Promoting Trade as a prerequisite for Regional Integration
Cairo, 11-12 April 2019. In recognition of the importance of the Trade file as a priority area of action for the UfM Secretariat within the framework of its Business Development and Employment agenda, and in preparation for the upcoming UfM Business Forum which will take place in Cairo, Egypt on 18 June 2019, a delegation from the UfM Secretariat headed by DSG Rachid Maaninou undertook a working visit to Egypt on 10-11 April 2019.
The UfM Delegation held a meeting with H.E. Eng. Amr Nassar, the Minister of Trade and Industry of Egypt, as well as officials from the Ministry. The Minister confirmed Egypt’s commitment to advancing the Agadir Agreement implementation and its support to the UfM Business Forum.
The UfM Delegation was also received by H.E. Madalena Fischer, the Ambassador of Portugal to Egypt, as well as officials from the EU Delegation to Egypt, and the officials from the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA). The meetings focused on the state-of-play of the preparations for the UfM Business Forum and the pathways of collaboration for promoting trade in the region. Another meeting was held with a team from Commercial International Bank (CIB) Egypt to explore areas of potential collaboration on human and sustainable development.
The UfM Region remains to be one of the least economically integrated regions in the world, and the potential that trade facilitation holds for the entire region is considerable. The UfM Ministerial Conference on Trade held in Brussels last year tasked the UfM Secretariat with holding a business forum focused on Trade, which the Egyptian Government has offered to host this year in Cairo, Egypt. The Forum will focus on two trade-related thematics, namely Market Access and e-Commerce.