Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo, Egypt December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenk Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo, Egypt December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenk

Sisi to highlight economic cooperation during visit to Russia

Sun, Oct. 14, 2018
CAIRO – 14 October 2018: The economic cooperation between Russia and Egypt will top the issues that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will tackle during his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi on October 17.

The two parties will discuss the increase of the trade volume, investment exchange and the expansion of cooperation in the tourism sector. The meeting will also tackle means to raise investment between the two countries especially in the economic zone of the Suez Canal.

Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said that Sisi’s upcoming visit to Russia will enhance cooperation between the two countries in the transportation field.

In an interview with Russia Today, Arafat said that an agreement between Egypt and a Russian-Hungarian consortium to produce 1,300 train vehicles at a cost of €1 billion has been finalized.

He noted that the Russian company participating in the consortium is one of the biggest train manufacturers in the world.

The Russian-Hungarian consortium has been hired to help Egypt establish a local manufacturing line at the National Organization for Military Production, he said.
The first batch of the carriages will be manufactured in Russia and will be a model for the other batches later.

Egypt’s exports to Russia hit $402.4M in H1 2018

Egypt’s exports to Russia rose 11.5 percent during the first half of 2018, recording $402.4 million, compared to $360.6 million in the same half of 2017.

The Ministry of Trade announced in a statement that the most significant items of the Egyptian exports, varied between the industrial and agricultural sectors.

The exports of the industrial sector showed a 224 percent increase in household appliances, reaching $14.66 million compared to $4.53 million during the same period in 2017.

According to the statement, exports of detergent and soap products hiked 147 percent to reach $3.7 million compared to $1.5 million during the same period of the previous year.

In addition, exports of crochet apparel increased 41.8 percent to $5.73 million compared to $4 million during the same period of the previous year.

Chairman of the Commercial Representation Authority Ahmed Antar referred to the Egyptian exports of the agricultural sector which included Oranges that increased 26.7 percent to $129.2 million in the first half of this year.

Exports of potato rose 6.6 percent to $124.2 million and tomato exports hiked by 86.4 percent to $ 3.24 million, fresh strawberries exports increased by 22.82 percent to $4.2 million, and grape exports inched up by 13.47 percent to $ 15.2 million, according to Antar.

He pointed out that the structure of Egyptian exports to the Russian market has become diversified. Exports of engineering goods, food industries and furniture have also increased.

Antar added that Egyptian exports to the Russian market contain commodities only and do not include any petroleum products.

The Trade Representation Office of the Russian Federation in Egypt said earlier that trade exchange between Egypt and Russia hit $2.775 billion during the first five months of 2018, with an increase of 31.5 percent in comparison with the same period in 2017.

In January-May2018, Egypt's exports to Russia increased 26.5 percent, recording $356 million, while imports reached $2.4 billion, with 32.3 percent increase.
Egyptian- Russian weapon deals
In 2017, Egypt received three Ka-52 attack helicopters, known as Black Shark, which are part of a 46 Black Shark-helicopter deal signed in 2015.

However, Egypt upgraded the deal in June to acquire the latest Ka-52 helicopters, instead of the conventional Ka-52 agreed to earlier. These Kamov Ka-52K helicopters will be deployed for Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. In June, Egypt also received the first out of three Antey-2500 long-range air defense missile system similar to S-300 VM missile defense system.

Egypt cooperates with Russia in fighting terrorism

Both presidents agreed on boosting the exchange of information between both countries within the framework of anti-terrorism efforts, especially regarding the issue of terrorists fleeing unstable spots to other countries.

The experts asserted that Russia will provide Egypt with satellite images of militant camps and movements in Libya and neighboring countries in addition to supplying military surveillance equipment to be used in counter-terrorism operations.

During his visit to Egypt, Putin told his Egyptian counterpart that he will inform him of the details of his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that took place on the same day of his visit to Egypt in Hmeimim Airbase. This is Putin's second visit to Egypt since the Egyptian president was elected in 2014; the first visit was in 2015.

Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant

Putin and Sisi witnessed the signing of the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant contracts between the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy and Russian nuclear firm Rosatom. The contracts cover designing and construction of the plant, supplying nuclear fuel, consulting services for operation and maintenance, and fuel recycling.

The plant includes four third-generation reactors, with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts (MW) each, for a total of 4,800 megawatts. The plant will be built on approximately 12,000 feddans and is expected to create over 50,000 job opportunities. The first reactor will be accomplished in 2026, while the rest will be finished in 2028.

A preliminary agreement was signed by Egypt and Russia in November 2015 to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, along with a $25 billion loan to cover 85 percent of the plant, with Egypt funding the remaining 15 percent. Local funding for the first two reactors will be 20 and 25 percent respectively, and will gradually increase to 35 percent for the other two reactors.

“The importance of Dabaa lies in establishing a nuclear infrastructure in Egypt by developing nuclear research institutions, granting academic scholarships and training sessions to Egyptian experts in Russia, and building a nuclear technical school to qualify Egyptian technicians who will work in the plant,” Mohamed Farrag Abol Nour - writer, political analyst and expert in Russian affairs said, adding that 20 percent of the constructions in the plant will be executed by Egyptian companies.

Russian President's Aide Yuri Ushakov said to media outlets that Moscow is making active contacts in preparation for a visit to be made by Sisi later this month. “Active preparations for the visit are underway. I can confirm that”, Ushakov told reporters.

Last March, Putin sent a cable congratulating President Sisi on his victory in Egypt’s presidential election. “The results of the election clearly showed your value among your people [Egyptians], your approach to resolve urgent social and economic tasks, and also to enhance stability in your country,” read the cable.

Putin added, “I hope through our joint efforts, we will continue beneficial bilateral cooperation in all fields, coordination in regional and global issues, and confrontation of international security threats and challenges, which undoubtedly serve the interests of the two friendly people of our both countries.”

In November, Russia’s government published a draft agreement between Russia and Egypt, allowing both countries to use each other’s air bases for military purposes.
 
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