Says Abdelrahman Abdelraheem Abdelraouf, Minister Plenipotentiary for Economics and Commercial Affairs, Embassy of A.R. of Egypt in Romania:
After the 4 years I’ve spent in Romania as my last 4 years term in my economic diplomacy career, I can assume that a promising partnership has been steadily risen. Egypt-Romania has long-standing traditional ties of more than one hundred years. The two nations have a very-well experience in knowing each other.
The economic and commercial relations can be described as flagship. Trade exchange is increasing steadily, year after year where it was more than € 700 million last year, bearing in mind that Egypt is the biggest trade partner to Romania in MENA (n.a. Middle East and North Africa). Egypt is the biggest single country importing wheat from Romania, in an amount that reaches 2 million tons, from January 2016 to April 2017. Again, we are the biggest importing country of Romania’s beechwood despite the recently decrease of volume, due to the prices soaring in Romania compared to other resources. In this regard, I can tell that it’s sensible to extract the meaning from the context as Romanian companies need to import more from Egypt for the sake of remedying the drastic unbalance of trade, as Egyptian export doesn’t exceed more than €100 million yearly. They can import similar of their imports and enjoy Egyptian competitive price edges, such as all kind of fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, marble and granite with sanitary ware and some horticulture and foodstuff (citrus, white kidney beans, salt, tomato paste, etc.).
As for investments, Romania accumulated investments in Egypt that are accounted for $85 million. Meanwhile, the Egyptian capital invested in Romania reaches $120 million, part of it on the stock market. The contracts of conducting energy, projects and related services for Romanian companies in Egypt nowadays exceed €40 million. It’s needed to illustrate that opportunities for direct and indirect investment truly exist, consequently I continuously articulated the current and potential opportunities to the business communities in both countries, within the last four years. My advice to Romanian companies is to stitch up the deals directly with their counterparts in Egypt and not as sub-contractors, for this way to generate maximal outputs. Egypt is considered the second destination worldwide, with high investment yields.
Tourism is one of the main pillars of our bilateral relations. Romanians are always welcome to visit Egypt. The security situation is stable, diversified touristic sites do exist, hospitality industries are deeply rooted. Nowadays, Egypt has a new scheme of medical tourism. “Tour ‘n Cure” consists of modern therapies and treatment protocols to cure hepatitis C. This program is gaining a global momentum including WHO recognition (n.a. World Health Organization). It provides full package of door-to-door services, particularly full dosage of the medicine.
I believe Egypt and Romania have long-way to go forward, cashing in each other’s virtues. I expect that the Second Round of Egyptian-Romanian Joint Committee that is supposed to be held in July 2017, will better pave the way for more lucrative relations.
Again, I do believe that Romania has all credentials to be an important regional economic power.