Egypt signs continental freetrade zone agreement
Egypt joined 44 other African countries in signing the pan-African Continental Freetrade Zone (CFTZ) agreement in Kigali yesterday. The agreement, whose main objective is “to create a single continental market for goods and services,” would promote infrastructure development among the signatory countries as well as reducing a host of customs duties between them, the Trade and Ministry said in a statement following the signing. These would be completely eliminated in later stages of the agreement, the statement added. The agreement would also reduce travel restrictions for investors and professionals in a number of strategic sectors, including energy, financial services, health, education, ICT, and agriculture, said Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil. The agreement would see trade in the continent increase 22% by 2022, Kabil, who gave a speech on behalf of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, added.
Trade ministers of the signatory countries will now have to go through another round of talks including the timeframe to implement the pact and policies on investment, competition, and trademark enforcement, Kabil said. He also urged fellow signatory to look into developing policies to help grow the burgeoning e-commerce sector.
Bilateral ties with Rwanda: On the sidelines of the event in Kigali, a Federation of Egyptian Industries delegation agreed to deepen cooperation with Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation and the Rwanda Chamber of Industry, Ahram Gate reports. The Egyptian delegation also discussed the possibility of establishing a logistics center in Rwanda for Egyptian exports including building materials, juices, and medication.