Serbia-Egypt Business Forum: Free trade would improve economic cooperation between the two countries
The President of Egypt, Abel Fatah el-Sisi, said today that the signing of the agreement on free trade and avoidance of double taxation between Serbia and Egypt will enable faster development of the economies of both countries and pointed out that Serbian businessmen are welcome in Egypt.At the opening of the Serbian-Egyptian business forum, which was organized by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce as part of his official visit to Serbia, he pointed out that in Egypt businessmen from Serbia can participate in projects such as the construction of airports and roads.

“I told the president (Serbia Aleksandar Vučić) that we want to build about 4,000 kilometers of high-speed rail and that the first phase of that project will be opened in two years,” El-Sisi said, adding that Serbia and Egypt have great potential for agricultural development. .

He also pointed out that in 2016, Egypt started improving business, especially in the economic sphere, through national projects.

Egypt’s economic growth was, as he stated, before the corona virus pandemic, between 5.6 and 6.1 percent, and despite the pandemic there was no decline.

He emphasized that this year, Egypt’s economic growth is nine percent, but that the Ukrainian crisis also affected the economy of his country.

He also reminded that in 2016, Egypt had problems with energy sources and electricity.

“We were in deficit with electricity in 2014, now there is none. Now we have about 60,000 megawatts and a 25 percent surplus of electricity. Now we have a surplus of gas, but we were in deficit. Likewise, for the last seven or eight years, we have been working on infrastructure “We have perfected about 6,000 projects worth about eight billion Egyptian pounds,” El-Sisi said.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said that he sees this business meeting of Serbian and Egyptian businessmen as an excellent opportunity for the development of even better economic relations between the two countries.

He recalled the decades-long diplomatic relations between the two countries, and that no one has ever broken that friendship and that now is the opportunity to establish the best relations in the history of the two countries.

According to him, cooperation between Serbia and Egypt is also possible in dedicated industry, healthcare, and culture.

“We will make sure to complete the establishment of a regular airline line between Belgrade and Cairo by March next year,” said Vučić.

He presented the features of the Serbian economy to the Egyptian businessmen, who came to Serbia for the economic forum, stating that “Serbia has stable public finances”.

Vučić said that Serbia’s public debt currently amounts to 53 percent of GDP, and that Serbia is the first in the region in terms of attracting direct foreign investments according to the number of inhabitants, which amount to 3.2 to 3.5 billion euros annually.

He added that Serbia also has subsidies that encourage investments, as well as professional, trained workforce.

Vučić also said that the citizens of Serbia like to spend their summer in Egypt, and he invited the citizens of Egypt to come to Serbia and discover the charms of the local mountains.

He wished the businessmen of both countries many new factories and joint business ventures.

30 companies from Egypt and 250 companies from Serbia are participating in the business forum.

Before the forum, the presentations of the Development Agency of Serbia “Why invest in Serbia” and the Federation of Egyptian, African and Mediterranean Chambers “Doing business with Egypt” were held.

After the forum, more than 400 B2B (business to business) meetings of Serbian and Egyptian companies from the sectors of agriculture, construction and infrastructure, energy, health, tourism, telecommunications and IT are planned.

The Egyptian economy is the second strongest economy in the Arab world, after Saudi Arabia.

Most of Egypt’s economy relies on tourism and oil and gas exports, as well as revenues from the Suez Canal.

The foreign trade exchange between Serbia and Egypt, according to PKS data, amounted to 79.7 million dollars last year.

In the first three months of this year, the total trade between Serbia and Egypt increased by more than 72 percent, compared to the same period of the previous year.

By Editor

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