CAIRO: Egypt and the UK have signed the Egyptian-UK Association Agreement, which is expected to enter into force on Jan. 1 following the UK’s exit from the EU.
The agreement sets a general framework for relations between the two countries in various fields and reflects an interest in strengthening cooperation and maximizing mutual interests.
A statement by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that the new agreement involves a framework to ensure the continuation of preferential trade treatment for goods of the two countries, as it includes the same commercial advantages provided by the Egyptian-European Partnership Agreement, which the UK will forfeit as part of Brexit.
The Egyptian-UK Association Agreement provides complete liberalization of trade between the two countries in industrial products, food products and fish products, while some agricultural commodities will be subject to quantitative quotas based on the two parties’ export quantities.
In the new agreement, the two sides pledged to work together to achieve greater liberalization of trade in agricultural commodities during the coming period, in addition to enhancing joint cooperation between customs authorities, with the aim of improving the flow of trade, capital, expertise and technology to Egypt. Egypt will reassess its economic performance before 2021. The country recently reduced forecasts of significant growth.
Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said that the Egyptian economy will grow between 2.8 and 4 percent in the 2021-22 fiscal year, which begins in July next year.
Egypt had hoped for growth between 6 and 6.5 percent before the coronavirus pandemic.
The International Monetary Fund’s Egypt mission director said in a statement that the Egyptian economy has performed better than expected amid the pandemic.
He expected growth in Egypt to reach 2.8 percent in the current fiscal year, after the Egyptian economy achieved a growth rate of 3.6 percent in the last fiscal year.