The Embassy of Russia in Cairo has said that the Egyptian pound (EGP) started trading on the Moscow Exchange last Wednesday, among several other currencies including the Emirati dirham and Azerbaijani manat.
The Embassy added that the Egyptian pound recorded 2.33 Russian rubles.
Matta Beshay, head of the Internal Trade Committee of the Importers Division at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), said that the decision means that Egypt can import from Russia in Egyptian pound, pointing out that Egyptian imports from Russia are way higher than Russian imports from the North African country. However, the decision will have a positive impact on the Egyptian economy, as it will relieve pressure on the US dollar reserves.
Beshay explained that this move will be in favour of Russian tourists and vice versa.
He pointed out that Egypt imports oils, seeds, alloys, and railway cars, and wheat from Russia. Additionally, the decision will contribute to relieving pressure on the dollar reserves in light of the current economic crisis.
He added: “However, there are some commodities that Egypt needs and has no alternative in Russia. We hope that some countries from which Egypt imports large quantities of goods will follow the example of Russia.”
Moreover, Head of the Importers Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Emad Kenawy said that the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Russia amounts to $4.5bn annually, explaining that the Russian decision saves $1bn, commenting: “We are more worthy of this amount.”
Kenawy added that the decision benefits both sides, as Egypt benefits from reducing pressure on the dollar in import cases with Russia that include wheat, oils, seeds, bullion, railway cars and wheat.
As for Russia, it will also benefit and save the dollars it used to import from Egypt, whether in goods and merchandise or in what the Russian tourist spends in Egypt, he disclosed.
Similarly, Secretary of the International Transportation and Logistics Services Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Amr Al-Samdouni said that Russia’s adoption of the Egyptian pound in trade exchange will reflect positively on reducing dependence on the dollar as a basic currency in imports, and thus will reduce demand for it locally, especially in trade exchange between Egypt and Russia.
Al-Samdouni pointed out that this decision will contribute to providing the Egyptian market’s basic needs on which it depends on imports from the Russian market, especially grains, wheat, machinery, equipment, cars, some minerals and others, all of which Egypt relies on importing from Russia.
Secretary General of FEDCOC Alaa Ezz said that the decision to trade the Egyptian pound on the Moscow Exchange will increase Egypt’s exports to Russia and reduce the cost of imports from Russia, adding, “Egypt’s export prices will be competitive and the cost will decrease.”
He elaborated: “What is happening is a positive trend, and we hope other countries do what Russia did, and this will reduce needs for the dollar. Besides, from December until now, imported goods released amounted to $14bn and this will help reduce prices.”
The trade exchange between Egypt and Russia has increased reaching $2.14bn in the first half (H1) of 2022, compared to $2.10bn during the same period in 2021, an increase of 2.2%, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
CAPMAS said that Egyptian exports to Russia recorded $417.9m in H12022, compared to $346.5m during the same period in 2021, an increase of 20.7%, while value of Egyptian imports from Russia amounted to $1.7bn in H12022, compared to $1.8bn during the same period in 2021, with a decrease of 1.5%.