CAIRO: Egypt is looking to add three more areas to the QIZ zones it has with the US, reported Reuters, citing Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid.
The government wants to expand the number of Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) to the southern governorates, Rachid said; but textiles, one of Egypt s largest industries, would not be part of the zone expansion.
We are focusing on a lot of other products that could benefit from free trade conditions with (the) United States, including food, leather products and electronics, he said.
The QIZ agreement is between Egypt, Israel and the United States. It was implemented in 2005, allowing Egypt to export from the zones to the United States free of tariffs and quotas as long as a certain percentage of Israeli goods are used.
Annual trade between the two countries reached $8.4 billion in 2008, doubling in the last four years, Rachid said, adding that he hoped it would double again in another four years.
Rachid, who is meeting with investors and corporations in New York to encourage them to invest more in Egypt, is due to meet with US trade officials in Washington this week.
There are currently over 16 areas designated as QIZ areas from which duty free exports are allowed to the US.
In its daily market report, Beltone Financial said, “We believe an expansion of focus to non-textiles industries in the new QIZ areas would be a positive step that would allow the government to attract more investments to these industries and increase economic activity in Upper Egypt. -Daily News Egypt