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US Senator: Egypt, US free trade agreement negotiations begin soon

US Senator: Egypt, US free trade area agreement negotiations being soon

Egypt-USA, Economics, 12 November 2004

Chairman of the US Congress Budged Committee Senator Bill Thomas said Egypt-US Free Trade Area (FTA) talks would soon begin.

Thomas, who is currently visiting Cairo said during a meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham) under its Chairman Taher Helmi that the recent reforms announced by the Egyptian government in banking, taxation and customs domains would help convince the US Congress’s two houses of commencing talks with Egypt adding that the US was ready to sign an FTA with Egypt when the latter was duly ready.

Thomas said Egypt has tremendous potential for economic progress, citing server reform measures by the new government in Egypt that could help improve economic and social conditions.

Responding to a question on talks between Egypt and the US concerning the Qualified Industrial Zones (QUIZ) in Egypt, the US congressman said the two countries would soon hold such talks.

For his part, the AmCham chairman said Egypt-US ties are strategic and strong, adding that developing trade and economic ties was a guarantee for these ties to grow even stronger.

Helmi called on the US administration to begin FTA talks with Egypt as soon as possible as an incentive for further reform measures in Egypt. A FTA is of mutual benefit for the two countries, he commented. The meeting was attended by a host of Egyptian and American businessmen and investors as well as chairpersons of US and other foreign companies operating in Egypt.

 source: Arabic News