North Africa Post | October 22, 2012
Egypt & Malaysia to Start FTA Talks
Egypt and Malaysia look forward to setting up a free trade zone to boost the weak trade exchanges between the countries having great economic potentials and huge consumer markets.
The two countries trade ministers have agreed to start negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) expected to lead to a progressive liberalization of trade between the two nations. The FTA will allow Egypt and Malaysia to open up their markets and remove restrictions on business and investment. This means cheaper goods for both sides, greater opportunities in industry, textile, manufacturing, construction, engineering, tourism and health.
Free trade and the removal of restrictions on investment and businesses lead generally to economic growth, the reduction of poverty, improved living conditions and spur employment opportunities.
Aware of the resistance they may encounter at home from protectionists, Egyptian and Malaysian decision makers say the implementation of the FTA will be gradual. In a first stage, they focus on products which the other country is not producing, before expanding their complementary moves.
According to some analysts, there are huge business opportunities in the thriving sectors such as renewable energy, auto-industry, infrastructures, oil and gas.
Trade exchanges between two countries remain somewhat modest below threshold of $ 1 billion dollars, with the balance inclining in favor of Malaysian exports. Egypt’s main export to Malaysia remains fertilizer, while textiles and industrial machinery top Egyptian imports from Malaysia. Hence, an FTA will undoubtedly help the two Muslim countries foster further their economic partnership and widen the scope of their cooperation.