Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil said that the inter-trade between Egypt and Russia witnessed a tangible improvement for the first time since 2014, as Egyptian exports to the country during the first half (H1) of 2017 amounted to about $360m compared to $286m, meaning that Egyptian exports to Russia jumped 26% after a decline ranging between 16 and 25% during the past two years.
Kabil attributed this significant improvement in the volume of exports to the intensive promotional efforts carried out by the ministry and its success in lifting the ban on agricultural exports and Egyptian potatoes, as well as solving all problems that Egyptian exporters faced.
The minister pointed out that the inter-trade between Egypt and Russia varied between agricultural exports of vegetables, fruits, medicinal and aromatic plants, frozen products, food products, furniture, industrial products from household appliances, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetic industries. Imports, on the other hand, include wheat, vegetable and animal oils, coal, wood, iron, and steel.
The preparations for the 11th Egyptian-Russian Joint Committee for Trade, Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation started, which will be held in Moscow, Russia, before the end of this year, according to Kabil.
He said that the Egyptian-Russian relations are strategic relations at both the political and the economic levels. Meanwhile, the minister added that the committee will discuss a number of important issues, mainly the negotiations on the free trade agreement between Egypt and the Russian Economic Union, as well as the establishment of the Russian industrial zone in Egypt.
A report was sent by the Russian trade office to Kabil, in which was outlined the indicators of the performance of foreign trade with Russia during the H1 2017. The report showed that Egyptian vegetables and fresh fruit exports witnessed a significant increase, reaching about $303.8m during H1 2017 compared to 236.2m during the same period in 2016—an increase of 28.6%.
Egyptian exports of agricultural crops also increased 28.8%. Fresh strawberries increased by 43.7%, fresh potatoes 159.5%, onions 29.8%, and medicinal plants 24.6%, where the latter reached $3m during H1 2017 compared to about $2.4m during the same period in 2016.
In the same context, the commercial adviser and the head of the Egyptian Trade Office in Moscow, Nasser Hamed, said that the Egyptian exports of industrial products also witnessed a significant increase by 230%, as the value of household appliances exports reached $4.5 m during H1 2017 compared to about $1.3m during the same period in 2016. Furthermore, there is a great increase in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries by 9.6%, reaching $4.4m in 2017 compared to $4 m during the same period last year.
Hamed said that the coming period will witness intensive promotional efforts to the Egyptian Commercial Office to increase the exporting of Egyptian ready-made garments, furniture, chemical products, vegetables, and frozen fruits, pointing out that next September will witness an intensive Egyptian participation in a number of specialised exhibitions in several fields. The office carries out intensive promotional efforts for the participating Egyptian companies and arranges job interviews with major importing companies.