Egypt-BRICS relations fuel hopes of joining bloc



Mon, 04 Sep 2017 - 02:02 GMT


Mon, 04 Sep 2017 - 02:02 GMT

 The BRICS association- Reuters

The BRICS association- Reuters

CAIRO – 4 September 2017: Egypt’s participation in the ninth summit of the BRICS bloc, currently taking place in the southeastern Chinese city Xiamen, has revived hopes of economic experts about Cairo joining the bloc.

Aspiring to be placed among the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, Egypt is keen on strengthening economic and trade relations with BRICS countries.

Egypt is aware of the significance of the bloc. A reason why President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi headed upon invitation to Xiamen on September 3, among other five non-member states, expecting to sign a number of agreements; one of them is funding the establishment of an electric train project between Salam City and the New Administrative Capital.

The second agreement will entail the establishment of Egypt’s second satellite “Egypt Sat 2” with a Chinese grant of 300 million Yuan ($45 million), as reported by state-owned Al-Akhbar.

Former assistant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Hegazy told local media that the visit is considered a vote of confidence in the ability of Egyptian economy, strengthening the country’s profile to join the bloc.

Egypt’s joining would take a lot of economic milestones as BRICS members (Brazil- Russia- India- China- South Africa) have a lot in common. They are considered to be key players of the world’s politics and economy.

Gross domestic product (GDP) of BRICS members is huge. China’s GDP is valued at $11.2 trillion, Russia at $1.283 trillion, Brazil at $1.796 trillion, India at $2.264 trillion, and South Africa at $294.8 billion, according to the World Bank data.

While Egypt’s GDP is estimated at $336.3 billion, BRICS countries’ mark significant expenditures on health per GDP as follows: Brazil at 4.9 percent, Russia at 4.3 percent, India at 3.1 percent, China at 4.3 percent, and South Africa at 6.9 percent.

Trade volume between Egypt and BRICS countries during 2016 reached $20 billion, Minister of Trade Tarek Kabil said Friday.

China topped the countries' association with a volume of $10.985 billion. Exports to China included leather, carpets and oranges, while imports included equipment and crystal apparatus, mobile phones, fabrics, cars, and steel and iron.

Moreover, the trade volume between Egypt and Russia reached $3.68 billion, including furniture, agriculture yields and food industries.

India followed with $3.25 billion in trade volume, represented in cotton, fertilizers, oranges, oils and glass as exports from Egypt, while imports came in the form of cotton textiles, spare car parts, chemical products, medicine and others.

Brazil came after that with $1.772 billion. Exports to Brazil included nitrogen fertilizers, metal products, cotton threads and ready-made garments, while Egypt imported sugar, iron materials, pipes and pesticides.

At the end of the list comes South Africa with $266 million, with exports of fertilizers, cables, textiles, connections and various food products.



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