Egypt to sign free trade agreement with UK soon – minister
Egypt is set to sign a free trade agreement with the UK soon as the negotiations are in final stages, Egyptian industry minister Nevine Gamea said on Sunday.
Speaking at a conference organised by the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA), Gamea said the two countries had already reached a semi-final free trade agreement following intense negotiations held recently and d the two sides will put pen to paper “in the coming period,.
Gamea added that Egypt wants to increase its agricultural exports to Britain under the pact, she said, without providing further details.
Trade talks have been ongoing since 2018, two years after the UK voted to leave the European Union — and with it, the bloc’s trade pact with Egypt, which removed trade barriers on agricultural and manufacturing goods. At the time, the UK was said to be looking to negotiate terms similar to those in the EU pact, while Egypt was pushing for ways to increase exports.
UK is Egypt’s biggest foreign investor, with investments stood at about $5.348 billion by the end of last year, accounting for 45.8 percent of the total investment inflows into the Egyptian market reported by the end of the financial year 2018/2019.
In addition, UK has total investments of $47.8 billion, through 1,817 companies operating in Egypt.
The value of trade between Egypt and the UK increased by 5.4 percent during 2019 to record about $3.18 billion compared to $3 billion in 2018.