February 14, Sisi, Erdogan agree on steps to strengthen trade and investment between Egypt & Turkey

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sign a joint declaration on restructuring meetings of the high-level strategic cooperation council in Cairo, 14 February 2024. Photo: AFP

Feb 14, 2024. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed a joint declaration on Wednesday on restructuring meetings of the high-level strategic cooperation council.

According to the Egyptian Presidency Spokesperson, Ahmed Fahmy, both presidents held an expanded session of talks on the joint efforts towards fostering closer bilateral relations.

During a press conference with his Turkish counterpart at Cairo's Ittihadiya Palace, El-Sisi welcomed Erdoğan and the accompanying delegation, expressing his will to open a new chapter between the two countries to enrich relations between Egypt and Turkiye.

El-Sisi further said he takes pride in the cultural and historical relations between the two nations, noting that communication between the citizens of the two countries never ceased during the past ten years.

Furthermore, he said that bilateral trade and investment relations witnessed steady growth during that period, noting that Egypt is currently Turkiye's first trading partner in Africa and that Turkiye is one of the most important destinations for Egyptian exports.

"This has proven the great feasibility of joint work between the business sectors of the two countries," El-Sisi said, adding that both countries are seeking to raise trade exchange to $15 billion over the next few years, enhance joint investments, and explore new fields of cooperation.

El-Sisi concluded by saying he looks forward to accepting Erdoğan’s invitation to visit Turkiye next April.

For his part, Erdoğan said he was pleased to visit Cairo and appreciated the warm reception. He added that he looks forward to promoting relations with Egypt, noting that the two countries now work together through a high-level strategic cooperation council.

"We share a common history with Egypt of over a thousand years," said the Turkish President during the press conference. He also said he was keen on fostering relations with Cairo and found a reciprocated will on the Egyptian side.

Erdoğan said El-Sisi's visit to Turkiye in April will witness the commencement of the first meeting of the high-level strategic cooperation council, which will represent "a new stage in Egyptian-Turkish relations."

"We are determined to raise the volume of Turkiye's investments in Egypt by up to $3 billion," said Erdoğan. He also pointed out that the two countries have considerable potential for cooperation, especially in energy, tourism, education, and culture. 

The Turkish President also exchanged views with El-Sisi on increasing cooperation in the military and defence industry, citing Turkiye's "strength" in the field.

He also highlighted that the "Yunus Emre" institute in Cairo has the highest number of foreign students studying Turkish worldwide since around 22,000 Egyptian students have enrolled in the Cairo branch to study Turkish.

Furthermore, Erdoğan wished a speedy recovery for those injured following the landslide that hit a gold mine in eastern Turkiye on Tuesday. He also extended condolences for those who lost their lives and affirmed that the Turkish ministers of energy and interior are following up on that incident.

Early Wednesday, El-Sisi received Erdoğan at Cairo International Airport. This is the first visit to Egypt by the Turkish president since 2012. Former Egyptian ambassador to Ankara Abdel-Rahman Salah said the visit represents an opportunity to create a new alliance to confront the issues besetting the region.

According to the Head of the Egyptian side at the Egypt-Turkiye Business Council, Adel El-Lamey, the two countries are discussing trade exchange in local currencies.

Turkish investments in Egypt stood at more than $2.5 billion by April 2023, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir said in a statement on Tuesday.

Trade exchange between both countries hit $5.875 billion in 2023, with Egypt's exports to Turkiye growing by 28 percent, compared to 2022, recording $2.9 billion.

According to the Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, Turkiye became one of the largest importers of Egyptian goods and a principal trade partner of Egypt in 2023.

Ahram online