Tuesday، 24 November 2015 12:00 AM
Our relationship has strengthened in recent years, as evidenced by increased cooperation in several areas, including trade, investment, agriculture, mining and education. Egypt is Australia’s third largest merchandise export market in the Middle East. Trade between our two countries in 2009 has reached A$ 470 million (US$ 377 million), compared to US$ 328 Million in 2008, with a surplus in Australia’s favor to the amount of A$ 400 million. The major Australian exports are wheat, meat, dairy products and coal, whereas the major Egyptian exports are focused on floor coverings, textiles, fertilizers, furniture and vegetables.
There is a potential for trade levels to rise far beyond current levels, as Egypt is a market of more than eighty four million people, but this can best be achieved by addressing the current trade imbalance. Access of Egyptian commodities to Australian markets should be encouraged in order to widen the pool of businesses involved in trade on both sides. Among Egyptian products that enjoy a comparative advantage in international markets, are raw fibers, textiles, cotton fabrics, leather products, fertilizers, aluminum products, building materials, non-metallic minerals, manufactured metals, rice, fruit and preserved vegetables.
Egypt’s close proximity to the European, Middle Eastern and African markets, with the access and preferential treatment provided by free trade agreements, the positive investment climate, including the establishment of free and industrial zones such as Ain Sokhna on the Gulf of Suez, and Eastern Port Said offer many outstanding features to Australian investors.
The potential for future cooperation is substantial. Economic cooperation could focus on joint projects in Egypt in the areas of agriculture, mining, fisheries, information technology, programming and food industries. Also, Egypt’s location and infrastructure qualify it to become a regional hub for the storage and redistribution of agricultural products. Education is another important area for potential cooperation.
Thanks to Australia' investment and technology, Egypt celebrates, this year, being a gold producer country for the first time since the pharaohs. Since November 2009, Centamin Egypt Ltd., the Australian Gold Explorer has already started producing gold from Sukari Gold Project, located in the Eastern Desert. This project is one of the largest gold deposits found in the past decade and contains more than 13 million ounces of gold.
Trade Agreement (18/2/1988), to promote trade and economic relations between the two countries,
• Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Cooperation on Trade Promotion (1998) and
• Memorandum of Understanding on political Consultations (1998).
• Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement ( May 2001),
• A Memorandum of Understanding on the Live Animal Trade and on the Slaughtering and Handling of Australian Live Animals (2006)