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Sunday, 4 October 2020

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade on 4 October 2020

It was a busy weekend on the foreign trade front: The Hungarian Import and Export Bank has earmarked some EUR 100 mn to finance unspecified industrial projects with Egyptian local partners, while Hungary is mulling setting up an industrial zone in Egypt, Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto told Trade Minister Nevine Gamea last week, according to a cabinet statement. An unnamed Hungarian lightbulb manufacturer has also expressed preliminary interest in setting up shop in Egypt, Szijjarto said, without providing further details.

The Trade Ministry is due to decide before next Sunday 11 October whether to cut import tariffs imposed on steel rebar and iron billets, the local press reports, quoting government sources. The 25% duty on steel rebars and 16% on iron billets were originally introduced provisionally in April 2019, with an eye to gradually taper off the rates over a three year period from the date of rolling out the tariffs, but authorities postponed the reductions twice, the latest of which was in April.

Meanwhile, exporters have lodged complaints with the Trade Ministry that customs offices were refusing to allow exports of medical masks, lentils and beans, even after the export bans were suspended last month, according to Al Mal.

On the diplomatic front: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly lauded the formal signing of a peace agreement between Sudan’s power-sharing government and rebel groups in the country, cabinet said. Separately, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called for the “total elimination” of nuclear weapons in a recorded speech to the UN General Assembly on Friday.

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