25 May 2024 04:42 AM

Bilateral Relations

Egypt and Australia

Thursday، 04 May 2023 - 11:02 PM

Egypt has friendly and positive relations with Australia, underpinned by strong people-to-people links. Trade, particularly in agriculture and resources, has long been an important aspect of the bilateral relationship. Both countries work constructively on international security issues including counter-terrorism, disarmament and the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Our extensive people-to-people links provide a firm basis for the long-term development of the bilateral relationship. Today Australia is home to more than one hundred thousand citizens of Egyptian descent, with Egyptian migration to Australia extending back as far as the early 20th century.

Egypt and Australia celebrate in 2010 the 60th anniversary of having formal diplomatic relations that was established in 1950. Australia opened an Embassy in Cairo in March 1950. This was the first Australian Embassy opened in the Middle East. Egypt opened its Embassy in Australia March 1950. Egypt also has Consulates General in Melbourne and in Sydney.

Egypt is the only Arab country that has annual political consultations with Australia on senior official’s level. We held the second round in Canberra in February 2010.

Mutual Visits

On 25/9/2014: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi received Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in his residence in New York. The meeting took up boosting cooperation and Australia's possible role in development projects in Egypt. During the talks, Abbott pointed out to his country's decision to lift a travel warning for Egypt to encourage the tourism industry in the Arab country. Also, the two leaders discussed cooperation in the field of agriculture and Australia's contribution to land reclamation projects in Egypt.

In February 2010: Ambassador Ahmed Fathalla, Assistant Foreign Minister for Asian Affairs, visited Australia to hold the second round of the  annual political consultations on senior official’s level.

In July 2009: The Hon Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited Egypt for the Non-Aligned Movement Summit at Sharm-el-Sheikh.

In June 2009: The Hon Martin Ferguson MP, Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, visited Egypt for the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) conference.

In March 2009: The Hon Bob McMullan MP, Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, visited Egypt for the Gaza Reconstruction Conference at Sharm-el-Sheikh.

In October 2008: An Australian Parliamentary delegation (6 MPs and Senators) visited Egypt.

In April 2006: The then- Governor General Major-General Jeffery visited Egypt as part of the Rededication of the Memorial to the Ninth Division, 2nd AIF at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, El Alamein.

In May 2004: The Egyptian Minister of Supply and Internal Trade visited Australia.

In November 2002: The Egyptian Minister for Foreign Trade visited Australia as a Guest of the Australian Government.

Economic Relations

Our relationship has strengthened in recent years, as evidenced by increased cooperation in several areas, including trade, investment, agriculture, mining and education. Egypt is Australia’s third largest merchandise export market in the Middle East. Trade between our two countries in 2009 has reached A$ 470 million (US$ 377 million), compared to US$ 328 Million in 2008, with a surplus in Australia’s favor to the amount of A$ 400 million. The major Australian exports are wheat, meat, dairy products and coal, whereas the major Egyptian exports are focused on floor coverings, textiles, fertilizers, furniture and vegetables.

There is a potential for trade levels to rise far beyond current levels, as Egypt is a market of more than eighty-four million people, but this can best be achieved by addressing the current trade imbalance. Access of Egyptian commodities to Australian markets should be encouraged in order to widen the pool of businesses involved in trade on both sides. Among Egyptian products that enjoy a comparative advantage in international markets, are raw fibers, textiles, cotton fabrics, leather products, fertilizers, aluminum products, building materials, non-metallic minerals, manufactured metals, rice, fruit and preserved vegetables.

Egypt’s close proximity to the European, Middle Eastern and African markets, with the access and preferential treatment provided by free trade agreements, the positive investment climate, including the establishment of free and industrial zones such as Ain Sokhna on the Gulf of Suez, and Eastern Port Said offer many outstanding features to Australian investors.

The potential for future cooperation is substantial. Economic cooperation could focus on joint projects in Egypt in the areas of agriculture, mining, fisheries, information technology, programming and food industries. Also, Egypt’s location and infrastructure qualify it to become a regional hub for the storage and redistribution of agricultural products. Education is another important area for potential cooperation.

Thanks to Australia' investment and technology, Egypt celebrates, this year, being a gold producer country for the first time since the pharaohs. Since November 2009, Centamin Egypt Ltd., the Australian Gold Explorer has already started producing gold from Sukari Gold Project, located in the Eastern Desert. This project is one of the largest gold deposits found in the past decade and contains more than 13 million ounces of gold.

Contractual Framework

Trade Agreement (18/2/1988), to promote trade and economic relations between the two countries,

• Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Cooperation on Trade Promotion (1998) and

• Memorandum of Understanding on political Consultations (1998).

• Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (May 2001),

• A Memorandum of Understanding on the Live Animal Trade and on the Slaughtering and Handling of Australian Live Animals (2006)

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