Italy Egypt cooperate on agri-food projects

23-01-2015 07:58 PM

Mary Fikry

Italy and Egypt have strengthened cooperation in the agro-food industry with a memorandum of understanding that promotes and develops partnerships and raises the exchange of information and experience between research institutes. The agreement was signed in Cairo by the Minister for Agriculture, Maurizio Martina, and his Egyptian colleague Adel al-Beltagy on 19 January 2015. Italy is Egypt’s most important European partner the agri-food trade, said the embassy in Cairo. It is the biggest market for Egyptian products, and the most active in cooperation in agricultural and rural development. Italian exports to Egypt increased by 94 per cent in the first nine months of last year compared to 2013, to 85 million Euros, mainly due to an increase in fruit exports. Mr Martina also met the Minister of Trade, Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises, to discuss Milan Expo 2015 and economic cooperation. He said: “Egypt remains an important partner for Italy in the field of food and will be among the countries participating in the bio-Mediterranean cluster at Expo, with one of the largest exhibition spaces in the Theme Pavilion.” The minister also attended the signing of an agreement for a project in marine aquaculture, funded by Italy under the Italian-Egyptian programme. The minister’s visit to Cairo will be followed by a large Italian delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda, who will be in the Egyptian capital between February 22 and 24 and will confirm the revival of strong historical links between Italy and Egypt. 
Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour, Minister of Industry, said that Egypt will receive a delegation of representatives of major Italian companies, headed by Carlo Calenda, Italian Deputy Minister for Economic Development during the month of February to discuss further cooperation with Egypt in a number of joint projects, especially in the agricultural field.
Abdel-Nour said that the implementation of the green trade initiative with Italy aims to support trade in agricultural goods between Egypt and the European Union via Italy, improve productivity rates and standards of Egyptian agricultural products to reach European standards, cooperation in the field of transport between the Egyptian and Italian ports, as well as simplifying customs procedures to facilitate the access of goods and products between the two countries.
The minister also confirmed the existence of a number of major national projects Egypt has recently prioritised and welcomed Italian cooperation to acheive them, including the Suez Canal project, especially in the field of shipbuilding industry and the development of a number of marine ports
Martina, for his part, pointed out the keenness of the Italian government to actively participate in Egypt’s next economic summit, which the Italian prime minister promised to attend.
Watani International
23 January 2015
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