent to 10.5 percent.
The news report, published in several prominent newspapers including Al Alam Al Youm, attributed the information to Mohamed Kassem, vice chairman of the Textile Industries Stock Exchange. Kassem could not be reached for comment.
“As [Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid] said, negotiations are ongoing but a decision is yet to be made, the official said.
Textile manufacturers have complained since the beginning of implementation of the agreement in 2005 of the high cost of the Israel materials and the relatively high percentage dictated by the agreement compared with its counterpart signed with Jordan. The Jordanian QIZ agreement sets the Israel component requirement at just 8 percent.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Rachid said Egypt and Israel have held negotiations on the subject for months but denied a deal has been reached.
“We’re always trying to get a better deal for ourselves, Rachid said.
According to the Israeli Export Institute, Israel’s exports to Egypt climbed more than 120 percent and Egyptian-Israeli bilateral trade rose by 130 percent in the first half of 2006 over the same period in 2005 on the back of QIZ.
Egyptian textile exports to the US have also recorded 30 percent growth to $252 million during the first four months of 2006 relative to same period in 2005, according to MTI.