Container boxes are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China September 24, 2016 - REUTERS/Aly Song
CAIRO – 28 March 2018: Egypt’s exports to Somalia rose in 2017 to $90 million, compared to $53 million in 2016, an official statement said.
Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade, Tarek Kabil, attributed this increase to the trade missions and mutual visits between the two states.
The statement came at the end of the official Egyptian mission to Somalia, which included a number of national bodies working in the trade and banking fields.
Kabil added that Egypt is looking forward to integration with the African countries, in light of the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which will raise the trading rate between Egypt and the African countries.
The African Continental Free Trade Area is an agreement to ease the trade exchange between countries that have signed it, according to a scheduled timeline, and not through an immediate activation of the agreement.
The African Continental Free Trade Area is considered to be the biggest deal ever signed since the World Trade Organization was established; it was signed by 43 countries.
Kabil also noted that his ministry has conducted a strategy to help develop Egyptian exports to the African countries within the next three years.
An official from the International Trade Policy Sector in the Trade Agreements Sector, Maysa Rifai, said that the official visits came within the framework of the implementation of the memorandum of understanding signed between Egypt and Somalia in the fields of trade and industry.
The memorandum stated that the program of official visits to Somalia and the Somali regions was to begin in April 2016, and are expected to conclude at the end of March 2018.
As part of the visits, the first business forum took place over two phases in the Somali regions, and targeted the most important commodities that meet the needs of the Somali market.
Rifai pointed out that upon these visits, exports of food products to Somalia increased by 77 percent, to reach $33 million, in comparison to previous years.
The number of food companies that export to Somalia rose to 55 companies, she added.
According to Rifai, the pharmaceutical sector also increased significantly to reach $7.1 million in 2017, compared to $5.84 million in 2016.