Boosting bilateral trade and opening of markets in North Africa and the Middle East for Romanian companies were the main topics on the agenda of the official visit to Egypt of Stefan-Radu Oprea, Minister of Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship, during 27-28 February 2019. The fields targeted for collaboration include energy projects (construction of power plants, transport and distribution services), oil and gas extraction equipment, petrochemistry and electric vehicles.
Stefan-Radu Oprea was received in Cairo by Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Romanian official also met Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed El-Assar, Minister of Military Production, Amr Adel Nassar, Minister of Trade and Industry, Tarek El Molla, Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources and Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investments and International Cooperation. The Romanian official was accompanied by representatives of companies such as Romelectro, Energomontaj, Transgaz, Aegean Oil Consulting, Romarc and of the chamber system in Romania.
The main topics of discussion during the bilateral meetings: updating the bilateral legal framework that facilitates access for businessmen to areas of interest, including through joint projects; the interest of Romanian companies in getting involved in the major development projects in Egypt. Romanian and Egyptian businessmen discussed about the materialization of energy projects (the construction of power plants, transport and distribution services), oil and gas extraction equipment, petrochemistry, wagons or tourism; industrial cooperation, with the general purpose of meeting the technological needs of the two economies and contributing to the increase in the business volume; promoting the investment opportunities for joint venture companies, especially in the industrial sector; joint participation in projects in third states, especially in areas where Romania or Egypt benefit from preferential treatment, according to bilateral or regional agreements; sustainable development and diversification of bilateral trade.
Minister Stefan-Radu Oprea also met with Abdel Moneam Al Tarras, Executive President of the Arab Organization for Industrialization – AOI. The two sides agreed to develop relationships between companies in Romania and AOI, for projects in Egypt and in Africa. Specifically, under a partnership with AOI, companies in Romania will receive invitations to open production lines in northern Africa, units that will benefit from the free trade agreements with African countries. AOI is a state entity that has its own budget and activates both in the defence industry and in the civil sector – energy, infrastructure.
The following priority fields of cooperation were agreed, which were recorded in Minutes of the bilateral meeting: vehicle tires; oil pumps; railway wagons; electric lifts; medical equipment; electric vehicles; wood products (MDF); water desalination; smart electricity meters; IT/cyber security; renewable energy; bilateral cooperation in the field of investment and project financing.
“We are in a very good moment – Romania exercises the mandate of President of the Council of the European Union, and Egypt presides over the African Union. Private companies have the opportunity to expand their sales markets and production capacities on the basis of synergies related to the technologies and natural resources of both states,” Minister Stefan-Radu Oprea said.
Egypt is the most important market for Romanian exports to Africa and the Middle East. In 2018, the total volume of bilateral trade amounted to USD 918.1 million, an annual increase by 45.23%. Romania’s exports totalled USD 796.9 million, an annual increase by 58.2%. The main exported products are from the following categories: vegetable products, mineral products, wood, plastics and rubber, common metals, electric vehicles, cars. The main imported products are from the categories: vegetable products, chemicals, food, plastics and rubber, textiles.