In the mid of April, Cairo will host the 12th session of the Egyptian-Russian Joint Committee for Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation under the chairmanship of the two countries' trade ministers, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar said. The committee is expected to discuss means of enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the fields of industry, trade, health, tourism, education, information technology, customs, research and exploration, agriculture, transportation, energy and investment.

A Russian business delegation will visit Egypt during December to participate in the Inter Africa exhibition hosted by Egypt as part of its chairmanship of the African Union during 2019, Minister of Trade and Industry stated. The Russian delegation will hold meetings with senior officials of the government and private sector to discuss investment opportunities in the Russian industrial zone which is planned to be established in the economic zone of the Suez Canal.

This was during a session of extended discussions held by the Minister with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov during Amr Nassar’s current visit to Moscow to sign the framework document for negotiations on free trade agreement with the Eurasian countries. The meeting reviewed means of boosting and increasing economic cooperation between Egypt and Russia as well as setting mechanisms and time frameworks for different projects and cooperation areas between the two countries. The meeting was attended by Egypt's Ambassador to Russia Mr. Ehab Nasr and the head of the Egyptian trade representative office in Moscow Mr. Nasser Hamed.

The talks also addressed the importance of activating the role of the Egyptian-Russian Joint Committee and implementing the results of the 11th session of the Egyptian-Russian Committee for Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, which took place in last May in the Russian capital, Moscow, Nassar noted. He proposed the establishment of a specialized working group from both sides – Egyptian and Russian – including all concerned sectors to hold a quarterly or semi-annual meeting to follow up the implementation of the protocol of the Committee.

He pointed out that the Russian industrial zone in Egypt topped his talks with the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, where both sides stressed their readiness to take all necessary measures to start the establishment of the zone and invite Russian companies to invest in it. He pointed out in this context that two major Russian companies have expressed their desire to establish projects in the zone in the fields of reinforcing steel, wires, solar panels and hybrid power stations.

In this context, Eng. Amr Nassar called on Russian companies to invest in the Egyptian market not only to meet the needs of the local market, but also to export to Africa, especially as Egypt is a major gateway to various markets in the African continent. He stated that it is possible to have Egyptian Russian partnership in the field of mining through the investment in the Golden Triangle area, one of the most promising areas of investment in the field of mining at the regional and international levels.

The Minister of Trade and Industry also noted the importance of speeding up the supply and manufacture of 1,300 Russian railcars to Egypt, as well as inviting Russian vehicle companies to invest in the Egyptian market and benefit from the investment incentives packages provided to this vital sector.

On the signing of the framework document on the Free Trade Agreement negotiations between Egypt and the Eurasian Union, Nassar confirmed Egypt's keenness to make the first round of negotiations scheduled for mid-January in Cairo a success. He indicated that the framework document will play a pivotal role in pushing forward the negotiations, finding a common ground for mutual understanding between the two parties and serving the interests of Egypt and the Union countries.

The minister also stressed the importance of activating the Egyptian-Russian Joint Business Council to contribute to the development of trade and joint investments between Egypt and Russia, pointing out that the Ministry of Trade and Industry looks forward to reshaping the Council’s Egyptian side under the new chairmanship and adding new members to activate the role of the council and enhance the joint investments between the two countries.

With regard to the rates of intra-trade, the minister referred to the need to correct the imbalance in the trade between the two countries, which is heavily leaning in favor of Russia, where the Egyptian exports to the Russian Federation in 2017 are about 504.6 million dollars compared to about 374 million dollars in 2016, an increase rate of 34,8% but Egyptian imports from the Russian Federation during 2017 amounted to about 6,217 billion dollars compared to 3,784 billion dollars in 2016, an increase of 64.3%.

On the other hand, the minister announced that in October next year Cairo will host the largest international industrial exhibition organized by a Russian company bearing the name of Big Industrial Week Arabia under the auspices of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia. 100 major international companies from Russia, Germany, Italy, China and Japan will present their latest products and industrial innovations, which will boost the industrial and technological cooperation between Egypt and Russia in the coming period, especially in light of the current political momentum in the relations between the two countries.

Nassar declared that the representatives of the exhibition organizers visited Egypt last October, when a series of meetings were held with various stakeholders including ministries of trade and industry, transport, electricity, the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Egyptian Industries to prepare for the exhibition. It will be held on an area of ​​10,000 square meters and is expected to receive about 20,000 visitors representing various industries around the world. The exhibition will include the sectors of engineering industries, electronic services, energy systems and technology, equipment and construction machinery, nuclear power, metal formation, transport and mining.

For his part, Mr. Denis Manturov, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, stressed the deep and strategic Egyptian-Russian relations, which are consensual in terms of visions and joint cooperation at all levels, especially at the political and economic levels. He also pointed out that the signing of the agreement to establish, manage and operate the Russian industrial zone in Egypt and launching negotiations on free trade agreement between Egypt and the Eurasian Union are the two main pillars in the way of strengthening and deepening economic cooperation between the two countries during the next stage and moving them up to a wider horizons, stressing in this context Russia's full support for the negotiations and the agreement implementation.

He commented that the selection of Egypt to organize an international industrial exhibition involving the largest Russian industrial companies reflects the desire of Russian companies to cooperate with their Egyptian counterparts in sharing expertise and technology in areas where Russian industries excel, especially in the fields of transport, iron and steel, civil aviation, petrochemicals, information technology and the construction of silos and storage depots.