Jerusalem, 20 June, 2022 (TPS) — For the first time in approximately a decade, a delegation of senior Egyptian industrialists operating within the framework of the QIZ (Qualifying Industrial Zone) agreement between Israel, Egypt, and the US, arrived in Israel on Sunday for several days of meetings.
The Egyptian delegation includes 12 industrialists and businesspeople in the field of textiles and clothing who will meet with senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economy and Industry, the Manufacturers Association, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, and the Export Institute. The delegation members will also visit industrial plants and meet with Israeli companies and businesspeople.
The visit of the Egyptian delegation was initiated by the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other official bodies “with the goal of increasing cooperation and trade volume between Israel and Egypt over the coming years,” the Foreign Ministry stated Monday.
The Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) is a preferential trade zone agreement signed in 2004 and facilitates the export of duty and tax-free products from Egypt to the US as long as the Egyptian product includes 10.5% worth of inputs originating from Israel.
The Egyptian delegation arrived after having visited a delegation of economic organizations from Israel at the QIZ Conference in Cairo at the end of May.
This visit is “another step in the warming economic-civilian ties with Egypt, which follow a government decision to promote tangible moves to increase trade with Egypt and remove bureaucratic barriers,” the Ministry noted.
Oded Yosef, Deputy Director-General of the Middle East Division at the Foreign Ministry, explained that economic cooperation “has always been a significant component in the promotion of relations, and the QIZ agreement has a special place in this. We expect that the visit will lead to the expansion of cooperation within the QIZ’s industrial areas, as well as to the expansion of economic, business, and commercial cooperation between the countries”.
Ohad Cohen, Head of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy and Industry, further noted that the QIZ agreement “serves as a basic infrastructure for trade between Israel and Egypt. The market in Egypt is developing, and we welcome their willingness to visit as well as the Egyptian interest in Israeli industry, which represents a further warming of economic ties with Egypt, and we hope to expand cooperation between the countries.”
Egypt is considered a significant trading partner for Israel in the Middle East. The volume of trade between the countries stood at $330 million in 2021. The spectrum of exports from Israel to Egypt primarily includes textiles and their associated products, a majority of 78%, chemicals and chemical industry products with 11%, and rubber and plastics at 8%, totaling $120 million.
Imports from Egypt include chemicals and chemical industry products at 32%, fresh agricultural produce, and food products at 27%, and machines and electrical and mechanical machinery at 17%, totaling $210 million.