Egypt, EU Sign Economic Association Agreement
Egypt and the European Union (EU) initialed a long negotiated economic association agreement on Friday, opening the way for a new era of bilateral relations, reported the Iranian News Agency (IRNA).
At a ceremony held at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, chief EU negotiator, Peter Zangl, and Egypt's ambassador to the EU, Raouf Saad, signed the pact, aimed at stimulating political, trade and economic links between Cairo and the 12-member European bloc, said the agency. The pact, according to a press release published in the Delegation of the European Commission in Egypt, is part of the 'Euro-Mediterranean Partnership' that was established in November 1995 in Barcelona with a joint initiative by the 27 partners on both sides of the Mediterranean -- the 15 EU countries and 12 southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.
The partnership aims at creating peace, stability and prosperity by working to remove the threat of political and economic destabilization that has been an all too frequent characteristic of the region since earliest times, said the press release.
One of the most important objectives of the signed economic pact is to establish a free trade area by 2010.
The total trade between EU and Egypt increased by more than 40 percent over the last ten years, and now stands at level of 10 billion Euros.
This growth of overall trade has been impressive since 1994 and has been mainly led by the increase of EU exports to Egypt, according to the EU's website -- Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)