Egypt’s Min. of Trade heads for Russia to open exports horizons
Minster of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour - YOUM7/Sami Waheeb
By AYA IBRAHIM

CAIRO: Minister of Foreign Trade, Industry, and Investments Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour will visit Russia on Sept. 10 to boost Egyptian-Russian trade ties by signing a deal. He will be accompanied by a delegation of Egyptian businessmen, food commodities exporters, and agricultural products manufacturers, Youm7 reported Monday.

Nour will attend intense meetings with major food suppliers and Russian hypermarket and supermarket chain owners to reach for more export deals in the upcoming period.

“Egypt seeks to open new horizons for export and investment worldwide, not only with Russia,” head of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies Rashad Abdo told The Cairo Post Monday.

“Egypt is in a dire need of partnership with Russia since it has been suffering an energy crisis for over a year with daily power cuts. We will build our first nuclear power plant, which is expected to boost the national capacity to generate power,” he said.

Before heading to Russia, Nour is scheduled to meet with the Egyptian businessmen who are accompanying him to discuss doubling export deals with Russia in the next stage. “Egypt should take advantage of such opportunities and increase the volume of Egyptian products available in the Russian market,” Nour said. The ministry is now researching Russian imports from Poland and the Netherlands as a step to replace them with Egyptian products.

Russia’s strength is represented in four core aspects as the world’s second-biggest wheat exporter, world’s largest natural-gas producer, world’s second largest supplier of weaponry after the U.S., and as a pioneering country in nuclear energy, Abdo said.

“Such partnership with a country like Russia will serve Egypt inspirational willingness, including major developmental projects, boosting the nuclear field, achieving sustainable development, and obtaining military and food security,” Abdo told The Cairo Post.

When asked what Russia gets in return of Egypt’s exporting deal, Abdo said “Russia seeks to maintain its presence in the Middle East since it has only one military base there in the port of Tartus, Syria.”

Russian investments in Egypt amounted to $65.62 million in Jan. 2013 with 383 investing companies, according to the Egyptian State Information Service (SIS). Meanwhile, Egyptian investments in Russia amounted to $13.7 million in Dec. 2012, also according to SIS.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi visited Russia on Aug. 12 in his first official visit to Moscow after being inaugurated on June 8. He reached a deal with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to create a free trade zone with Eurasian countries and a Russian industrial zone in Egypt.

On July 29, the U.S. and E.U. accused Russia of military intervention in the Ukraine crisis and urged Putin to stop supporting separatist fighters with tanks, armored vehicles, and rocket launchers. Since then, the E.U. agreed to impose economic sanctions on Russia. In a retaliatory step, Putin ordered a ban on agricultural imports from the E.U. on Aug. 7, France 24 reported.

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