By Emea Riga
A new approach in relaunching bilateral economic cooperation between Romania and R.A. Egypt, by actively involving the business environment of the two countries and finding commercial opportunities of particular interest to both sides, are the main coordinates on the agenda of the official visit of Minister of Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Ilan Laufer, to the R.A. Egypt.
The Romanian official had a meeting with Sahar Nasr, Minister of International Investment and Cooperation. With this occasion, the interest of Romanian companies was actively involved in the implementation of Egyptian development programs and Egyptian businessmen were encouraged to learn in Romania, especially in production, agriculture or tourism.
The two dignitaries have decided to finalize the memorandums of understanding that are still in work, in addition to those already signed (SMEs, investments, agriculture, water resources, cooperation between the Constanta Port Administration and the Alexandria Port).
A concrete action plan has been agreed to increase the bilateral trade exchanges with a view to achieving USD 1 billion in the short term, thus maintaining Egypt as one of Africa's most important trading partners in the African and Near East.
At the end of the first day of the official visit to Egypt, Minister Ilan Laufer met with Tawfik Diab, president of PICO Group, one of the largest private companies in the country. Egypt, with whom he discussed the current stage of Pico Group investments and the prospects of expanding the market in Romania and other sectors such as agriculture, food industry, real estate, etc.
Pico Group, founded in 1974, one of the largest multinational companies in Egypt and North Africa, is active in agriculture, oil and gas and industrial equipment. Since 2013, the Egyptian group has entered the Romanian market through two companies operating in the field of hydrocarbon reserve capitalization.
In the first nine months of 2017, Romanian exports to Egypt reached USD 378 million, being Romania's 2nd partner in Africa and the Middle East.
The structure of trade is diversified, with Romania being one of Egypt's main wheat suppliers, with 1.5 to 2.0 million tons a year delivered between 2013 and 2016.
The main Romanian products exported to the Egyptian market in 2016 and in the first 9 months of 2017 were: cereals, wood and wooden articles, mineral products, industrial equipment, electrical appliances and equipments, etc.