Egypt, Hungary sign MoU to form joint trade and industry committee

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Feb 2022

Egypt and Hungary have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a joint committee for trade and industry with the aim of enhancing industrial and commercial relations between the two countries.

Egypt s Minister of Trade Nevine Gamea and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto sign an MoU on establishing a joint trade and industry committee, 23 February 2022. Egyptian Cabinet

Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea and her Hungarian counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, signed the MoU in Cairo on Wednesday.

Szijjarto is on an official visit to Egypt, leading a delegation that includes the representatives of 58 Hungarian companies, to participate in the Egypt-Hungary Business Forum in the Egyptian capital today.

The forum seeks to discuss boosting economic cooperation between the two countries.

Szijjarto said the Hungarian delegation currently visiting Egypt is the largest from Hungary to a foreign country and covers numerous industrial sectors, including foodstuffs, information technology, water, medicine, health, renewable energy, and construction.

The MoU on the Egyptian-Hungarian trade and industry committee extends for five years and is renewed automatically, Szijjarto said, adding that the committee will play a major role in achieving the aspirations of the Egyptian and Hungarian peoples.

As per the MoU, a joint sub-committee for trade and industry will be established with the aim of strengthening industrial and commercial relations between Egypt and Hungary and will convene periodically in both countries, Gamea said.

Szijjarto said the Egyptian and Hungarian sides agreed on Wednesday on encouraging and enhancing cooperation between the two countries’ institutions, governmental entities, and citizens in the fields of trade, industry, and small and medium enterprises.

The ministers also witnessed the signing of an agreement between Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) and the Hungarian Export-Import Bank to promote investment opportunities between the two countries.

In a meeting with Gamea earlier today, Szijjarto said the Hungarian Export-Import Bank is currently providing funding programs worth $120 million to support cooperation between Egyptian and Hungarian companies in various fields.

Cooperation, trade

Trade exchange between Egypt and Hungary reached $417 million in 2021, Gamea said during the Egypt-Hungary Business Forum, adding that Egyptian exports to Hungary have reached $93 million.

Egypt’s exports to the European Union hit EGP 9 billion last year, rising by 56 percent from EGP 6 billion in 2020, Gamea said. This made the EU the biggest recipient of Egyptian exports in 2021, she added.

Gamea highlighted the joint forum’s significant role in enhancing Egyptian-Hungarian economic cooperation and exploring new horizons of investments and commercial cooperation between the two countries.

The Egyptian minister highlighted the possibility that Hungarian companies can access Arab and African markets through the Hungarian joint projects with Egypt and benefit from the free trade agreements linking Egypt with Arab and African states.

Gamea shed light on the promising opportunities for Hungarian investments in the Egyptian markets, especially in engineering industries, the automobile industry, the home appliances industry, and heavy transport industries.

This is in addition to the industries of steel, ready-made clothes, leather, chemicals, software, information technology, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural tractors, Gamea added.

Holding a press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry earlier today, Szijjarto said Hungarian exports to Egypt broke the record of $300 million.

The number of visiting businessmen clearly shows the extent of the interest Hungarian companies have in Egypt, Szijjarto said.

Szijjarto also visited Cairo on 23 February last year, where he discussed boosting trade exchange between the two countries as well as the project to develop the railway system in Egypt.

Hungary has handed Egypt 259 railcars and will continue to provide railcars to Egypt on a regular basis until 2023, Szijjarto said in a press conference with Shoukry last year. Szijjarto added that this is the largest export deal in the transportation field between the two countries.

Shoukry added during the 2021 press conference with Szijjarto that Hungary, within the framework of the project, would provide Egypt with 1,300 Hungarian-Russian-made railcars.

“We look forward to continuing [the] cooperation between each other in various frameworks,” said Shoukry.

Szijjarto said Hungary is also working on constructing huge water pumps in Egypt’s Sinai.

The Hungarian FM noted last year that his country would benefit from Egyptian natural gas after the construction of a gas pipeline between Greece and Belgium.

He added that his country is negotiating with Cairo the delivery of natural gas to Hungary at an appropriate price, highlighting the opportunity for Egypt to export natural gas to Central Europe through Hungary.

During last year’s meeting, both ministers signed an MoU in international development cooperation. They also signed a letter of intent for cooperation between the Egyptian Agricultural Museum and the Museum and Library of Hungarian Agriculture, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

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