The European Union (EU) recently announced that it plans to drop the customs taxes levied on steel products imported from Egypt. Preferential treatment will be given to 13 out the 14 steel products that Egypt exports to the EU, confirmed Egypt’s Foreign Trade Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali.
Egypt is one the EU’s most important suppliers of rolled steel sheets. The EU imported approximately 5.1 million tons of steel in 2001, 350,000 tons of which originated from Egypt. The Foreign Trade Ministry expects the EU to import one million tons of steel this year, consuming 60 percent of Egypt’s total production.
In June 2001, Egypt and the EU signed an association agreement that is part of a Euro-Mediterranean partnership between the EU and 12 Mediterranean countries. Established in 1995, the partnership aims at establishing a free trade zone between the two groups by 2010.
The agreement stipulated that the EU will lift all trade barriers to Egyptian industrial exports and will raise the number of agricultural products that receive preferential treatment by member states from 25 to 108. In certain cases, quotas will be raised by hundreds of percent, and when tariffs kick in, they will be at a preferential rate. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )