Kazakhstan and Egypt - development of economic cooperation
At the invitation of the Egyptian side, on February 5-7, 2021, a reciprocal Kazakh-Egyptian trade and investment business forum was held in Egypt. The event was attended by about 300 people.
For reference: On March 6, 2019, a Kazakh-Egyptian business forum was held in Nur-Sultan. Over 100 business representatives fr om the two countries participated in the event.
The Kazakh delegation, led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Almas Aidarov, was represented by more than 60 Kazakh companies from 13 regions of Kazakhstan, as well as the representatives of state and quasi-state bodies. From the Egyptian side, the forum was attended by over 200 representatives of the business community, as well as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt Tariq al-Washimi, Governor of South Sinai Province General Khaled Fuda, Head of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Ibrahim Al-Arabi.
According to Kairat Lama Sharif, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Arab Republic of Egypt, both sides intend to build up cooperation in all areas of interaction to further increase the level of trade, economic and investment ties between the two countries.
“Kazakhstan considers Egypt as the “gateway” to Africa and is ready to promote exports, including with the assistance of the Kazakh-Egyptian Business Council and the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation. An additional impetus to increase the export of Kazakhstani products will be given by the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between the EAEU member states and Egypt, which will open access to the Egyptian market with a population of over 100 million people," – said Kairat Lama Sharif in his speech.
According to the speakers, the rise in the price of products and the slowdown of trade between the two countries is due to the geographical remoteness of the states. However, as noted by the Vice Minister of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kairat Torebayev, despite this, Kazakhstan sees the potential for increasing trade turnover by almost 4 times.
“In this context, domestic companies can offer quality goods worth about $ 300 million. In order to ensure food security, Egyptian companies can locate their export-oriented production facilities in Kazakhstan. For this direction, concessional lending for such projects, insurance of export contracts, reimbursement of costs for the transportation of goods and service support are provided. In addition, in the near future, Kazakhstan will subsidize the interest rate for foreign buyers of domestic products at the CIRR level. In other words, at the interest rate set by the OECD Secretariat on a monthly basis,” – said Kairat Torebayev.
The intensification of work in this direction is associated with the upcoming first official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt to Kazakhstan and the holding of regular political and consular consultations between the two countries, as the Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Tariq al-Wasimi noted in his speech.
During the event, a universal exhibition «Made in Kazakhstan» was also organized, wh ere products of Kazakh manufacturers were presented, including companies that are already exporting to the African continent. In addition, bilateral B2B negotiations were held between domestic and Egyptian companies.
As a result of the event, a number of economic documents were signed. Thus, Kazakh and Egyptian companies have agreed to supply 1 million bottles of bottled water to the Egyptian market with the prospect of increasing supply by up to 3 million, the production of pharmaceuticals on the basis of a Kazakh enterprise, and the acquisition of a copper deposit in Kazakhstan.
This forum contributed to the formation of interest among Egyptian businessmen in Kazakh goods of the non-primary sector, ensured the establishment of direct contacts between domestic producers and potential Egyptian buyers and investors, the exchange of information on the quality and price indicators of products. It was decided to hold regular trade missions and meetings between the two countries.