Canada is interested in increasing its involvement in the Egyptian hydrocarbon sector. Eng. Samih Fahmi, the Egyptian petroleum minister, has stated that a group of Canadian firms have offered bids to explore gas and oil prospects, to develop Egyptian fields and to establish a $1 billion petrochemical project. Additionally, Canada will provide Egypt with a grant to set up joint training centers for all of the oil industry sectors, al Ahram daily reported. The minister made these comments following his return from Calgary, Canada, where he participated at the 15th World Oil Conference.
In recent years, Canada has expanded its economic and commercial role in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Canada's export merchandise to the region amounts to approximately $3.5 billion per annum. There are numerous Canadian companies that have strong ties in the (MENA). In general, however, North Africa has become an appealing region for Canadian businesses in recent years. Firms such as Nortel Networks, Dessau, International Corel and Computronix have opened offices in this region. In a latest example, the Canadian Firm SNC Lavalin conducted a study for the construction of a new pulp plant in Morocco. The project will be completed in 2004. Furthermore, bilateral trade between Canada and Algeria is valued at approximately $600 million per year.
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