Egypt’s Trade and Industry Ministry will discuss with 20 South Korean companies boosting their joint cooperation in the African countries over the companies’ visit to Egypt scheduled for 7-9 October, said Minister Amr Nassar in a Saturday’s statement.
The ministry is currently implementing a working plan to stimulate cooperation with other African countries by establishing industries with which Egypt may have valuable input and experiences.
The minister met with the S. Korean ambassador to Egypt, Yeocheol Yoon, last week to further discuss preparations for the planned business mission and organising a joint business forum.
Egypt and Korea enjoy strategic historic relations based on both sides’ benefits, the minister said, noting, “South Korea is one of the main economic partners for Egypt from the South East Asia region. There are huge opportunities to boost the cooperation with Korea in the fields of industry, investment, especially in automotive, ships, and construction industries.”
Nassar asserted Egypt’s keenness on boosting the joint cooperation with Korea in various fields, pointing out to the importance of increasing the Korean companies’ investments to Egypt, particularly in the megaprojects currently underway by the government in addition to the productive projects.
The minister anticipates the Egypt Korea Business Council’s role as a tool that may support economic, trade, industrial cooperation between both countries, adding that trade exchange with Korea remarkably increased by 52.5% year-over-year (y-o-y), reaching $2.160bn in 2018, compared to $1.416bn in 2017.
The main Egyptian exports to Korea include pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, carpets, marbles, cement, and chemicals, while the key imports are automobiles, iron, and machinery, the minister stated.
For his part, ambassador Yoon asserted his country’s keenness on strengthening the trade and industrial cooperation with Egypt over the next period, adding that the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Korea in 2016 paved the way to opening new horizons for bilateral cooperation.
The Korean business mission’s future visit to Egypt affirms the Korean business community’s trust in the Egyptian economy as one of the most stable economies in the Middle East, the ambassador mentioned.
The ambassador reassured the importance of benefiting from Egypt’s unique location as a hub for accessing other African and Middle Eastern countries, noting that he and the minister discussed solving issues that some Korean companies face while working in Egypt.
Furthermore, Egyptian and South Korean authorities discussed drafting a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to boost trade exchange and joint economic cooperation. “The future FTA with Egypt will hopefully solve the current issue that faces Korean automotive companies after activating the zero tariffs policy on European cars, which makes the competition unfair,” the ambassador told Daily News Egypt on 18 August 2019.