Egypt urges broadening of US duty free trade agreement
Cotton textiles are one of Egypt's largest exports. (Shutterstock)
Egypt is seeking to expand the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) trade agreement with the United States and Israel by adding more Egyptian governorates and products, the minister of industry and foreign trade, Mounir Fakhry, was quoted as saying by MENA agency on Monday.
Under the terms of the agreement, some products with Israeli and Egyptian components from designated industrial zones are able to enter the US duty free.
The Egyptian minister made the announcement while hosting a US business delegation headed by the deputy minister of foreign trade, Kenneth Hyatt.
Egypt is also hoping to see the restoration of the US's Generalised System of Preference (GSP), a programme that allows specific products to enter US markets without duties.
In July 2013, the GSP programme, which aims to promote trade with developing countries, expired. Congress is currently discussing the possibility of restarting it and a decision is expected next month, Hyatt was quoted as saying by MENA.
The US was Egypt's third biggest trading partner in the last fiscal year ending 30 June 2014 with trade worth a total of $6.7 billion according to central bank data.
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