The European Investment Bank has decided to hold a meeting of its board of directors in Egypt - the first time such a meeting has been held outside Luxembourg, the headquarters state.
The Minister of Planning and International cooperation, Ahmad Darsh, told the October Weekly magazine that Egypt was chosen for to host the board meeting because of its important international rank and, in addition, Egypt is a major beneficiary of the bank's loans.
The magazine said discussions are underway between Egypt and the Bank to take part in financing the Max and al-Dekhela project for sanitary drainage.
Relations between Egypt and the Bank started in 1977. The Bank has helped finance several development projects in infrastructure fields.
The Bank offers long-term loans to Egypt with easy terms in payment. When contracting loans, interest rate changes according to the international interest rate.
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has responded to Egypt's demands over the two-side partnership agreement.
The EU said Egypt has the right to protest especially against some measures dealing with Egyptian goods exported to the EU member states in different ways.
An agreement was reached to eliminate restrictions on the movement of the Egyptian exports among EU member states.
Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Youssef Boutros Ghali said the EU agreed to reconsider some issues Egypt had raised before the signature of the agreement. It was decided to set up a higher board to settle any possible dispute that may crop up.
"The signature will be made only after more studies by the two sides," he added.
During his recent visit to Belgium, Ghali met with both EU's commissioners for foreign affairs and foreign trade for talks on suspended topics.
The EU commissioners for Foreign Trade admitted that some points in the agreement are still "vague" as Egypt announced before. He also called for more clarification for the sake of Egypt.
The EU expressed understanding of Egypt's demands over other issues that require further dialogue with the EU's 15 member states.
Ghali said that these trade issues would be discussed through the projected board, which is to be an independent mechanism, with the authority to amend these points of differences even following the signature.
"It will settle any dispute immediately to avoid any danger Egypt may sustain, " Ghali said.
The two sides have probed ways of modernizing Egypt's industrial sector. Furthermore, it was agreed to protect the Egyptian commodities against any administrative restriction to be imposed by the EU.— (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )