By Rana Yehia
The strong economic relations between Egypt and Kenya must be encouraged, according to Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour Saturday.
These would promote bilateral trade as well as cooperation in introducing Egyptian and Kenyan exports to neighbouring countries. Abdel Nour’s comments came during negotiations with Kenyan Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Felix Kiskei at Cairo International Fair (CIF).
In order to increase the flow of products in the Egyptian and Kenyan markets, bilateral coordination must take place to facilitate the trade movement. This would also see the offering of more facilities and preferences to private sector businessmen, Abdel Nour said.
The meeting dealt a possible increase in Kenyan exports to Egypt, especially in products such as tea, fresh meat and live cattle. This would also encourage the Kenyan part in transporting Egyptian expertise in the sugar industry, medicines and textile sectors, Abdel Nour added.
A free trade agreement is expected to be signed within two months in Cairo. This will take place between the largest three African trade blocks: the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); the Southern African Development Community (SADC); and the East African Community (EAC). It is expected this agreement will contribute to lifting customs restrictions between member countries benefiting Egypt and Kenya, Abdel Nour said.
For his part, Kiskei noted that the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, will host the ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) taking place next December for the first time in an African state. The conference represents an opportunity for all African members in the WTO to focus on the subjects related to realising development in developing and least developed countries.