The 14th meeting of the Egyptian–Saudi Joint Commission was chaired by the Saudi minister of commerce, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, and his Egyptian counterpart, Hatem Saleh.
Dr. Rabiah said: “Saudi Arabia and Egypt have much potential that can be tapped through investment and mutually beneficial trade … Current trade levels are lower than optimal, and it will require a lot of work to establish more joint projects between private sector firms so as to increase the economic value of our natural resources.”
Saleh also called for new measures to boost Saudi–Egyptian trade, saying: “Saudi Arabia and Egypt are the two countries most capable of working together to shape the balance of power in the region to suit the interests of their people and the Arab world in general.”
He added that previous efforts had succeeded in raising trade between the two countries to its current level of just over USD 4.5 billion, but said that there was still potential for further increases.
Dr Rabiah said that Saudi Arabia was aiming to increase bilateral trade to SAR 20 billion (USD 5.3 billion).
The delegations of both states spent three days discussing the status of Saudi investment projects in Egypt. Dr. Rabiah revealed that 30 projects in Egypt are currently postponed, of which six had been resolved prior to the meeting. Saudi Arabia announced that four more cases were resolved this week.
In addition to existing cooperation agreements in a number of fields, the minister confirmed that the commission considered a Saudi proposal to convene meetings of the commission every three months, as well as proposals for the construction of a direct rail link between Saudi Arabia and Egypt.