CAIRO: A Russian trade and industrial delegation is currently visiting Egypt to select a suitable location to set up an industrial zone, Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour said in a statement Monday.
The delegation is chaired by Alexander Tolparov; Deputy Director of the External Economic Relations Department of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, Abdel-Nour added.
It comprises 20 representatives from Russian major companies working in transportation equipment, agricultural, civil aviation, heavy industry, shipbuilding, energy, and telecommunications sectors.
“The Russian industrial zone will include engineering, food and automobile industries along with heavy shipbuilding and train industry,” Abdel-Nour said.
In a press conference on Feb. 10, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced that both countries reached a deal to establish free trade zone in Egypt.
Sisi added that Egypt has development a plan to establish an industrial zone in Suez governorate’s city of Ataqa as a part of the Suez Canal Corridor mega project. This agreement was initialed on August 13, 2014 in Russia’s Sochi.
Ataqa city or Kom Oshim
In the first day of its four-day visit, the delegation has inspected Northern area of Ataqa city and Adabiya port, located on the western bank of Suez Gulf; 17 kilometers from Suez governorate.
The delegation also has visited China’s TEDA’s investments in the Northern Suez Gulf; Youm7 quoted chairman of the Egyptian Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Ismail Jaber.
Kom Oshim city, located to the north of Fayoum governorate is another proposed location for the industrial zone that will be visited by the Russian delegation, the Minister added. Kom Oshim is located to the north of Qaroun Lake, 70 kilometers southwest of Cairo.
In June, a diplomatic group from the Russian embassy in Cairo held discussions with representatives of the IDA on the two proposed locations.
Russian investments in Egypt amounted to $65.62 million in January 2013 with 383 Russian companies investing in Egypt, according to the Egyptian State Information Service. Egyptian investments in Russia reached to $13.7 million in December 2012.
It was announced that Russia will also build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant in t al-Dabaa city of Marsa Matrouh governorate.
Boosting bilateral relations
Egypt has deepened its relations and opened new economic channels with Russia in August 2013 when U.S., Cairo’s ally, suspended part of $ 1.5 billion military aid to Egypt following the deadly dispersal of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins.
In 2014, the then Defense Minister Sisi reached a $2 billion military deal with Russia after the U.S. suspended its military aid.
Several U.S. lawmakers voiced concern over the improving Egypt-Russia relations. “We cannot afford to allow Putin to undermine our ties with Egypt. It would be a serious blow to our international security interests,” Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said in U.S. congress session on May 1