Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea has confirmed the success of the fourth round of free trade agreement negotiations between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
The negotiations, which concluded their activities on Thursday in the Russian capital, Moscow, reflected the strong will of the two sides to move forward to reach a comprehensive and balanced agreement.
This was with the aim of meeting the aspirations of citizens in Egypt and EAEU countries, to develop trade exchange and enhance industrial and investment cooperation.
Gamea said that the Egyptian Government is keen to speed up the pace of negotiations on a free trade agreement with the EAEU countries, to finalise it in the near future. She noted that the agreement will contribute to strengthening and developing joint relations between the two sides.
The EAEU includes the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan, and covers various economic, commercial, and investment fields.
The minister added that the agreement supports the system of intra-regional trade between Egypt and central and northern Asia and Europe countries through the EAEU.
This includes supporting intra-regional trade between the EAEU countries and Arab and African markets through the Egyptian market, and through free and preferential trade agreements that link Egypt to these markets.
She noted that the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and the EAEU countries amounted to about $4.69bn in 2020.
For his part, the EAEU’s Minister of Trade Andrei Slepnev affirmed the region’s keenness to conclude a free trade agreement with Egypt. This is particularly given that there is a great consensus in the visions between the two sides on many issues of the negotiations.
Ibrahim Al-Sigini, Assistant Minister for Economic Affairs and head of the Egyptian negotiations team, said that the talks witnessed a great consensus in the visions of the two sides.
He said that, with regard to trade negotiations in goods, there were talks on providing exemption from customs duties on goods exchanged between the two sides, according to specific timetables under ten years.
The Egyptian side also referred to the importance of removing any quantitative restrictions on Egyptian exports to the EAEU markets, such as quantitative or seasonal quotas.
Al-Sigini pointed out that the negotiations saw remarkable progress on the rules of origin and the completion of the majority of articles related to general rules. He said that, in the coming period, negotiations on the industrial and agricultural rules of origin would be conducted.
In the field of commerce, the two sides agreed to exchange information about the proposed texts that have not yet been completed, to study them, and prepare the final draft of the agreement as a whole.