First Joint Meeting of the Russian-Egyptian Business Council

The First Joint Session of the Russian-Egyptian Business Council (REBC) took place in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Moscow, on February 11 2008.

The list of participants in the Meeting included the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry H.E. Evgeny Primakov, the Chairman of NOVATEK, Co-chairman of the REBC Mr. Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of MAFACo., Co-chairman of the REBC Sherif Al-Maghraby, as well as the representatives of Russian and Egyptian companies members in the REBC.

H.E. Evgeny Primakov delivered an opening speech and pointed that the establishment of this efficient mechanism of business partnership is a remarkable event since it indicates the transition to a higher level of bilateral collaboration. In his opinion, setting up the Russian-Egyptian Business Council which united prominent representatives of business-communities of the two countries would give an additional impetus to the whole complex of partnership relations. This, in turn, would allow implementing prospective joint projects, boost investment cooperation and diversify mutual trade.

The Russian CCI President said that during the past period the Russian-Egyptian relations witnessed a considerable strengthening and entered an absolutely new stage. An active political dialog is being held between our countries and a stable growth of trade and economic cooperation is underway.

H.E.Mr. Primakov named the following Russian companies, which play an active part in the Egyptian market: “Tazhpromexport”, JSC “Autovaz”, JSC “Silovie Machiny”, JSC “Lukoil Overseas Holding Ltd”, JSC “Novatek” etc. He also stressed the fast development of tourism relations mentioning that the number of Russians who has visited Egypt in 2007 exceeded 1 million capita.

Consequently, we face the most favourable conditions for the activities of the Russian-Egyptian Business Council that is expected to facilitate the present potential of the partnership relations in the most comprehensive way, - Mr. Primakov stated.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Russian Federation H.E. Izzat Saad expressed his gratitude to the leadership of the Russian CCI for exerting the efforts aimed at the effective bilateral cooperation development and said that the Egyptian side paid special attention to the REBC’s activities at the current stage, when the portion of the private sector in the economy of Egypt reached 75%.

He praised the present state of affairs in the bilateral relations sphere and pointed out that the establishment of the REBC was the confirmation of mutual determination to bolster trade and economic cooperation and investment partnership. H.E. Izzat Saad called for a more comprehensive usage of all the opportunities of bilateral cooperation including paying special attention to creating the Russian industrial zone in Egypt. In his opinion, the consolidated efforts of the business circles of the two countries are expected to play an important part in this process.

Co-chairmen of the Council, Mr. Leonid. Mikhelson and Mr. Sherif Al-Maghrabi expressed their readiness to support the broadening of business contacts between public, private, industrial and innovative organizations of Russia and Egypt and promote attracting mutual investment.

Deputy Director of the Russian-Arab Business Council made a presentation of the project of the First Arab exhibition in Moscow “Arabia-Expo” and invited the Egyptian colleagues to take part in this exhibition.

The parties discussed a number of organizational questions related to the Council’s activities and signed the Statute of the Russian-Egyptian Business Council and the Protocol of the first joint session.

Further on the participants of the meeting held business talks and bilateral negotiations on the issues of mutual interest.