Egyptian investments in Africa rose by $1.2 billion in 2021 to $10.2 billion, and trade volume with Ivory Coast has risen to $149 million, an increase of 178.5 percent compared to 2020, Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir said.
Samir made the remarks during celebrations of Ivory Coast’s 62nd National Day at the country’s embassy in Cairo on Wednesday.
In a speech during the ceremony, Samir conveyed the greetings of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to the Ivorian government and people on the occasion of the country's National Day, which is celebrated annually on 7 August.
Samir said the public and private sectors in Egypt and Ivory Coast have worked in recent years to boost trade and economic relations, leading to the large increase in trade volume in 2021.
The minister said that the commodities exchanged between the two countries include electrical machines, paper, plastics, glass, iron, steel, cocoa, wood and fruits.
Samir also expressed hopes to boost cooperation between the two countries’ private sectors and to benefit from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in doubling the volume of trade exchange during the next few years.
The AfCFTA agreement — which was signed in March 2018 in Rwanda and is the world’s largest free-trade area — came into effect on 1 January 2021.
AfCFTA, which created a market of 1.2 billion people, is the eighth largest economic bloc in the world. It has a combined GDP of $3 trillion that is expected to more than double by 2050, according to the AU.
Samir highlighted Egypt’s keenness to enhance investment cooperation with the countries of the African continent, noting that African economic development is one of the most important priorities of the Egyptian state.
Based on the principle that Egypt will continue to endeavour side-by-side with African countries to achieve sustainable development, as President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi affirmed in May, and that it is ready to offer its expertise to any African state, as recently stated by Madbouly, Ivory Coast has been a landing place to implement this Egyptian pledge.
Three Egyptian delegations recently visited Ivory Coast with the aim of exploring investment opportunities in construction, infrastructure and food security.