The inaugural meeting of the Russian part of the Russian-Egyptian Business Committee (REBC) took place in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation on the 5th September, 2007.
The agenda of the Meeting included the confirmation of Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of the Board of JSC “Novatek”, as the Chairman of the Russian Part of REBC, presentations of Russian companies-members of REBC and presentation of the project “Russian industrial zone in Egypt”.
The list of the participants of the Meeting included Yevgeny Primakov, President of the Russian CCI, Tatiana Gvilava, Adviser to the President, Director of RABC, Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of the Board of JSC “Novatek”, Alexander Chvykov, Acting Chief of The Middle East and North Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Essat Saad, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Moscow, Mohammed Mansour Fahmi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Nasser Khalil, Head of the Trade Mission of the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Moscow, Sharif Al-Magribi, Chairman of the Egyptian Part of REBC, officials of the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Moscow and heads of the companies-members of the Russian-Egyptian Business Committee.
Opening the Meeting, Evgeny Primakov, President of the Russian CCI said: “Egypt has been one of our leading partners in the Middle East and North Africa for many years, with the help of the USSR Egypt built 97 industrial objects, and a lot of them still play an important role in Egypt’s economy”. He stressed that the sales turnover between our countries equalled approximately 2 billion US dollars, and at the moment there were suitable conditions for increasing the traditional cooperation in various spheres. The project of creating the Russian industrial zone in Egypt has great prospects. The memorandum on the implementation of that project was signed in Cairo in April, 2007. “Russian regions, small and medium business should take part in the implementation of the project”,-said Mr.Primakov. The President of the Russian CCI added that he hoped that the Russian-Egyptian Business Committee would be able to make use of all the existing favorable conditions and the potential of the partnership contacts in the best possible way. He wished members of REBC productive work and successful implementation of their plans.
Essat Saad, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt called the Russian-Egyptian Business Committee a locomotive which would promote strengthening the relations between the countries not only in the economic sphere, but also in the scientific and technical spheres. The existing legal framework guarantees the protection of the joint investments and creates a favorable climate for the liquidation of barriers and the development of the trade exchange. He thanked Ibrahim Kamil, who had ended his work as the Chairman of the Egyptian part of REBC, and introduced Sharif Al-Magribi, the new co-chairman of REBC, who had been the Head of the Egyptian Council of the Agricultural Export. Essat Saad said that he hoped that the Meeting would become a new impulse in the development of the business cooperation.
Al-Magribi, co-chairman of REBC, marked that the members of the Council were to fulfil serious tasks dealing with setting economic partnership between Russian and Egyptian businessmen. He called on the members of the Committee to get to know each other better and make use of the existing possibilities for cooperation to increase the sales turnover between the countries which didn’t correspond to the existing potential of the parties. The Co-chairman of REBC suggested that Russian companies should pay special attention to the creation of a free industrial zone.
Mohammed Mansour, Deputy Minister of foreign trade and industry of the Arab Republic of Egypt, presented the project “Russian Industrial Zone in Egypt” and called on Russian companies to take an active part in the implementation of the project. He said that he hoped that Russian companies would be able to work in Egypt successfully and use it as the headquarters for conducting business in the region.
Mohammed Mansour Fahmi stressed that the Russian and Egyptian governments were making great efforts to create conditions for the successful and mutually profitable cooperation. The Egyptian part considers Russia to be its main strategic partner. He said that nowadays the business structures played a very important role. In this connection the creation of the Russian-Egyptian Business Committee is an important step aimed at strengthening and developing the trade and economic ties between the two countries. Mohammed Mansour Fahmi said that he hoped that the sales turnover between the countries would reach high indexes in the near future and wished the members of the Committee to lead the bilateral relations to the brand new level successfully.
Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of the Board of JSC “Novatek” was nominated for the post of the Chairman of the Russian part of REBC. His candidature was approved by all those present unanimously.
In his speech Leonid Mikhelson thanked the members of the Russian part of REBC for their trust in him and spoke about “Novatek”, the company he led. Marking that the Egyptian market was open and attractive for Russian companies, he expressed his idea of the priority objectives in the work of the Committee.
According to the agenda, the participants of the Meeting approved the draft provisions on the Russian-Egyptian Business Committee and confirmed the list of the members of the Russian part of REBC. The participants of the Meeting expressed confidence that the work of the Russian-Egyptian Business Committee would promote the development of the trade, economic and investment cooperation and leading it to a new level, corresponding to the political dialogue between the countries.