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Egypt

Under George Bush’s administration, in 2003, the US Trade Representative is said to have ’punished’ Egypt by suspending all overtures towards an FTA when Egypt withdrew its support for a US dispute against the European Union on trade in genetically modified crops at the WTO. This lasted until late 2004, when the overtures started picking up again. However, the US froze FTA talks after allegations of fraud and corruption surrounding Egypt’s December 2005 elections and they have not restarted since.

In the meantime, the US brokered a deal between Egypt and Israel to set up a ’qualifying industrial zone’ between the two countries, which angered both Egyptians and Arab neighbours. In 2009, under Obama’s administration, US and Egyptian trade officials signed a Plan for a Strategic Partnership which pledged to follow “a program of intensified U.S.-Egyptian cooperation on economic, trade, and investment issues”. But there have been no substantive moves towards negotiating a bilateral FTA between the two countries.

The European Union has had a preferential trade agreement with Egypt since 2001, which it hopes to upgrade in the process of achieving a fullblown EU-Mediterranean FTA.

Egypt signed a bilateral FTA with Turkey in December 2005, and another with EFTA in 2007. In 2010 it signed an FTA with Mercosur. Regionally, it is party to the Agadir Agreement, GAFTA and COMESA. Cairo is currently negotiating or considering FTAs with Russia, India and Indonesia.

last update: May 2012


Egypt ratifies a Free Trade Agreement with MERCOSUR
Egypt’s Ambassador delivered the original ratification document of the Arab Republic of Egypt on the Free Trade Agreement signed with the Mercosur on 2/8/2010 to the Secretariat of the organization.
Egypt endorses FTA agreement with Mercosur
Egypt has just endorsed the Free Trade Area agreement signed with the Mercosur (Southern American Common Market) on August 2, 2010, said Deputy Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Nazieh el-Nagari.
Egypt & Malaysia to start FTA talks
Egypt and Malaysia look forward to setting up a free trade zone to boost the weak trade exchanges between the countries having great economic potentials and huge consumer markets.
Egypt still considering free-trade zone with Gaza: Hamas official
While Palestinian Authority claims Cairo has ’given up’ on proposal for Egypt-Gaza free-trade zone, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau tells Ahram Online otherwise
Trade minister: Egypt open to trade talks with US
Egypt’s trade minister on Tuesday courted badly needed US investment with a promise Cairo would maintain open markets, and said the Egyptian government was open to pursuing free trade talks with the United States.
Lawmaker urges US pursue trade pact with Egypt
A top Republican lawmaker urged President Barack Obama’s administration on Wednesday to pursue trade talks with Egypt to help shape the nascent democracy after a tumultuous year.
Egypt establishing free trade area with Latin American
Egypt will sign next week a free trade agreement with the Latin American Grouping Mercosur, according to Minister of Trade & Industry Rasheed Mohamed Rasheed.
Egypt boosts Swiss trade relations as euro weakens
Egypt is looking to mitigate the negative short-term effects of the weakening euro by diversifying its trade partners and increasing volumes with members of the European Free Trade Association, the country’s trade minister said.
Egypt, Mercosur to complete free trade agreement in July
Egypt expects to complete free trade negotiations with the four Mercosur countries — Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay — in July, Egypt’s trade minister said on Wednesday.
US Trade Rep looking to increase trade with Egypt
US Trade Representative Ron Kirk will travel to Egypt next week for talks with a key Arab ally that has long wanted a free trade agreement with the United States.