Egypt, Greece set up new mech­a­nism to en­hance eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion

€894.5m in trade be­tween both coun­tries this year

The Daily News Egypt - - Business -

The Egyp­tian Min­istry ofTrade and In­dus­try and the Greek Econ­omy and Devel­op­ment Min­istry have agreed to set up a new mech­a­nism to en­hance and de­velop co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate bi­lat­eral trade be­tween both coun­tries over the up­com­ing pe­riod.

Egyp­tian Min­is­ter of Trade and In­dus­try Tarek Ka­bil said that a joint work group of the two sides will be formed in or­der to fol­low up on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the devel­op­ment of the joint eco­nomic re­la­tions.The work of the group will start by ar­rang­ing vis­its by the Greek busi­ness com­mu­nity to Egypt in or­der to cre­ate fa­mil­iar­ity with the most im­por­tant avail­able in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and es­tab­lish part­ner­ships be­tween both sides.

This came dur­ing the dis­cus­sion ses­sion held by the Ka­bil with Greece’s Econ­omy and Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dim­itri B. Pa­padim­itriou as part of a se­quence of meet­ings held on the side­lines of Ka­bil’s visit to the Greek cap­i­tal,Athens, in or­der to take part in the Arab Euro­pean Sum­mit on be­half of the Egyp­tian pres­i­dent.The meet­ing was also at­tended by the Egyp­tian am­bas­sador in Greece, Farid Mounib, and the com­mer­cial ad­vi­sor, Manal Abdel Tawab, head of the com­mer­cial bureau in Athens.

He ex­plained that Egypt and Greece are fac­ing un­prece­dented devel­op­ment and re­cov­ery chal­lenges, not­ing that the de­ter­mi­na­tion to adopt dras­tic eco­nomic re­form pro­grammes re­flects the abil­i­ties of the two coun­tries to over­come all the chal­lenges and dif­fi­cul­ties stand­ing in the way of growth.

Ka­bil went on to ex­plain that in­creas­ing bi­lat­eral trade be­tween the two coun­tries is nec­es­sary to help raise the qual­ity of the dis­tinct po­lit­i­cal re­la­tions con­nect­ing Cairo and Athens. He added that the vol­ume of trade be­tween Egypt and Greece increased dur­ing the pe­riod from Jan­uary to Septem­ber 2017 com­pared to the same pe­riod of 2016, where it reached €894.53m, com­pared to €869.62m in 2016, with a 2.8% in­crease.The vol­ume of Egyp­tian non­petroleum ex­ports increased by 39% dur­ing the pe­riod from Jan­uary to Septem­ber 2017 com­pared to the same pe­riod of 2016.

He pointed out the im­por­tance of ac­ti­vat­ing the role of the Joint Busi­ness Coun­cil to ac­ti­vate and push trade and in­vest­ment be­tween the two coun­tries, es­pe­cially af­ter the min­istry launched the first in­vest­ment map for the in­dus­trial sec­tor, which helps in­vestors be­come fa­mil­iar with the real fea­si­ble in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the field of in­dus­try.

To­tal Greek in­vest­ment projects in Egypt, ac­cord­ing to Ka­bil, are worth nearly $155m. There are nearly 160 projects in the fields of in­dus­try, ser­vices, tourism, fi­nanc­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, and agri­cul­ture.

Ka­bil added that the meet­ing also ad­dressed the readi­ness of Greek com­pa­nies to co­op­er­ate with their Egyp­tian coun­ter­parts in terms of trans­fer­ring ex­per­tise and tech­nol­ogy, which some Greek in­dus­tries have, such as the food in­dus­try and fish farms, in ad­di­tion to new and re­new­able en­ergy.He pointed out that it is im­por­tant to find a work al­liance be­tween Egyp­tian and Greek com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially in the field of con­struc­tion, trans­porta­tion, tourism, and banks, in ar­eas such as the Balkans, given that Greece is the door­way to these coun­tries and Egypt is Greece’s door­way to African coun­tries.

Pa­padim­itriou stressed the im­por­tance of joint pro­mo­tion of in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the two coun­tries, es­pe­cially in the mar­kets linked to bi­lat­eral agree­ments be­tween the two coun­tries, which would open doors be­fore the in­vest­ment flow in Egypt and Greece, and hence pro­vide more op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple, es­pe­cially with the increased un­em­ploy­ment rates.

In this re­gard, Ka­bil pointed out that there are many Greek com­pa­nies that have ex­pressed their de­sire to trans­fer their ac­tiv­i­ties to the Egyp­tian mar­kets—a mat­ter greatly sup­ported by the Greek gov­ern­ment.

Pa­padim­itriou noted that his coun­try wel­comes in­creas­ing Egyp­tian in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Greek mar­ket and en­ter­ing into part­ner­ships. He added that the Greek gov­ern­ment en­cour­ages the pri­vate sec­tor to in­ject new in­vest­ments into many devel­op­ment sec­tors us­ing the sys­tem of pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships.

The dis­cus­sion ses­sion held be­tween Ka­bil and Greece’s Econ­omy and Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dim­itri B. Pa­padim­itriou

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