Turkey-Egypt trade should be apolitical: minister

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Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Qabil said Tuesday that trade relations with Turkey should be separate from politics.

“I always try to keep commercial agreements separate from politics unless the [Egyptian] authorities have taken a specific political position that directly affects trade,” Qabil said in an interview with Egyptian daily Al-Shorouk.

“This also applies to Turkey, as Egypt has more to gain from our free trade agreement than Turkey,” he added.

Qabil went on to note that Egyptian exports to Turkey had risen by 30 percent in the first half of 2017 while Turkish exports to Egypt had fallen by some 50 percent over the same period.

“It’s not in our interest to hinder trade activity with Ankara unless there’s a political motivation, which there isn’t,” he added.

In 2005, Turkey and Egypt signed a free trade agreement that markedly increased trade volumes between the two countries.

Turkey-Egypt relations have been rocky since 2013, when Egyptian Islamist president Mohamed Morsi – was ousted. Source: Anadolu Agency