Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb arrived in the South African city of Johannesburg on Saturday to head Egypt’s delegation to the African Union summit, to be held from 14-15 June.
The African Union will discuss the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), which will be the second phase of activation development after the Sharm El-Sheikh Agreement.
Mehleb is scheduled to give two speeches at the summit on behalf of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi: the first speech will be on women’s empowerment in Africa; the second speech will be on Egypt’s report on Climate Change.
South Africa is mainly worried about the Convention’s ratification for fear of Egyptian Industries, as it has threatened their marked presence in southern Africa, according to Trade Minister Plenipotentiary of Egyptian Commercial Services Ali El-Leithi.
The Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade issued a report on the occasion of the Tripartite African Blocs Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh. The report outlined that the most prominent risks related to the new tripartite agreement between the main African COMESA, SADAK, and EAC is South Africa’s control over a number of African countries. The report mentioned that it may obstruct Egypt having maximum benefit from merging in the blocs.
Meanwhile, SADAK Secretary General Stergomena Lawrence attributed the low trade balance between Egypt and South Africa to the different affiliations of the two countries. Egypt is a member of COMESA, with South Africa being a different bloc, SADAK.
The total trade exchange between Egypt and South Africa amounted to $76.6m during the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, according to the trade agreements sector at the ministry.
Egyptian imports from South Africa amounted to $22.4m, while the volume of Egyptian exports to South Africa amounted to $54m.
Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said a delegation of South African businessmen is scheduled to visit Egypt in the coming months. Cairo will host meetings in September to discuss investment opportunities in Egypt, which represent opportunities and promise for investors South Africa.
Abdel Nour noted that these projects include the Suez Canal Axis and the Golden Triangle project, especially since South Africa has large experience in the field of mining.
The African Union seeks CFTA through merging all 12 African blocs, including the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), ECCAS, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) andCEMAC.