Cairo to host fifth round of Eurasian Economic Union free trade talks in November

Cairo will host the fifth round of free trade talks with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member countries next November, Egyptian Trade Minister Nevine Gamea announced on Thursday.

The EAEU, which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kygryzstan, and Russia, covers the bulk of the Eurasian land mass and is geographically placed between the European Union and China. It has a population of more than 183 million and a GDP of around $5 trillion.

Egypt seeks to step up talks on the free trade deal in hopes of reaching an agreement soon, Gamea said.

The Egyptian minister made her remarks after meeting with Andrei Slepnev, Minister in charge of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission, during the closing ceremony of the fourth round of talks.

The free trade comes in implementation of an agreement reached between Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and head of the Eurasia economic commission Tigran Sargsyan during talks that took place in Moscow in October 2018. The talks took up the issues of customs cooperation, trade movement and rules of origin along with competition and prevention of monopoly.

Earlier, Slepnev told Gamea in February 2020 that “the Union has very serious political support for the future Free Trade Agreement between the EAEU and Egypt. Moreover, we generally regard your country as a kind of gateway to the African continent,”

“Therefore, despite all the difficulties associated with the virus and economic volatility, I think it is in our mutual interests to give impetus to negotiations and bring them to a successful conclusion in foreseeable future.” Slepnev added.

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