Egypt’s Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Kabil recently met with President of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Katenev on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016 to discuss mutual cooperation.
The duo discussed the importance of encouraging Russian companies in St. Petersburg to visit Egypt and review the manufacturing capacity in various sectors in order to promote Egyptian exports to the Russian markets, and to St. Petersburg in particular. These exports include textiles and garments; building materials such as marble, granite and ceramic; as well as home appliances, furniture, and processed food products.
Kabil and Katenev also discussed enhancing the participation of Russian companies in St. Petersburg in specialised trade fairs organised in Egypt in various sectors, such as FURNEX, Egypt’s International Furniture and Home Furnishings trade fair, and Food Africa, the International Trade Exhibition for Food and Beverages, as well as Towards Africa, an exhibition for textiles and garments.
The minister also met Ilya Lomakin, chairperson of the Retail Companies Association (ACORT), which was established in 2001 and unites the 38 largest retail companies in Russia operating in the areas of distribution of products such as fresh vegetables, fruits, garments, textiles, building materials, household appliances, furniture, food, and dairy products. The meeting focused upon the importance of cooperation with the association with the aim of diversifying Egypt’s exports to the Russian market.
In the meeting, Russia and Egypt agreed to organise business missions led by ACORT companies to Egypt in October. These missions would identify the manufacturing potentials in Egypt and the future needs of Egyptian products in the next phase, whether industrial or agricultural. Agricultural crops represent 85% of Egypt’s exports to the Russian market, as Egypt is an important exporter of fruit and fresh vegetables to the Russia.
Kabil pointed out that the Egyptian Commercial Office in Moscow will coordinate with the export councils and the General Union of Chambers of Commerce to arrange and prepare for the visit, with the possibility of establishing an exhibition that would include all the proposed productive sectors to be exported to the Russian market.
The minister is due to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver a speech at the opening session. Kabil will give a speech during a special session on investment opportunities in the Middle East, which will discuss the most recent, important economic reforms carried out by the government, especially in improving the investment climate. The speech will also review economic relations between Egypt and Russia.
Kabil will also hold a number of additional meetings on the sidelines of the forum. These meetings will include holding an expanded meeting with Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russia Federation Denis Masarurov, Chairperson of Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran Sargsyan, and CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev. In these meetins, Kabil will consult on the latest developments regarding the on-going discussions about the free trade agreement between Egypt and the Eurasian economic union.