Egypt and Indonesia are currently studying the launch of a joint trade committee and remove all obstacles facing the trade flow between the two countries, according to Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea.
Gamea said there is an agreement between the Egyptian and Indonesian governments clarifying the importance of establishing the committee to facilitate the movement of trade exchange between the two countries.
She noted that a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the committee will be signed once the study is completed. The MoU’s signing will take place via video conference, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.
Gamea’s remarks came during a meeting with Indonesia’s Ambassador in Cairo Helmy Fawzy and his accompanying delegation, conducted in the presence of Ahmed Maghawry, Head of the Commercial Representation Authority.
The meeting reviewed ways to enhance joint economic cooperation between Egypt and Indonesia in trade, industry and investment. Indonesia is one of the most economically significant countries in Southeast Asia, and a hub for Egyptian exports to markets in that region.
Gamea said that her ministry is currently adopting a set of new trade policies and measures that will increase the rates of intra-trade between Egypt and its main partners, including Indonesia.
She noted that the rates of trade exchange between the two countries have remained relatively stable despite the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This reflects the keenness of the two sides on developing their bilateral trade relations.
The minister stressed the importance of activating the joint Egyptian-Indonesian Business Council’s role in commercial, industrial and investment cooperation and joint production in a number of basic industries.
Gamea pointed out that Egyptian exports have an excellent opportunity to enter the Indonesian market, especially in the chemical products, fertilisers, iron and steel, tyre and agricultural commodities sectors.
She indicated the government’s keenness on developing joint relations with Indonesia relating to small- and medium-sized enterprises. This economic segment is receiving unprecedented attention frmo the political leadership, as it is the Egyptian national economy’s main driving force. It is also one of the main sectors providing employment opportunities, whilst also supporting the community development system.
Gamea stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation between the two countries regarding the transfer of expertise and industrial technologies to the SMEs sector. This is especially encouraged in agriculture, agricultural manufacturing, handicrafts, and furniture.
The minister indicated that the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA), which she heads is looking to sign an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its Indonesian counterpart.
The MoU is set to enhance joint cooperation in the SMEs sector, to increase the sector’s contribution to economic growth in the two countries, and create new youth job opportunities.
Gamea added that Indonesia ranks 55th on the list of countries investing in Egypt, with projects worth $111.6m. The finance has been awarded to 22 projects in Egypt’s industry, construction, services, communications and information technology (CIT) sectors.
For his part, Fawzy stressed the importance of strengthening joint Egyptian-Indonesian cooperation in various economic sectors.
This should be done in a way that contributes to supporting the trade exchange movement, and establishing joint investment projects across all industrial fields, particularly in drug production and medical supplies.
Fawzy pointed out that his country’s Minister of Trade, Agus Suparmanto, is currently considering a visit to Cairo, to discuss ways of enhancing trade relations between the two countries. This would also take them to unprecedented levels, in order to rise to the level of the distinguished political relations between the two countries.