Cairo hosts Kazakh-Egyptian business forum, explores prospects for cooperation
The Kazakh delegation headed by Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Almas Aidarov included representatives from more than 60 Kazakh companies from the country’s 13 regions.
Egyptian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tariq al-Washimi, Governor of South Sinai Province Khaled Fuda, Head of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Ibrahim al-Arabi, also attended the forum.
During the forum, Kazakh and Egyptian companies agreed on the supply of 1 million water bottles to the Egyptian market with an opportunity to increase it to 3 million, production of pharmaceuticals in Kazakhstan, and acquisition of copper deposits in Kazakhstan.
The first forum took place in March 2019 in Nur-Sultan that gathered more than 100 business representatives from the two countries back then.
"Kazakhstan considers Egypt as a 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. The signing of the Free Trade Agreement between the EAEU member states and Egypt, which will open access to the Egyptian market of over 100 million people, will provide an additional boost to Kazakh exports,” said Kazakh Ambassador to Egypt Kairat Lama Sharif.
The geographical distance between Kazakhstan and Egypt is one of the factors that hinder trade development and affects the price of products. But according to Kazakh Vice Minister of Trade and Integration Kairat Torebayev, Kazakhstan sees the opportunity of a four-fold increase in trade turnover.
Trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Egypt in 2019 made $97.81 million, a moderate increase from $83.9 million in 2018.
The forum also featured the Made in Kazakhstan exhibition and B2B meetings.
"In this regard, domestic companies can offer quality goods worth approximately $300 million. To ensure food security, Egyptian companies can locate their export-oriented production in Kazakhstan. They can be provided with preferential lending, insurance of export contracts, reimbursement of costs for transportation of goods, and service support. In addition, Kazakhstan will soon subsidize the interest rate for foreign buyers of domestic products at the level of CIRR (Commercial Interest Reference Rates), in other words, at the interest rate set by the OECD Secretariat monthly," said the vice minister.