CAIRO: Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, and the UK’s minister of foreign and commonwealth affairs and development, Liz Truss, inaugurated the UK-Egypt Association Council in London.
The two sides issued a joint statement following the launch, stressing it created a new platform to promote the ambitions expressed in the agreement between the UK and Egypt, signed in December 2020.
The statement revealed that the two ministers held talks on developing the strategic partnership between their countries, and welcomed a number of commercial successes between them, including the project to manufacture monorail linear trains in the English city of Derby with the support of the British Export Finance Corp.
This comes in addition to the sale of two marine supply units that belonged to the Royal Navy to Egypt, including contracts for renewal and development.
The statement added that the cooperation included the opening of a new solar energy field with a capacity of 66 megawatts by Globeleq, with an investment of $80 million; the launch of commercial operations by Lekela Wind Energy, with an investment of $325 million; and the approval of an investment of $100 million by British International Investment to acquire Alpha Medical Group.
The two ministers also discussed prospects for enhancing economic cooperation between the UK and Egypt, and agreed to work intensively to develop bilateral trade and investment, including addressing any obstacles to trade, and working to improve market access in the agricultural, healthcare, energy and financial sectors through the establishment of a trade subcommittee.
The Egyptian and UK governments also affirmed their commitment to enhancing bilateral cooperation and investments in healthcare and education, and welcomed the deepening of their technical cooperation, which will support joint work to overcome barriers to market access in priority sectors.
Future cooperation includes the signing of a declaration of intent between the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency and the British Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, to help reform Egyptian legislation on renewable energy.
The two ministers welcomed the strengthening of cooperation in Africa and the discovery of tripartite cooperation opportunities with African countries in various fields, especially infrastructure.
The UK welcomed Egypt’s preparations to host COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh in November, stressing its desire to build on the Glasgow Climate Charter and previous UN climate change goals.
Egypt and the UK both stressed the importance of supporting developing peoples in achieving a fair transition towards sustainable development patterns that are environmentally friendly and compatible with efforts to combat climate change, including the transition towards sustainable energy and green hydrogen, in addition to adapting to the effects of climate change, through the sustainable and integrated management of natural resources, enhancing resilience and building technical and technological capacities.
The two ministers also discussed a large number of bilateral, regional and global issues of common interest, including human rights, mentioning their desire to hold meetings of the Association Council regularly to continue strengthening cooperation between London and Cairo.
The UK commended Egypt for its leadership and efforts in the field of renewable energy generation and for providing opportunities for British investors and companies in the energy sector.