The Egyptian and Swedish Ministers of Trade met in Cairo to discuss economic cooperation. (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Industry and Trade)
Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil held discussions on economic and trade cooperation with Swedish Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde in Cairo on Monday.
Linde, who arrived in Egypt Sunday and is set to depart on Tuesday, said that Egypt is Sweden's largest export market in Africa and its second largest in the MENA region, according to an Egyptian ministry statement.
Kabil, meanwhile, said that Egypt wants to benefit from Swedish expertise in supporting SMEs and in the renewable-energy sector.
To this end, an MoU is due to be signed between the SME Development Authority and Zürich-based power and automation technology company ABB on technical training and energy efficiency, Kabil said, without specifying a date.
A number of Swedish companies are also planning on expanding their investments in Egypt, including ABB, Linde said.
Sweden's investments in Egypt are valued at $141 million over 146 projects in manufacturing, ICT, funding, construction, services, tourism and agriculture.
ABB aims to participate in electricity linkage projects between Egypt and countries such as Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Cyprus, according to Linde.
In December, Egypt's Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker said a project to connect the electricity grids of Egypt and Saudi Arabia is set to begin operating in 2021.
Egypt had also signed an MoU for electricity linkage with Cyprus and Greece, as part of a government strategy to make Egypt an international hub for energy trade and distribution.
Separately, Kabil and his Swedish counterpart discussed increasing the volume of bilateral trade, currently valued at 644 million euros.
Egypt mainly exports carpets, fruit and vegetables, food products, clothes, ceramic and glass to Sweden, and imports wood, electrical products, vehicles, paper, dairy products and medicines.
During her Egypt trip, Linde is also set to meet with representatives of civil society to discuss issues including women’s rights and women’s participation in the economy and society.