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Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Abdel Aty is heading to South Sudan today to discuss cooperation in water resource management

Topping news on the diplomacy and foreign trade front this morning: Egypt has extended a ban on sugar imports and the irrigation minister visited South Sudan to discuss cooperation on water projects.

The Trade and Industry Ministry renewed its ban on imports of white sugar for another three months and imposed a new ban on raw sugar imports for the same period, according to a ministry statement. Pharma manufacturers are exempted from the decision, the statement notes. A previous ban imposed in June was due to expire this month. The move is meant to protect sugar producers from a potential flood of cheap imports, as sugar prices fell in parallel with the crash in the oil markets, Trade Minister Nevine Gamea said. Egypt had planned to increase sugar production to 2.5-2.6 mn tonnes in FY2020-2021, up from 2.48 mn tonnes last year.

Egyptian exports to Brazil have surged 74% in the three years since the Egypt-Mercosur trade agreement was signed, the Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA) reported, marking the occasion of the third anniversary on 1 September. Egypt’s imports of Brazilian products, meanwhile, have increased by more than a fifth during the period.

Meanwhile, Nile diplomacy continues: Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty was in South Sudan yesterday to discuss cooperation in water resource management and irrigation projects following an invitation from South Sudanese Water and Irrigation Minister Manawa Peter Kadkouth, according to a cabinet statement. Abdel Aty is expected to inspect a number of Egypt-developed drinking water and irrigation canal projects that began in 2014 after a technical cooperation and development agreement was signed between the two countries. Expect South Sudan to feature heavily in our diplomatic agenda as the stalemate on GERD continues.

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