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18/12/2017 - 17:35hs

Egyptian minister to attend Mercosur meeting

Egypt’s minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil will be in Brasília this week for Mercosur ministerial and head-of-state meetings. The bloc has entered into an agreement with the Arab country.

São Paulo – Egypt’s minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil will attend a Mercosur meeting in Brasília this week. Ministers and heads of state from across the South American bloc will convene on Wednesday (20) and Thursday (21). Kabil will discuss strategies with them towards more balanced trade between Egypt and the region. Egypt sustains a newly-effective free-trade agreement with the Mercosur which entered into force recently.

Eric Piermont/AFP/01/12/2015

Egyptian minister will be in Brasília

Information regarding Kabil’s trip to Brazil was supplied to ANBA by Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry spokesman and press advisor Yasser Gaber Shaker, who visited the offices of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo this Monday (18) alongside minister Kabil’s press advisor Mohsen Smika. Shaker and Smika will accompany the minister in Brasília. According to the spokesman, According to Shaker, the minister will be representing Egypt’s president Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi, who was invited to attend.

Shaker said Brazil-Mercosur trade is heavily imbalanced, and that minister Kabil will go over how this can be addressed. Egypt’s trade with Brazil, for instance, pend heavily towards the latter’s side: while Brazil had grossed USD 2.2 billion from sales to Egypt by November of this year, Egypt had shipped USD 147 million worth of goods to Brazil.

The minister should speak with Mercosur delegates regarding how long it will be before tax breaks provided for in the free-trade agreement become effective. An Egyptian delegation attending a forum at the Arab Brazilian Chamber some ten days ago had said they’d like to see tax breaks on Egyptian goods entering Mercosur countries be rolled out faster. In some instances, charges will take as much as ten years to be lifted.

Isaura Daniel/ANBA

Smika and Shaker will accompany the minister

The primary goal of the minister’s trip to Brazil is addressing the imbalance in trade and paving the way for goods from Egypt to make their way in to Brazil, but he’s also looking to get Brazilian investors interested in his country.

Kabil discussed similar issues in Buenos Aires, Argentina earlier this month. He attended a meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and had meetings in the sidelines, including one with Brazil’s Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes. The WTO meeting ran from December 10 to 13.

Buenos Aires also saw the first technical meeting of the joint committee regarding the Egypt-Mercosur free-trade agreement. According to information relayed to ANBA by the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, the meeting’s agenda included the approval of rules of procedure for the committee; information was shared regarding organizations accredited to issue certificates of origin; a date was set for a decision on the list of arbitrators for the agreement’s dispute settlement mechanism, etc.

The 51st Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur and Associated States will take place in Brasília on Thursday (21). On the 20th, ministry-level body Mercosur Common Market Council will convene. Upon conclusion of these meetings, Paraguay will replace Brazil as the Mercosur president pro tempore.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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