Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed ways to boost economic cooperation and trade ties with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz during talks in Vienna, in the first such visit by an Egyptian president in over a decade.
During the talks on Monday, the second day of El-Sisi’s four-day trip to the Austrian capital, the Egyptian president stressed that his country is relying on Austria, currently the president of the Council of the European Union, to bolster Egypt’s ties with Europe, presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.
The EU is the biggest investor in Egypt, with member states' investments totalling 42.8 billion euros, according to a report published by the bloc last week.
The EU is also Egypt's main trading partner for both imports and exports, accounting for 29.7 percent of Egypt's trade volume in 2017.
Austria holds the rotating presidency of the Council until the end of this month.
The two leaders agreed to set up a joint economic and technical cooperation committee “at the earliest opportunity” in 2019 to discuss prospected projects in the two countries and to help increase commerce between them, the spokesman added.
The pair also discussed cooperation in tourism, digital governance, administrative reforms and automation of government services and touched on a number of regional and international issues of mutual interest including efforts to combat terrorism and illegal migration as well as recent developments in the Middle East.
They also witnessed the signing of bilateral deals on technology, entrepreneurship, investment and railways.