Egypt's FM Shoukry asserts need for investments to facilitate trade exchange through AfCFTA

Ahram Online , Thursday 18 Aug 2022

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry stressed on Thursday the need to attract investments to develop the infrastructure needed to facilitate trade exchange throughout the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and thus pave the way to maximising mutual benefit from China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.

A file photo shows Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. REUTERS
A file photo shows Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. REUTERS


During his speech at the coordinating ministerial meeting of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Shoukry highlighted the importance of supporting African countries by providing stimulus packages to their economies and increasing investments in agriculture to achieve food security in the continent, said foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez.

Moreover, Shoukry emphasised the need for finding effective and urgent solutions to a number of international challenges, foremost of which is the slowdown in food supply chains, the rise in energy prices, and the shortage of grains and food commodities.

The AfCFTA agreement, which came into effect on 1 January 2021, was signed in March 2018 in Rwanda and is the world’s largest free-trade area.

AfCFTA, which created a market of 1.2 billion people, is the eighth largest economic bloc in the world. It has a combined GDP of $3 trillion and is expected to more than double by 2050, according to the AU.

Thirty-nine states out of the 55 members of the AU have ratified the AfCFTA agreement with the aim of accelerating intra-African trade and boosting Africa’s trading position in the global market by strengthening the continent’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations.

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