EU, Egypt to further liberalise agri-trade ties

Arabian Business | Sunday, 11 October 2009

EU, Egypt to further liberalise agri-trade ties

by Martin Morris

The European Union’s Council of Ministers on Saturday confirmed the signing of an agreement with Egypt aimed at greater liberalisation of reciprocal trade in agricultural products, processed agricultural products and fish and fishery products.

The decision amends the trade clause in the EU/Egypt Euro-Mediterranean association agreement. The trade provisions of that agreement, which have been in force since 2004, provide that both sides will gradually implement greater liberalisation of their reciprocal trade in agricultural and fishery products.

Under the new accord, customs duties applicable on the import into the EU of agricultural products, processed agricultural products and fish and fishery products originating in Egypt will be eliminated (except as otherwise specified) as will goods going the other way.

EU-Egypt bilateral trade has been steadily growing, rising from 11.8 billion euro in 2004 to an estimated 20.8 billion in 2008, according to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical bureau.

In 2008, the main products traded between Egypt and the EU were machinery and transport equipment, followed by mineral fuels (crude oil, gas, etc), manufactured goods, chemicals and agricultural products.