Trade Agreements Between Egypt And Other Countries
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The system was originally based on a network of free trade agreements with individual protocols of origin. The original protocols are replaced by a reference to the Regional Agreement on Preferential Rules of Origin (EMP), established in 2011, which aims to create a more homogeneous framework for original protocols. The pan-Euro-Mediterranean system of origin brings together the EU, Egypt and other Mediterranean countries to support integration and create a common system of rules of origin. The agreement covers trade in all fish and other seafood [Article 4, point c), and Appendix II]. EFTA states grant duty-free access to imports of all Egyptian fisheries products. With regard to EFTA exports to Egypt, the agreement provides for the reduction of tariffs within the quotas from the time the agreement enters into force. Quotas for certain products will be abolished six years after the agreement comes into force. The parties intend to completely eliminate tariffs on all fish and other seafood within fourteen years of the agreement`s entry into force. It describes the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to which that country belongs, including with the United States. The Association Agreement between the EU and Egypt has been in force since 2004. It creates a free trade area between the EU and Egypt by removing tariffs on industrial products and facilitating trade in agricultural products. The agreement contains provisions relating to state-owned commercial enterprises, subsidies and anti-dumping measures affecting trade relations between the contracting parties, as well as safeguarding disciplines.
Trade accounts for 48% of the country`s GDP (World Bank, 2018). The Egyptian market has gradually opened up with the ratification of various free trade agreements, in particular the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Oil products are the most traded items for both imports and exports. Other important export products are gold and nitrogen fertilizers. Imports are due to oil (since Egypt`s reserves are much smaller than those of other Gulf countries), cars, gas, wheat and Meslin (according to FAO, the country imports about 40% of its food needs). Egypt`s main trading partner is the European Union (30.9%), but their main customers are Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (which account for 6.9% and 6.8% of the country`s exports respectively), followed by the United States (5.9%). Saudi Arabia (4.9%). The EU (mainly Germany and Italy) and China are the main suppliers of goods and services to Egypt, followed by Saudi Arabia, the United States and Russia.
Structurally, the Egyptian economy has a trade deficit. The fluctuation of exchange rates in force since 2016 has led to a depreciation of the national currency and allowed the liberalisation of the import regime. As a result, non-hydrocarbon exports benefited from currency devaluation and import volumes also declined. However, in 2018, this trend reversed, with imports of goods – $72 billion – increasing by 16.8%; while exports grew more slowly (7.9% to $27.6 billion according to the WTO). In terms of services, Egypt exported $22.9 billion worth of services in 2018, while it introduced $17.8 billion. World Bank figures show that in 2018, the trade deficit in goods and services was 10.5% of the country`s GDP. Trade in processed agricultural products is a protocol to the main agreement (Article 4, point b), and Protocol A). In addition, trade in agricultural commodities is covered by three bilateral agreements negotiated separately between Iceland (the agricultural agreement between Iceland and Egypt), Norway (an agricultural agreement between Norway and Egypt) and Switzerland/Liechtenstein (an agricultural agreement between Switzerland and Egypt), on the one hand, and Egypt on the other.