Israel, Egypt team up to promote Egyptian goods at US textile fair

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Israel and Egypt set up joint booth at textile fair in New York, in a sign shows an increased collaboration follows 2005 deal that allows Egypt to sell goods duty-free to U.S. through Israel, with at least 10.5 percent Israeli input.

In a sign of increasing economic ties, representatives from Egypt and Israel have established a joint sales booth at the Texworld international textile trade fair in New York to draw the attention of American shopping malls and marketing firms to Egyptian goods, according to Israel Hayom.

Since 2005, the Qualifying Industrial Zone agreement has enabled Egypt to take advantage of Israel’s free-trade agreement with the U.S. to export goods there duty-free. Israel has now decided to expand bilateral collaboration in the U.S. to the marketing and sales stages.

Israel also benefits from the agreement in that in order to qualify, the goods must contain at least 10.5% Israeli input.

More than 130 factories in Egypt currently export goods to the U.S. duty-free, thanks to the agreement. The Economy and Trade Ministry estimates that these factories employ around 250,000 people.

Egyptian textile factories are the largest beneficiaries of the agreement, exporting around $800 million worth of textile each year, $90 million of which are the Israeli inputs, including fabrics, chemicals, packing materials, clothes hangers, zippers and other items largely manufactured in factories in Israel’s periphery.

Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen called the agreement “one of the largest and most significant levers for increasing trade between Israel and Egypt, which is Israel’s most important partner in the Arab world.” He said U.S. support for the agreement was “a significant pillar of trade and economic relations between Israel and Egypt.”

Gabby Bar, the Israeli co-chairman of the QIZ Joint Committee, said the decision to expand cooperation between the countries was made “to promote Egyptian exports to the United States, reach new buyers, and deepen the involvement of existing companies, including Levi’s, Gap, Walmart, Wrangler and others.”

Source: Israel Hayom

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