EFTA and Egypt hold second Joint Committee meeting

Published 07-05-2012
Delegations from the EFTA States and Egypt convened in Cairo on 3 May 2012 to address issues of implementation of their free trade agreement.

The EFTA-Egypt free trade agreement has been operational since 2007. At its second meeting, the Joint Committee tasked to oversee the functioning of the treaty focused on customs and origin matters as well as areas for a possible deepening of trade relations between the two sides.

The Joint Committee adopted two decisions – one pertaining to the drawback of customs duties and the other extending the application of existing commitments on processed agricultural products. Discussions on further tariff reductions for agricultural goods will be pursued at the level of experts.

Ambassador Kristinn F. Arnason from Iceland acted as spokesperson for the EFTA States, while the Egyptian delegation was headed by Mr Said Abdallah, First Under Secretary and Head of Trade Agreements in the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Bilateral merchandise trade between the partners amounted to USD 888 million in 2011, making Egypt EFTA’s third largest trading partner in Africa. EFTA’s main exports to Egypt were pharmaceutical products, machinery and organic chemicals, while mineral fuels, cotton, salt/sulphur as well as fruits and nuts constituted the main imports.