29/5/2005 CAIRO, May 29 (KUNA) — Egyptian Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry, Rashid Mohammed Rashid said Sunday that the US is committed to launching negotiations between the two countries on the free trade agreement before year end.
In statements to Al-Ahram daily, Rashid expected that a final agreement would be reached on this issue during 18 months from launching negotiations, at the meantime negotiations have launched concerning the agreement articles. Rashid referred to the US support of the Egyptian economic reform and its reflection on trade and investment, "the launching of such agreements between the two countries is a certificate of merit for the Egyptian economy, especially to foreign investors", he added.
He said the Arab, European, US and African regions are significant trade targets for Egypt, as Egyptian exports to Europe have increased by 50 percent.
During the first half of 2005, Egyptian exports increased by 43 percent, while clothes and textiles exports to the US have increases by six percent.
Rashid added, the recent visit of the Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif to the US, heading an economic and businessmen delegation, was a "success" by all measures.