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Egypt Keen on Enhancing Economic Partnership with African Countries to Achieve Development
Source: 6/1/2018

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Qabil asserted that Egypt is exerting great efforts to enhance its economic partnership with all African countries in order to reach overall and sustainable development in Africa.

This came in his speech during a panel session that was held under the title “Towards reaching radical change in Africa” that was organized by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to discuss strategies required to strengthen Egyptian-African trade and review the latest development concerning the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2018) to be held in Cairo on December 11-17.

The panel was also attended by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, Afreximbank President Benedict Oramah, CEO Sweidi Electric Ahmed el Sweidi and a number of Egyptian and African officials and businessmen.

During the discussion, the minister asserted the importance of benefiting of the deep-rooted political, historical, economic and social relations between Egypt and the African countries via increasing Egyptian exports to Africa.

He also said that his ministry had set an overall strategy and work plan to support intra-African trade. He pointed out that the ministry had opened the first logistic center in Kenya to double Egyptian exports to the African countries, adding that the ministry will establish other logistic centers in various African courtiers.

The minister said Africa comes at a top ranking as per luring foreign direct investments which hit dlrs 55 to 60 billion during 2016.

Qabil said the Ministry offers a 50 percent reduction in the costs of shipment to Africa with the aim of activating trade movement between Egypt and all African countries.

The minister praised the efforts exerted by the African Union and all development partners to set up an African free trade area, terming it as a main step towards achieving regional integration.

Qabil said the Ministry, represented by the Export Promotion Authority, will exert its utmost efforts to support the African Trade Fair, noting that such exhibition will be an important platform for the private and governmental sectors as well as all the African business communities to exchange information on investment potentials in the black continent. The fair, which is expected to group 55 African countries, will provide a chance for clinching trade deals that could further buttress inter-African trade in light of the decrease of the trade volume from dlrs 63.4 billion in 2016 to dlrs 38 billion in 2017.

Meanwhile, Afreximbank President Benedict Oramah underlined the importance of focusing on the challenges facing inter-African trade as well as the establishment of an African free trade area.

He pointed out that Cairo will be the first station for the promotion campaign of the African Trade Fair. The campaign will also include four countries namely South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ivory Coast, he added.

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