CAIRO: Egypt plans to double the volume of trade with the United States over the next four years, Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid told Daily News Egypt Sunday ahead of his US visit.
The volume of trade between Egypt and the US currently stands at $8.4 billion.
Rachid flies to the US today as part of an Egyptian delegation and will meet US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and other officials to discuss boosting trade ties and to explore investment opportunities.
The trade minister is part of a delegation appointed to visit the US in place of President Hosni Mubarak, who canceled his scheduled US visit – which would have been the first in five years – after the sudden death of his grandson last week.
The delegation also includes Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.
One thing the two sides will not be discussing is a Egypt-US free trade agreement (FTA), a proposal which has been on the table for several years.
Rachid said that given the current economic environment, both sides need to look for “more pragmatic ways to cooperate to boost trade and investment.
The minister and US officials will also discuss two new approved locations for Qualified Industrial Zones, one in Minya and another in Beni Suef; as well as ways to reactivate an Egypt-US Business Council to promote the role of the private sector in increasing bilateral trade.