FILE - Trade Minister Tarek Kabil
CAIRO – 4 April 2018: Egypt is studying the establishment of a logistics center in Ghana or Côte d'Ivoire to boost Egyptian exports to West Africa, Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said Wednesday.
This came during Kabil’s meeting with the new Lebanese ambassador to Egypt, where he said that the "Egypt-Lebanon to Africa" initiative is a milestone for economic integration between Egypt and Lebanon.
The initiative, launched in 2016, allows Egypt to benefit from the distinguished Lebanese presence in West African countries to boost Egyptian exports to these countries.
Under the initiative, an Egyptian-Lebanese company for marketing Egyptian and Lebanese exports in the African continent has been established.
Kabil said that developing Egyptian-Lebanese economic relations comes as a priority for both governments, stressing on the importance of enhancing commercial and investment relations between both countries.
The meeting touched on eliminating obstacles that stand in the way of bilateral trade between Egypt and Lebanon, which stood at $647 million in 2017.
Kabil said that Egypt seeks to become Lebanon’s main trade partner and to serve as a base for Lebanese investments in Africa through increasing Lebanon’s investments in the Egyptian market, from which it can export to African and Arab countries.
Lebanese Ambassador to Cairo Ali Al-Halaby confirmed his country’s keenness to develop relations with Egypt, shedding light on the importance of enhancing joint economic ties.
He said that cooperation between Egypt and Lebanon in the tourism sector is seeing a remarkable boom in the current period, with the number of charter flights between Lebanon and the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh increasing notably.
Lebanon is ranked 13th among 152 countries investing in Egypt, with Lebanese investments in Egypt being represented in 1,300 projects, according to Egypt’s State Information Service.
In June 2016, the first export deal under the "Egypt-Lebanon to Africa" initiative was concluded in the contracting of exporting 60 containers of Egyptian ceramics to Uganda after the establishment of the Egyptian Lebanese Company.
The first phase of the initiative is set to focus on a number of African countries, including Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.
In May 2016, the Egyptian-Lebanese Friendship Association for Businessmen participated in the Egyptian-Lebanese Cooperation Forum in Africa that was held in Cairo.