Trade Minister meets with WTO counterparts in Abu Dhabi

Daily News Egypt
6 Min Read

Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir held a series of intensive meetings with trade ministers from member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Abu Dhabi. The meetings were part of the Thirteenth Ministerial Conference of the WTO, which took place from 26 to 29 February.

One of the meetings was with Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa. They discussed the issues raised at the conference and the investment protocol under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. They also highlighted the distinguished relations and continued cooperation between Egypt and South Africa.

Samir emphasized the need for the EU to consider several issues related to carbon neutrality, such as providing financing and technical assistance to the private sector in developing countries that will be affected by carbon neutrality requirements.

Patel expressed his appreciation for Egypt’s support on various issues at the conference, such as bridging the digital gap between developing and developed countries in e-commerce, providing financial aid and support, and fostering industrial development in African countries.

Samir also met with Simon Coveney, Irish Minister of Enterprise and Trade. They reviewed ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries, especially in the pharmaceutical and food industries, and attract Irish investments to the Egyptian market.

Samir pointed out the benefits of Egypt as an attractive investment destination and a gateway to the African market. He also mentioned the project to facilitate the logistical transport system between African countries, represented by the Cairo-Cape Town road. He stressed the importance of providing financing and technical support for developing countries to help them transition to green technology.

Another meeting was with Kozuki Ryosuke, the Japanese Minister of Economy and Trade, where they discussed ways to attract more Japanese investments to the Egyptian market in various sectors.

Samir presented Egypt’s ambitious plans for industrial development, major projects, and the establishment of 26 new cities, aiming to localize Egyptian industry in transportation, energy, cars, and public transportation, and establish 12 logistics zones in Africa.

He also updated Ryosuke on the developments related to the existing Japanese investments in Egypt, such as power generation projects and the automobile and bus manufacturing sector.

He urged the Japanese side to invest in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and its ports, as well as the new Ras El Hekma project.

He also highlighted the advantages of the Egyptian market, such as the availability of qualified workers and the free and preferential trade agreements that Egypt has with many countries and economic blocs, which enable easy access of Egyptian products to regional and global markets with preferential benefits.

Egypt is offering unprecedented incentive packages for strategic projects, such as tax exemptions for up to 10 years and a 50% refund of the value of industrial lands if the project is completed within 18 months.

Minister Samir met with Kulthum bin Rajab, the Tunisian Minister of Trade and Economic Development, to discuss the opportunities for trade and industrial cooperation between the two countries and the role of the private sector.

He highlighted the need for a policy that supports emerging African industries, especially in the automotive and spare parts sectors. He also emphasized the benefits of the accumulation of origin in Africa. He said that both sides agreed to convene the joint Egyptian-Tunisian committee in Tunisia soon, with a delegation from the Egyptian private sector.

Samir also mentioned the possibility of reaching balanced deals on products of mutual interest between Egypt and Tunisia. He assured that Egypt is working hard to remove any obstacles that might hinder Tunisian investments in Egypt.

Samir held another meeting with Abbas Aliabadi, the Iranian Minister of Industry, Mining, and Trade, to explore ways to enhance economic relations between the two countries in various fields. They also exchanged views on the global economic situation and other issues of common interest.

He said that the meeting focused on the joint efforts to increase the trade exchange between Cairo and Tehran. He also said that the meeting addressed the future of global trade and how to strengthen the multilateral trading system.

Samir added that the meeting stressed the importance of the ‘World Trade System’ giving special and preferential treatment to developing and less developed countries to help them achieve food security and increase their share in global trade. He also pointed out the importance of tapping into the great economic potential of both countries and turning them into concrete economic cooperation projects.

He also met with Tomislav Momirovic, the Minister of Internal and Foreign Trade of Serbia, to review ways to develop trade, industrial, and investment cooperation between the two countries. They also discussed the latest global economic developments and several topics and files of common interest.

Samir said that Egypt and Serbia have unique strategic ties that are based on their mutual interest in boosting economic growth and intra-trade and meeting the needs of their local markets. He also noted the importance of translating the distinguished bilateral relations between Cairo and Belgrade into tangible projects.

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