During the launching ceremony of the Egyptian Mexican Business Council in Cairo - Egypt Today
CAIRO – 9 May 2018: The Mexico-Egypt Business Council was launched on Tuesday to activate cooperation between Egypt and Mexico.
The council aims at deepening communication and partnership among companies in both countries, as well as discovering new cooperation opportunities, as it consists of companies that are already operating in both countries and others that are interested in starting their business in each.
The participating companies in the business council are CEMEX, Pico Energie, Aqualia, Swede Electrometer, Kidzania, Rohrbomben and Polyimeros Michecanos, which will start its business in Egypt this year with a plastic products factory in Alexandria.
The inauguration took place in the presence of Ahmed Anter, head of the Egyptian Commercial Service; Paulo Carreño, head of ProMexico; Ahmed el-Wakeel, president of the General Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce; Jose Octavio Tripp, Mexico’s ambassador to Egypt; Reda Habib Ibrahim, deputy foreign affairs minister for the Americas; and Carlos Emilio Gonzalez, president of CEMEX Egypt.
“The establishment of the Mexico-Egypt Business Council will represent a perfect platform of business community for both countries to discuss and explore new venues of trade and investment opportunities and to contribute in enhancing Egyptian-Mexican relations on all levels,” Ahmed Antar said.
“The Mexico-Egypt relationship has developed to become one of the most solid ones in the region. Despite our most visible differences, Mexico and Egypt find common ground at diverse spheres,” CEO PROMÉXICO Paulo Carreno said.
Carreno clarified that these diverse spheres range from culture and history, to economy and trade. For example, both countries are expected to be amongst the top 15 economies by 2050.
For his part, Deputy Minister Reda Habib Ibrahim retained the commitment of the Egyptian government to work hand in hand for Egyptian and Mexican companies, mentioning that the newly established council is to facilitate trade and investments.
Ahmed el-Wakeel said that Egypt is a land of opportunities in the fields of trade, logistics, agriculture, tourism and mega projects.
“With a population over 100 million and an increasing per-capita income, Egypt has the largest domestic market in the region. Mexican companies will benefit from these characteristics, besides Egypt’s free-trade agreements, to increase their exports and trade to Egypt,” Wakeel added.
Egypt is involved in international trade deals that came into action during the recent period. The Mercosur Agreement, which is a free-trade agreement signed by Egypt and Mercosur countries in 2010, includes immediate customs clearance for 63 percent of the exports of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to Egypt.
The Mercosur trade deal covers food, cars, auto parts and industrial supplies; it was signed by Egypt and Mercosur members in 2010, but only came into force in 2017.
Another trade agreement that Egypt is involved in is the deal with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which represents a free trade area with 19 member states stretching from Libya to Swaziland. COMESA was formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area, which had existed since 1981.
The African Continental Free Trade Area is another 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.
In September 2017, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr discussed the establishment of the Mexico-Egypt Business Council with Mexican Ambassador to Egypt Jose Okatvio Trip to increase Mexico’s investments in Egypt.