The European Union (EU) proposed a new trade agreement for countries participating in partnership agreements with Europe last week.
Ambassador Gamal Bayoumi, Secretary General of the Egyptian-European partnership agreement, said the new agreement offered by the EU represents an improvement over previous versions. Bayoumi also said that it includes new trade facilities between the countries participating in the partnership agreements with Europe, with the EU to recognise certificates of quality and standards in the new agreement.
Bayoumi said that Egypt and the EU have implicitly agreed to resume the technical committees of the partnership’s work, following a halt as a result of political and security issues in Egypt.
He also declared that these committees are working on a regular basis in Cairo and Brussels, and the Ministerial Council of the EU and meetings between partnership agreement member states will also be held routinely.
Bayoumi stated that they will be discussing the agreement after it is introduced by the EU so that concerned authorities, including ministries and business organisations, in Egypt may study the terms. He added that the agreement has been offered to Tunisia and Morocco and both countries have shown interest in signing.
Bayoumi affirmed that EU states will be present during the economic summit which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh in March, especially since the summit will exhibit major investment opportunities, including in the Suez Canal, Dabaa, and agricultural and energy sectors.
In 2013, EU exports to Egypt accounted for £14.9bn, representing a 4% decline compared to 2012. The EU delegation website in Egypt announced that Egyptian exports to the EU during last year reached £7.9bn, falling 6.8% over the previous year.