South Korean Ambassador in Cairo Hong Jin-wook met with Egyptian Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait on Sunday. The two sides exchanged views on ways to overcome the obstacles faced by Korean companies operating in Egypt, as well as ways to encourage further investment.
Ambassador Hong and Minister Maait agreed that solving Korean companies’ difficulties through regular meetings have a positive impact on increasing trade and investment between two countries. And they decided to make efforts to resolve the difficulties raised today as soon as possible, and also to communicate closely to maintain the momentum of strengthening bilateral economic cooperation.
While countries around the world are suffering from economic difficulties due to the global economic downturn, the economic cooperation between South Korea and Egypt is conversely becoming more solid. Despite Covid-19 and worsening global economic environment, the two countries’ trade volume in 2022 rose 35 percent year-on-year, recording $3.15bn.
In particular, Egypt’s exports to Korea reached an all-time high of $1.69bn, an increase of 61 percent year-on-year, marking an unprecedented $220msurplus to Egypt in 2022.
Along with the increase in trade volume, Korean companies’ investment in Egypt is also expanding as we can see in co-production contract of K-9 howitzers in Egypt and Hyundai Rotem’s supply and production of metro trains for the lines 2 and 3 in Cairo last year. In addition to the growing number of new companies seeking to enter the Egyptian market, consumer electronics giants such as Samsung and LG, which are already investing in the Egyptian market, are also considering expansion of their investment in Egypt.
Despite the issues that Korean companies operating in Egypt are facing, such as volatility in foreign currency transfers and delays in the customs clearance procedures, more Korean companies are entering the Egyptian market. This is regarded as a strong evidence that the Egyptian market is very attractive to Investors.
Meanwhile, the Republic of Korea designated Egypt as a priority country for ODA(Official Development Assistance) in 2021 and is expanding development cooperation projects which support Egypt’s economic development and contribute to improving Egyptian people’s quality of life. In particular, South Korea is supporting the introduction of e-government in Egypt by establishing e-procurement system.
Moreover, the government of Republic of Korea is in consultation with the Egyptian government to launch Korea-Egypt Economic Partnership Agreement in a bid to further upgrade bilateral economic cooperation.
Considering the recent increase in bilateral trade volume and Egypt’s trade surplus, this partnership is expected to not only contribute to strengthening economic cooperation between two countries in the future, but also have a positive impact on the overall Egyptian economy.