Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture will sign a free trade area agreement between Egypt, Jordan, Italy, and Lebanon, the ministry’s official spokesperson Eid Hawash told Daily News Egypt.
An agreement has been reached between the aforementioned countries and Egypt. They will have the official signing of the agreement Tuesday or Wednesday, Hawash said.
He said Saad Moussa, Director of the Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine, travelled to Jordan to sign the agreement.
Whether Egypt has discussed the formation of a similar agreement with other countries, Hawash said that this did not take place yet but they do aim to create such agreements with other countries.
Moussa revealed earlier that the agreement will help save three to four days that is usually lost while checking and making sure that the ship documents, loaded with agricultural products’, are correct.
With the agreement in place, the trade flow of agricultural products between the mentioned countries will be much easier and faster, Hawash said.
It is also expected that the agreement will increase Egypt’s agricultural exports to those countries.
Egypt’s agricultural exports witnessed a decline among other non-petroleum products from the beginning of the year until September, according to a report by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) mid October. Agricultural exports stood at approximately EGP 1.7bn compared to the EGP 1.86bn that were registered in the same period the preceding year.
Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture Essam Fayed indicated a few days ago that they plan on doubling exports of fruits and vegetables to international markets after eliminating all the obstacles. They will encourage the production of agricultural products that require high demand from foreign markets.
One of the most prominent obstacles to the industry is the difficulty to transfer products to export markets in an appropriate amount of time, Chairman of Agro Egypt for Agricultural Products Mohamed Roshdy said.
He said the size of losses of agricultural products reached 30% in some and more than 50% in others because of poor transportation and storage operations.