Exports - File photo
CAIRO – 13 June 2019: Egypt's exports to the African continent are expected to reach $4.7 billion in 2018, compared to$3.6 billion in 2017, with an increase of 30 percent, according to the Commercial Representative Office.
Director of the Department of African Countries and Organizations at the Commercial Representative Office Ahmed Fadel Badawi delivered a speech at the meeting of the Industry and Commerce Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, which dealt with the latest developments of the African Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the extent to which Egypt benefits from it economically and commercially.
The African Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into force on May 30, 2019, after member states met the ratifications required for implementation, and completed the technical issues for practical application, which is expected to begin by January 2020.
AfCFTA agreement aims to ease the trade exchange between the countries that signed it according to a scheduled timeline and not through an immediate activation of the agreement. It is considered to be the biggest deal ever signed since the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established as it was signed by 43 countries.
Badwai’s speech also reviewed the benefits of the agreement to the Egyptian business community in terms of increasing the access of Egyptian exports to African markets, especially the markets of non-COMESA countries, and clarifying the great prospects for the Egyptian industrial investments in the continent, according to an official statement of the commercial representative office.
He pointed out the efforts exerted by the commercial representative offices in Africa to maintain Egyptian economic interests in the negotiations held in the African Union and in the multilateral meetings held within the framework of COMESA.
COMESA is a free trade area that was founded in 1994 and its headquarters is in the Zambian capital Lusaka. COMESA comprises Kenya, Sudan, Mauritius, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Malawi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Burundi, Comoros, Libya, Uganda, Seychelles, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Somalia, and Tunisia.
Furthermore, the speech tackled the vision of the Egyptian commercial representation towards increasing the terms of trade with the African continent by organizing the missions of the businessmen who wish to export to the African market and providing them with the studies and data necessary for their success. This is in addition to the recruitment of buyer missions to Egypt and organizing the Egyptian participants in African exhibitions to maximize benefiting from them, arranging bilateral meetings between these companies and the importing companies in the African markets to ensure the achievement of the required results.
He further highlighted the state’s efforts to overcome obstacles that companies face, making some proposals to create new areas of cooperation between these companies and their African counterparts.