“Russia—Egypt” dialogue: the real results
Cairo hosted a “Russia—Egypt commercial and industrial dialogue”, whose main objective was to strengthen business relations between the two countries.
However, the event was attended not only by local Egyptian companies, but representatives of other African countries as well. The Exporters’ Club invited such major players on the African market as TAQA Arabia, TAWAZON, ERC, Mashreq, ASEC Holding, Gozour, WAFRA, Nile Logistics, Africa Railways, ASCOM and others to take part.
The Russian delegation in Cairo was headed by Russia’s Minister for Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, while the Egyptian side of the negotiations was led by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprises of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour. On the Russian side, the following companies took part in the project: KamAZ, GAZ, UralKhimMash, UralVagonZavod, Russian Railways, the EXIAR Agency and many other business players.
Based on the outcomes of the thematic forums, several bilateral documents on cooperation were signed. In particular, memoranda of understanding were drawn up between JSC “EXIAR” and ECGE, between the Russian—Egyptian Business Council and the Centre for Modernisation and Industry, a commercial use contract between “Elite—Mebel” and the EMSK company, along with a cooperation agreement between the Russian—Egyptian Business Council and the Egyptian Small Business Association.
A working group on “Pharmaceuticals” discussed the issue of Egypt including Russia in the list of countries covered by the simplified procedure for registration of manufactured drugs and vaccines. It was also decided to establish permanent working groups in the two countries to work out the details and develop steps to cooperate in the field of health and pharmaceuticals, which will be signed up to via the relevant resolution.
“Given the strategic position of Egypt in the region, we are considering establishing joint ventures, and in the future, developing new drugs based on using the discoveries and potential offered by Egyptian pharmaceutical companies”, said Denis Manturov.
Cooperation in the field of mechanical engineering and metallurgy
Great prospects opened up during the business mission in such priority areas as construction, nuclear power, oil and gas, shipbuilding, heavy machinery, transport and specialist machinery, as well as in the civil aircraft industry in connection with the helicopter technology promotion plan – different modifications to the Mi-17, Mi-38, “Ansat”, Ka-226 and SSJ 100 and MS-21 passenger aircraft in the Egyptian aviation market. In particular, Egypt’s Minister for Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal expressed interest in purchasing “Sukhoi Superjet 100” aircraft for the national airline EgyptAir. It is expected that before the end of the year, Egypt will buy 24 Russian aircraft.
The parties also discussed the traditional topic related to military—technical cooperation. According to head of delegation Denis Manturov, besides the contracts which had already been signed, there are prospects for concluding additional contracts. “The portfolio of orders is impressive. We have to date provided a constant dynamic for development in this area. This is our partner who is among our five largest customers”, said the Minister.
Now in its final stage of development is a project to build in Egypt a grain market infrastructure and facilities for the food and food processing industry.
The latest development in the sphere of building cooperation was stated in the relevant working group: the Russian side proposed to build in Egypt a house—building plant for the production of building materials and provision of housing on mutually beneficial terms.
KamAZ, GAZ and AvtoVAZ – who already have a presence in the Egyptian market – spoke of their plans to expand cooperation. It is expected that in 2015, a joint venture in Egypt by AvtoVAZ will lead to the release of 2,500 cars, and from the following year, after completing modernisation of production capacity – no less than 3,000 vehicles per year.
Companies also announced their individual plans: KamAZ is considering the possibility of organising assembly production, or more precisely, infrastructure for the assembly, repair and maintenance of its equipment with partial or full localisation. The GAZ Group, in turn, is considering assembling buses in Egypt.
Support for business projects
The development of a joint programme for the financing of small and medium—sized businesses was also discussed at the Russian—Egyptian forum. “We are interested in establishing joint ventures and assume that they should be provided with suitable conditions for project development, in particular the necessary infrastructure and technical connections”, said Denis Manturov. “My Egyptian counterpart Minister Abdel Nour and I will draw up a list of projects that will receive maximum support, and among them will be the creation of industrial parks, a logistics centre for storing and processing agricultural products, grain and storage silos, feed mills and other agricultural enterprises.”
The Trade and Industry head confirmed the readiness of Russian companies to participate in the creation of industrial zones and parks in Egypt, and called on his Arab colleagues to produce a list of potential partners in these projects.