The official visit will be an opportunity for President Ramaphosa to discuss with President Fatah El-Sisi the strengthening and deepening of good bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and Egypt. The two heads of state and government will also explore new areas of economic, trade and investment cooperation in sectors such as infrastructure, manufacturing and agri-processing. Attractive investment incentives in Egypt, strong macroeconomic reforms, a broad industrial base, relative political stability in a volatile region, a large internal market of 77.5 million people, a strategic position at the crossroads between southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and its competitive workforce were cited as the main reasons why South African investors had chosen it. Closer cooperation between the largest economies in North and Southern Africa is one of the most practical ways to strengthen economic development and ultimately fight poverty for the continent. In addition, Egypt has signed several bilateral agreements with Arab countries: Jordan (December 1999), Lebanon (March 1999), Libya (January 1991), Morocco (April 1999), Syria (December 1991) and Tunisia (March 1999). In addition, Egypt and China entered into a trade agreement in 1995. Egypt has also signed an economic treaty with Russia. In June 2001, Egypt signed an Association Agreement with the European Union (EU), which came into force on 1 June 2004. The agreement provided for immediate duty-free access of Egyptian products to EU markets, while duty-free access for EU products was phased in over a 12-year period. In 2010, Egypt and the EU concluded an agricultural annex to their free trade agreement and liberalized trade in more than 90% of agricultural goods.
Economic relations between Egypt and South Africa have improved steadily since the establishment of official diplomatic relations in 1994, with trade relations having been very strong in recent years. For more information on trade statistics between South Africa and Egypt, visit the website of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Competition in South Africa. “We also reaffirmed our commitment to support relations between the countries of the African continent by activating the continental free trade agreement already in force,” Sisi added. Official contacts between the two governments were only reactivated to a limited extent in 1988. In June 1988, the Egyptian government proposed to Cairo to participate in the joint meeting of the Commission between South Africa, Angola, Cuba, the United States and the Soviet Union. During the meeting, the first contacts took place between the then South African foreign minister, then Egypt`s foreign minister. Bilateral political and economic relations between Egypt and South Africa have improved considerably since 1993. These improvements were highlighted in April 1996 with the convening of the Commission`s first joint bilateral meeting in Cairo. It describes the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to which that country belongs, including with the United States. It is also the only country in this region from which there is a direct flight to South Africa via the Egyptian national airline Egypt Air, which has a codeshare agreement with South African Airways.