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Egypt, Iran Eyes Vast Business Potential in East Africa

Egypt is strengthening relations with the East African Community (EAC) with the prospect of tapping business opportunities in the regional market of 150 million people, Chimp Corps report.

Egypt’s Ambassador to Tanzania and EAC, Mohamed Gaber Abulwafa, said his country was eager to “boost trade and technical cooperation with the EAC Partner States.”

Gaber spoke recently while meeting with EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko in Arusha, Tanzania.

Welcoming the Egyptian Ambassador, the Secretary General briefed him on the current achievements in the pillars of the regional integration and development process.

He described Egypt as an important trading partner for the EAC and praised its outstanding role in promoting negotiations for the Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) between the EAC, COMESA and SADC.

Egypt is among the 44 countries that signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) consolidated text at the 10th Extraordinary Session of the African Union on 21 March 2018 held in Kigali, Rwanda.

Amb. Mfumukeko and the Egypt envoy discussed several issues including the status of the EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and also explored areas of collaboration in trade and investment.

On his part, Abulwafa said his country was eager to boost trade and technical cooperation with the EAC Partner States. He informed the Secretary General that Egypt has committed to improve areas of cooperation with the East African Community.

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Exports

In 2017, Egypt imported goods from Africa to the value of US$1.8 billion, which accounts for 3 percent of Egypt’s total imports.

The country’s exports to Africa amounted to US$3.2 billion, or 12 percent of Egypt’s total exports for 2017.

Petroleum oils and oils from bituminous were the main export products of Egypt to Africa, followed by mixtures of odoriferous substances and mixtures, cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose in solid form, sanitary pads, tampons, napkins and napkin liners for babies.

Other main export products of Egypt to Africa were monitors and projectors, wheat or meslin flour, organic surface-active agents, non-wovens, pasta and copper wire, each accounting for 3 percent of the total exports to Africa.

The EAC Secretary General also received the credentials from the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Iran, Mousa Farhang who also serve as representative to the regional body.

The Iranian envoy said his country has very good relations with the EAC member states.

“In spite of the good relations between the Iran and the EAC Partner States, I believe a lot of the potential has not yet explored noting that untapped opportunities abound in trade and investment,” remarked Farhang

Amb Mfumukeko on his part, informed the Iranian Envoy that EAC is open to investment in areas of infrastructure, especially in roads, railways, ports and energy as well as technical and financial support from Iran.

Also present at the accreditation ceremonies was EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge and officials at the EAC Secretariat.

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