The European Union (EU) is Egypt’s most important partner in terms of development, where the volume of development cooperation projects allocated to Egypt by the EU amounts to about 1.1€bn annually, according to Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ahmed Taha.
During the Trade and Domestic Market Enhancement Programme’s (TDMEP) closing ceremony, Taha said that trade exchange between Egypt and EU countries constitutes about 30% of the total volume of its commodity trade with the world.
Taha pointed out that bilateral relations between Egypt and the EU have witnessed great momentum during the recent period, which is represented in the resumption of sub-committees emanating from the EU-Egypt Association Agreement to discuss priorities for cooperation in the coming period.
The TDMEP provided technical assistance, advisory services, institutional development, capacity building, study visits, and provision of equipment to key departments involved in trade and industry policy formulation and implementation in the ministry, Taha noted.
For his part, the Minister Counsel Head of Cooperation at the EU, Ibrahim Laafia, expressed shared keenness between the EU and the Egyptian government to enhance trade and investment relations between the two sides. He pointed out that trade cooperation remains the top priority of Egypt and the EU during the current period.
Laafia added that the TDMEP is a €20m development assistance project financed by the EU in Egypt through the ENPI/2011/022767 Financing Agreement, signed between the EU and the government of Egypt in December 2012.
The project was developed in order to assist the Ministry of Trade and Industry in the implementation and execution of key policy reforms in order to sustain economic development and support further integration into the global and regional economy, he noted.
Chairperson of the Development Projects’ Council at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Cherine Khallaf, revealed that the ministry will start the second phase of the TDEMP by 2021. In addition, Egypt has reached an agreement with the EU to provide funds to help prepare for the second phase.
Khallaf further added that the second phase of the programme aims to strengthen the capacity of the ministry and its agencies in order to implement commitments of international trade agreements, improve the efficiency of quality infrastructure systems, and support governance system, in addition to enhancing reform efforts at the strategic and institutional levels.