Trade exchange between Egypt and Britain amounted to £1.858bn last year, according to Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil.
Kabil added that the value of trade exchange between the two sides reached £447m during the first quarter of this year, an increase of 7.7% compared to the same period of 2017, which amounted to £414.8m.
Kabil noted that the most important British investments in Egypt are based on the sectors of industry, services, construction, tourism, finance, agriculture, telecommunications, and information technology.
Both ministers welcomed the agreement reached between the EU and UK at the March European Council that the UK is to be treated as a member state for the purposes of international agreements during the EU-UK implementation period (1 April 2019 to 31 December 2020). This provides further certainty for both British and Egyptian traders that there will be no disruption to the existing trading relationship during the implementation period.
Kabil pointed out that the government is working to overcome obstacles that may face British companies operating in Egypt, to promote the movement of joint investments between the two countries, especially since Britain is one of the most important investors in the Egyptian market with total investments worth $5.6bn through 1,450 companies and projects.
The minister expected that the coming period will witness significant growth in joint investments between Egypt and Britain in all fields.
“The Egyptian and British governments are seeking an agreement that will preserve the gains made in the framework of the Egyptian-European partnership agreement and pave the way for enhancing joint economic cooperation to achieve the interests of the two countries,” the minister said.
The minister stressed that the new agreement should include priority sectors such as financial services, e-commerce, and transport to promote cooperation and guarantee the flow of intra trade, as well as overcome investment obstacles and encourage more investment between the two countries.
For his part, British Investment Minister Graham Stuart expressed his country’s keenness to develop its trade and investment relations with Egypt as one of Britain’s most important trading partners in the Middle East and Africa region.
Stuart pointed out that his country’s decision to leave the European Union will not affect the economic relations between Egypt and Britain.
He noted that the coming period will witness great coordination between officials of the two countries to determine the frameworks of joint cooperation and implementation mechanisms to the benefit of both countries.
Also, he explained that there are many areas for the development of joint cooperation, especially with regard to the development of industrial zones and small and medium enterprises.
“As we leave the EU and create a new independent UK trade policy, we will build further on our £3bn of annual trade with Egypt, and continue to work closely together to champion free trade,” Stuart said.