Egypt, Russia agrees to enhance cooperation, remove hurdles

Egypt and Russia agreed to iron out all hurdles to facilitate trade exchange and investments in addition to enhancing cooperation, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil said Thursday.

Both countries will boost cooperation in the fields of energy, education, agriculture, communications and information technology, health, transport and tourism.

Kabil made the remarks at the end of the 11th Egyptian-Russian committee that was held in Moscow over the past three days.

He said both sides at the meeting agreed to remove non-customs hurdles blocking trade exchange and set mechanisms to activate industrial cooperation.

The committee also tackled negotiations on the resumption of direct flights between Egypt and Russia, he added.

The two sides reiterated commitment to put into effect all understandings between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in December in Cairo.

They also welcomed the signing of a contract to set up the Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal corridor.

They expressed appreciation over the growth of trade exchange between the two countries that hit 3.8 billion dollars last year.

Trade exchange between the two countries hit 1.6 billion dollars during the first quarter of 2018, up by 75 percent when compared to the corresponding period of 2017.

Kabil said the Russian side suggested creating a mechanism to enhance cooperation between Egyptian banks and their Russian counterparts to preserve information security.

The two sides agreed to make the best use of current investment opportunities in the agricultural, health, education, infrastructure and petroleum services domains.

They mulled the possibility of developing mechanisms of non-governmental financing of Egyptian-Russian projects.

The two sides expressed desire to maintain cooperation in the health domain, expand cooperation in the communications and information technology, develop irrigation plants and carry out joint geological projects for metals excavation.

The Egyptian side urged the Russians to take part in international tenders for oil and natural gas drilling in Egyptian lands.

The Russian side expressed desire to foster cooperation with the Egyptian side in setting up high-speed railway projects.

At the end, the Egyptian side expressed desire to hold joint committee meetings in the second half of 2018 to activate agreements signed in the maritime domain.