KSA, Egypt to Ink 2 New Agreements to Facilitate Trade

Egypt and Saudi Arabia are currently preparing to sign a “customs cooperation agreement” to facilitate trade between the two countries, the Ministry of Finance announced in an official statement on Sunday.

According to the ministry, “a second agreement will prevent double taxation and contribute to the promotion of Saudi investments in the Egyptian market.”

The ministry mentioned that the agreement would be signed soon but did not provide an exact date.

Mohamed Al-Salhawi, president of the Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA), said all the final provisions of the cooperation had been discussed between the two parties.

Al-Salhawi added that the cooperation agreements entails that skill training will be offered to the customs officers. He mentioned that the field of customs will be developed through “exchange of information as well as the exchange of technical and managerial expertise”.

“The agreements will help both countries fight smuggling,” Al-Salhawi said.

The ECA president also announced the formation of a committee, comprised of himself and the Director General of the Saudi Customs (SADC), to work on overcoming obstacles facing the implementations of these agreements.

According to Al-Salhawi, a communication liaison will be appointed to arrange a meeting between specialists from both sides to seek the resolution of any obstacles that may arise.

The ECA recently issued a circular exempting all Saudi Arabian means of road transportation from frees or taxes.

Following the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi, Saudi Arabia pledged $5 billion to Egypt in the form of grants, deposits and petroleum products. The Saudi aid was divided into $1 billion cash, a five-year $2 billion interest free deposit at the CBE and $2 billion in the form of petroleum products.

A cooperation agreement between the General Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (GFECC) and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce (JCC) was signed in January. JCC Board Director Sheikh Saleh Kamel then stated that the agreement would improve economic ties between both countries through various methods. During the same month, the Egyptian-Saudi Businessmen Association announced plans to attract 200 companies to invest a total of EGP 2 billion in Egypt in 2014.