Argentina's Parliament - Creative Commons via Flicker/Gobierno de Chile
CAIRO – 23 May 2017: The National Congress of Argentina has ratified Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Egypt and Mercosur (South American Common Market), to be the final member country approving the agreement, according to a Tuesday statement from Ministry of Industry.
Mercosur block was formed in 1991, and the member countries are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
Egypt’s commercial office in Brazil informed the government with the latest ratification, head of the Egyptian Commercial Service Office and undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry Ahmed Antar said in the statement.
Antar added that the agreement will amplify Egyptian exports to Latin America, especially in fertilisers, vegetables, cotton, ready-made clothes, carpets, marble and granite, plastic and pharmaceutical products.
Starting the implementation phase of Egypt- Mercosur free trade agreement would boost trade relations between Cairo and members of the economic block, which registered $3 billion in 2016, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Kabil said in the same statement.
Signed in 2010, the FTA will open new markets for Egyptian products in Latin America, Kabil said, adding that it will attract Argentinean investments into the country, especially in the sectors of agriculture products technology, petrochemicals and food industries.
Kabil stressed that the agreement will make Egypt a gateway for Latin American products to enter African markets.
In August 2010, Egypt had signed a preferential FTA with the Mercosur, which gives Egyptian export in Latin America privileges and reduces the cost of imports from member countries.
Considered the first Arab country to sign this agreement, the FTA would reduce custom tariffs between two parties by 90 percent and cancel custom duties on agriculture products.