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Bahrain, Kuwait, and UAE to lift ban on Egypt's agriculture exports: Agriculture Ministry

Ahram Online , Reuters , Sunday 22 Oct 2017
Abdel-Moneim El-Banna
File Photo: Minister of Agriculture Abdel-Moneim El-Banna (Reuters)

Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to lift a ban on imports of Egyptian agricultural products, Egypt's agriculture ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The decision came after a productive series of meetings between officials from the three Gulf countries and an Egyptian delegation over the past few weeks, according to Minister of Agriculture Abdel-Moneim El-Banna.

A number of Gulf countries banned Egyptian agricultural imports over the past year, citing concerns of harmful pesticide residue in produce.

In exchange for increased Egyptian inspection of produce destined for the Gulf, the countries have agreed to allow the import of certain products, including organic ones, given proper testing.

Importantly, the officials agreed to sustained communication between the Egyptian agriculture ministry's plant quarantine office and its counterparts in the three countries in order to better monitor for import violations.

Last March, Egypt’s trade and industry ministry revealed a plan to nearly double the nation's exports by the year 2020, from the current $19 billion to $34 billion.

The strategy includes implementing new export plans and policies, as well as targeting new markets for cement, agricultural products, ready-made clothes, construction materials, chemical products, and engineering and electronic goods.

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