CAIRO: Trade Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour called on Moscow and other concerned companies to meet Egypt’s growing need for energy during his visit to Russia, the ministry said in a Thursday statement.
Abdel Nour, who arrived in Russia Monday, met a number of Russian officials as well as representatives of finance companies during his visit to sign a cooperation protocol and to resume talks for establishing a free trade zone between Egypt and the Eurasian Customs Union, said the ministry.
The Russian move to discuss free trade has been seen by some Egyptian press as an indicator of stronger relations with Egypt. Al Mashad reported that free trade zone talks had been suspended for more than three years, with the last one in Moscow in 2011.
Masrawy Gate reported Thursday that the cooperation protocol would establish a Russian industrial region in Egypt to develop iron and steel factories, El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company, the Egyptian Company for Aluminum, and Egyptalum, and develop the High Dam electricity stations.
Abdel Nour met also the Russian minister of Energy, Alexander Novak, in order to boost joint cooperation in the energy sector, the ministry stated. Abdel Nour met the Russian Direct Investment Fund’s representatives to discuss investment opportunities in Egypt. The RDIF’s executive manager, Sian Godec, confirmed the fund’s keenness to boost its investments in Egypt, and said that the fund allocates 20 percent of its capital for investment outside of Russia, according to the ministry statement.