South Africa was mulling anti-dumping measures against Egypt because of sub-standard imports and would raise the issue at the fifth session of the two countries' bilateral commission in Cairo this week, an official said Sunday, October 21.
Deputy director-general of foreign affairs Welile Nhlapo told reporters at a media briefing in Pretoria: "We are instituting a case against the Egyptians." He said there were "problems around products from Egypt which have been questioned in terms of standards" and South African companies had complained in particular about the quality of stainless steel, aluminum, and carbon black.
The countries' bureaus of standards were discussing the problem and South Africa might end up helping Egypt with quality control, he added. Nhlapo said a decline in mutual trade would also be discussed at the meeting in Cairo on Monday and Tuesday and South Africa would try to ensure that the problem of low quality imports did not decrease trade further. "We want to make sure this issue does not impact on our trade relations," he said.
The South African delegation to Cairo will be headed by Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and will include Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin and Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour.
Bilateral relations between South Africa and Egypt were severed in 1960 and only revived in 1994 when South Africa became a democracy after more than four decades of minority rule.
Officials at the Cairo meeting are also expected to discuss the situation in the Middle East, terrorism, conflict resolution in Africa and the New Africa Initiative, the recovery program for the continent adopted by the Organization of African Unity in Lusaka last July. ― (AFP, Pretoria)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )