Egypt, Belarus working to reach a free trade agreement: Sisi
Ahram Online, , Monday 16 Jan 2017

Egypt and Belarus are working to reach a free trade agreement between Egypt and the Economic Belarusian Union to facilitate and increase trade exchange between two countries, the Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi said on Monday.

"The two countries are exerting all efforts to establish an economic and investment environment encouraging businessmen from both sides to take advantage of investment opportunities to promote growth," El-Sisi said in his speech during the opening of the Belarusian-Egyptian business forum in Cairo.

The Egyptian President added that the two countries are exploring opportunities adding that they aim to create Free trade between Egypt and Belarus.

"We hope that this forum would have significant outcome that encourages joint investment and promotes growth and trade in order to achieve the common interests of the two countries," he said.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in his opening speech at the forum that his country that plans to activate all agreed upon projects in the next few years.

There are significant economic horizons between the two countries, including mechanization of operations, as well as petrochemical industries, food industries and the timber industry, building materials, pharmaceuticals and microbiological projects.

"Ëgypt is our [Belarus'] window to Africa,"" Lukashenko said adding that Belarus wants to cooperate in more fields such as culture, military production and science.

He further expressed Belarus' willingness to collaborate in the military production saying that they have some projects ready to be implemented.

The Belarusian President called on businessmen from the two countries to work on opening more horizons for cooperation noting that the first joint committee meeting between the two countries will take place in the first quarter of this year, of activating relations.

The Business Forum was attended by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, and a number of Egyptian ministers and senior state officials in addition to the Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister and Belarusian10 ministers.

A delegation of 40 major Belarusian companies looking to invest in Egypt are also taking part in the forum.

On Sunday, Egypt and Belarus agreed to boost cooperation in the spheres of security, trade, cultural exchange and defence, according to a joint declaration signed between Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during his two-day visit to Cairo.