The EU expects that Egypt’s plans to ink a trade agreement with the UK will not negatively affect the trade exchanges between the EU-27 and Egypt, the Head of the EU delegation to Egypt, ambassador Ivan Surkoš, said.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty about Brexit and what will exactly happen after the UK leaves the EU,” the ambassador told Daily News Egypt (DNE) in January 2019 as a part of an interview on Egypt’s economic outlook, adding that independently of what the UK negotiates with Egypt, the EU-Egypt Association Agreement, that has been in force since 2004, will continue to apply for the remaining EU member states.
Noteworthy, the UK plans to establish a new trade agreement with Egypt by the end of 2020 following Brexit, Sir Geoffrey Adams, the British ambassador to Egypt, said in November 2018, affirming his country’s commitment to take the bilateral relations with Egypt to the next level.
The future trade agreement will benefit both countries, asserted the British ambassador, noting that the Egyptian market is very massive, and its competitive fruits and vegetables are welcomed into the British market.
Meanwhile, the EU’s share of Egypt’s trade over the first half of 2018 slightly increased by 2.7%, with total trade amounting to €12.5bn. The EU’s exports to Egypt declined by 18%, reaching €8.25bn, while the EU’s imports from Egypt slightly increased by 0.3%, reaching €4.25bn.
Chemicals including fertilisers are the most exported commodities to the EU, followed by fruits and vegetables, such as orange, grapes and strawberry, while major exports were machinery, chemicals and mineral products.
The EU and Egypt are very important trade partners, committed to further strengthening their trade and investment relations, according to a past interview for Surkoš to DNE in January, explaining that the EU has previously put forward the idea of deepening and widening the existing Free Trade Agreement.
“Both partners also agreed to jointly identify other suitable approaches to enhance trade relations. Exploring the potential of business cooperation in the services sectors could be one possible idea for the near future,” he also added.