Egypt's exports to European Union doubled in 2022, says head of EU Delegation

Ahmed Kotb , Thursday 15 Dec 2022

Egypt's exports to the European Union (EU) have doubled in 2022 after reaching about 8 billion euros, up from 4 billion euros in 2021, said Christian Berger, the head of the EU Delegation to Egypt.

Christian Berger
Christian Berger, the head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt

 

Berger added at a press conference on Wednesday that the EU is the leading importer of Egypt's exports with about 30 percent of the country's $27.4 billion-worth of exports. 

Egypt's exports to the EU include machineries, chemicals, food and plastics.

Egypt is the largest receiver of the EU's direct foreign investment in Africa, Berger added.

"We are currently in discussion with the Egyptian government over how to increase trade and investment," he said.

The EU has an active portfolio of funded development projects in Egypt amounting to 1.3 billion euros.

"These funds and projects contribute to improving the lives of citizens, especially in poorer areas where the Hayah Karima (Decent life) initiative is operating," Berger stated.

The EU and Egypt agreed on Wednesday on a 50 million euro project to upgrade the infrastructure and services, including schools, healthcare, and water access in informal areas, he noted.

Water remains on top of the Egyptian sectors receiving EU support, with 0.5 billion euros in grants and 7 billion euros in loans, Berger stated.

The EU supports the National Water Resources Plan of Egypt 2017-2037. Desalination, water treatment, irrigation, water networks and other infrastructure projects are the main areas of cooperation in this sector, according to Berger.

"Egypt is developing into an important water management hub, and the EU will continue to support the country in this key sector," he added.

Berger reviewed other fields of cooperation between Egypt and the EU in 2022, including urban development, gender equality, digital transformation and artificial intelligence, research and development, human rights, and migration.

"We want to allow the flow of more investment from Europe to Egypt, and we are working with the Egyptian government to make the investment environment more attractive," Berger pointed out, adding that Egypt has exerted a lot of effort in this regard, such as improving legislation, drafting an investment law, and developing the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

Berger stated that the EU has contributed to mitigating the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war by adopting an initiative for regional food resilience for 225 million euros, with the largest allocation of the sum going to Egypt with 100 million euros. 

"This initiative will help support Egypt's strategic food security and address short and medium term needs for food resilience," he stressed.

This year witnessed the signing of many agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs), such as the Partnership Priorities Agreement between Egypt and the European Union (2022-2027), and the MoU for the export of natural gas to the EU.

COP27

The 27th session of the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP27), which took place in November in Sharm El-Sheikh, witnessed important discussions and key agreements signed between Egypt and the EU, the most important being an MoU on the research, production, development, marketing, and sale of green hydrogen.

"COP27 has served as a momentum for agreements and partnerships with Egypt... mainly in renewable energy, and other energy and environment related projects," Berger told Ahram Online.

A whole series of agreements between the EU and Egypt are materialising in the fields of gas, renewable energy and hydrogen, serving as a beginning that will help Egypt to become a hub for renewable energy production and trade in Africa, Berger added.

"We have also agreed to support Egypt's food, energy and water nexus. The EU, several countries, and international organisations have contributed up to 35 million euros to this initiative," Berger stated, adding that this is a unique initiative because of its importance for the environment.

Other initiatives emphasise the cooperation between Egypt and the EU, such as in the field of digital transformation, he said.

"The energy and economic hardships in Europe are not hindering the cooperation and support of the EU to Egypt. On the contrary, we are reinforcing partnership," he stated.

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