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Call to bolster Belarus-Egypt economic cooperation

President 18.06.2019 | 11:31
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Aleksandr Lukashenko
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Aleksandr Lukashenko

MINSK, 18 June (BelTA) – The trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and Egypt has had a good start, but there is a big potential for development, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Minsk on 18 June, BelTA informs.

“We outlined a plan of action during my visit in 2017. We have done a lot for the success of our efforts and have doubled bilateral trade. We used to have about $50 million, now we have more than $100 million. This is a good start, but there is more to come in the future,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state emphasized that Belarus was waiting for the official visit of the Egyptian president and was making preparations for it because it has historical importance for the bilateral relations. “To say that we appreciate your visit is to say nothing,” he said. “This is the first visit of a president of a gigantic African country to Belarus.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that it is rather difficult to arrange large-scale relations between states in a modern era – markets are occupied, there is certain inertness, countries have stable partners. “Everything was not easy. However, we managed to overcome all these difficulties. In a past couple of years we managed to find a way to progress,” the president said. “I want to assure you that the Belarusian side, my colleagues and I will fulfill all our promises on time.”

In the past two years the Belarusian-Egyptian trade almost doubled – from $57.8 million in 2016 to $108.7 million in 2018. The export of Belarusian products almost doubled as well – from $43.3 million to $83 million. Major indicators increased in January-April 2019 year-on-year. The trade turnover made up $50.32 million (up 45%), Belarus' export reached $35.26 million (up almost 72%).

Belarus exports freight vehicles, tractors, optical devices, metal products, X-ray equipment, potash fertilizers, cream and milk powder, petrochemical and wood processing products to Egypt. Belarus' major imports from Egypt are citrus fruit, vegetables and fruit, medications, clothes and textiles.

Belarus and Egypt are currently mulling over and implementing over 15 joint projects in manufacturing, agriculture, science, personnel training. The priority is to promote Egypt's industrial development, upgrade industrial technologies and create new jobs. A joint project to produce MAZ equipment was launched in February 2018. A multi-industry enterprise in Alexandria makes Belarus tractors, Gomselmash grain harvesters and other agricultural equipment. The factory produced 302 tractors and created 40 new jobs last year. Assembly lines for Amkodor loaders and Bonbruiskagromash farming equipment were launched jointly with the Egyptian Ministry of Military Production.

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