Russia Asks Egypt to Start Free Trade Pact Talks – Minister

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Russia has asked Egypt to start negotiations to sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Customs Union, which groups Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, said Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour.
“The Russian side has formally informed the ministry of its desire to start negotiations right away,” Abdel-Nour said in a statement on Friday.
The minister noted that Russia formed a group of experts from the Eurasian union to coordinate with the Egyptian side to set a timetable for the negotiations. He said that a delegation of Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance will visit Egypt next week for talks with the Egyptian side.
A cooperation protocol is expected to be inked during the visit, he said, pointing out that the proposed protocol will allow Egyptian companies exporting meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy products to enter the Russian market as soon as possible, according to State Information Service (SIS).
Abdel-Nour stressed that this rapid shift in the Russian stance toward Egypt came as a result of the historic visit paid by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Russia, which has a major impact on trade and economic relations between the two countries.
Minister Abdel-Nour said his visit to Moscow during the first half of September, leading a delegation of Egyptian Businessmen and exporters, will focus on getting acquainted with needs of Russia and striking deals with competent companies.
The delegation will group representatives of the companies working in the food products and crops exports.