Kazakhstan and Egypt - development of economic cooperation
A return Kazakhstan-Egyptian Trade and Investment Business Forum took place on 5-7 February, 2021, in Egypt, at the invitation of the Egyptian side. It was attended by about 300 people.
For reference: On 6 March, 2019, a Kazakhstan-Egyptian Business Forum was held in Nur-Sultan city. More than 100 business representatives from the two countries participated in the event.
The Kazakhstani delegation, chaired by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Almas Aidarov, involved more than 60 Kazakhstani companies from 13 regions of Kazakhstan, as well as the representatives of state and quasi-state agencies. The Egyptian side involved over 200 representatives of the business community, as well as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt Tariq al-Washimi, the Governor of South Sinai Province Khaled Fuda, the Head of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Ibrahim Al-Arabi.
According to the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Arab Republic of Egypt, Kairat Lama Sharif, both sides intend to build up cooperation in all areas of interaction to increase further 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 Kazakhstan-Egyptian Business Council and the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation.
Signing of the Free Trade Agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union member states and Egypt will give an additional impetus to increase the export of Kazakhstani products, as well as open access to the Egyptian market with a population of over 100 million people,” - Kairat Lama Sharif said in his speech.
According to the speakers of the Forum, the rise in the price of products and the slowdown in the rate 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 to quadruple the trade turnover.
“In this context, domestic companies can offer quality goods worth about $300 million. In order to ensure food safety, Egyptian companies can locate their export-oriented production facilities in Kazakhstan. For this reason, they will be provided with concessional lending for such projects, insurance of export contracts, reimbursement of costs for the transportation of goods and service support.
Additionally, 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,” - Kairat Torebayev said.
The upcoming first official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt to Kazakhstan and holding of regular political and consular consultations between the two countries is about fostering the work in this direction. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Egypt Tariq al-Wasimi stressed this in his speech.
During the event, a universal exhibition “Made in Kazakhstan” took place to present commodities of Kazakhstani producers, including companies that are already exporting to the African continent. In addition, bilateral B2B negotiations were held between domestic and Egyptian companies.
Following the event, a number of economic documents were signed. Thus, Kazakhstan and Egyptian companies have agreed to supply 1 million bottles of bottled water to the Egyptian market with the prospect of increasing up to 3 million, the production of pharmaceuticals on the basis of a Kazakhstan enterprise, and the acquisition of a copper deposit in Kazakhstan.
This forum contributed to raising interest among Egyptian businessmen in Kazakhstani commodities 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.