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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade on 22 September 2020

Topping diplomatic coverage this morning: Does Turkey want to kiss and make up? Turkey, which has been busy angering the rest of the region with its gas exploration efforts, has signalled that it is willing to make peace with its neighbours and become a member of the forum. In an interview with Turkish news agency Demirören, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said that the government is open to dialogue with Egypt and Israel and expanding energy cooperation in the region, Masrawy reports. Greek Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis told the forum earlier this year that its members should work to bring Turkey into the fold provided Ankara respects international law.

Meanwhile, Kenya will honor the Comesa trade agreement until June 2021, meaning it will continue to abide by the no-customs rule on goods imported from Comesa signatories, the Trade Ministry confirmed yesterday. Hapi Journal also picked up the memo from the Kenya Revenue Authority confirming the move to Comesa member states. The decision reverses Kenya’s threat of imposing a 25% customs duty on Egyptian imports. Egypt exported USD 416 mn-worth of goods to Kenya last year, according to head of the Egyptial Commercial Representation Authority Ahmed Maghawri.

Egypt will begin exporting chemical products to Spain and Argentina, Export Council for Chemical Industries and Fertilizers Chairman Khaled Abu Al Makarem told Al Masry Al Youm. He expects exports to amount to USD 5 bn by the end of the year. The lobby group is naturally pushing the government to give fresh incentives to Egyptian companies with a foreign presence, including subsidies with a declining rate to fund rent expenses for brick and mortar branches abroad, Abu El Makarem said.

Meanwhile in politics: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry talked business investment and exports with EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi discussed regional events with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a phone call.

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