Egypt wants lower Israeli part requirement in trade agreement

Egypt wants lower Israeli part requirement in trade agreement

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Fri, 02/11/2012 - 18:40

The Egyptian government has submitted a request to Israel to reduce the required percentage of Israeli-made parts in products included in the Qualifying Industrial Zones agreement from 10.5 to 8 percent, Egypt’s industry and trade minister said Thursday.

The QIZ agreement exempts Egyptian exports from customs duties when shipping to the United States, provided that the exports are manufactured with a certain percentage of Israeli parts.

Minister Hatem Saleh said he expects an industrial growth of 5 percent in the coming months, compared to about 4 percent currently.

He added that the growth rate signifies the beginning of a recovery in Egypt’s industrial sector. He noted that exports have recently increased by 16 percent.

Hundreds of Egyptian companies export products to the United States under the QIZ agreement. Export volumes have been running at around US$800 million annually.

Egypt, Israel and the United States signed the QIZ agreement in 2004, which stipulates that the Egyptian exports to the US should contain 11.7 percent Israeli components, a number that was reduced to 10.5 in 2007.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm