By Doaa Farid
Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour discussed with Erbil governor Nozad Hadil the establishment of an integrated logistics area for Egyptian products in Iraq, according to a statement from Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce.
During last week’s meeting in Erbil, Iraq, they also discussed involving Egyptian construction companies in reconstruction projects and Egyptian agriculture investment companies in agricultural development. The two went on to propose re-opening the door to Egyptian labour in Iraq in the fields of industry, agriculture and construction, which will be coordinated with Minister of Manpower, read the statement.
Ahmed El-Wakil, the head of Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce who headed the delegation of Egyptian businessmen with Abdel Nour, said the proposed logistics area would be a “practical mechanism to develop Egyptian exports to Iraq, besides being an immediate exports hub to Iran, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.”
According to El-Wakil, this area will be the base for an Egyptian industrial zone in Iraq, set to manufacture products based on Egyptian components integrated with Iraqi components, which will create job opportunities for both countries.
Abdel Nour also headed a meeting with the head of the Chambers of Commerce in Kurdistan region, El-Wakil and leading businessmen from both parties, and agreed upon developing the bilateral trade between Egypt and Kurdistan and increasing the presence of Egyptian companies in the market to meet the needs of the Kurdistan region “especially that Egyptian products received a great welcome in Kurdistan due to high quality and reasonable price” read the statement.
El-Wakil called for the freedom of movement of individuals, products, services and capital between both countries.
The visit is one of several other stops by Abdel Nour to at total of five cities, starting with Milan and ending in Erbil last week, geared towards attracting investments and increasing exports, according to the chamber’s statement.
Meanwhile, during his visit to the Industry Modernisation Centre on Sunday, Abdel Nour pointed out that the centre is developing new programmes to provide services for industrial sector. This is particularly aimed at supporting insolvent factories, the total number of which has reached 790, according to a statement from Ministry of Industry.
In a meeting hosted by the Egyptian Lebanese Business Association earlier in September, Abdel Nour stated that EGP 3bn had recently been set aside to help develop industrial lands set to be made available to investors in 36 regions throughout the country.
Egypt’s trade deficit decreased by 29.7% in May compared to the same month last year, from EGP 23.05bn in 2012 to EGP 16.21bn in 2013.