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17 Oct, 2018 15:03

Putin discusses free-trade zone with Sisi as Russia’s trade with Egypt surges 62%

Putin discusses free-trade zone with Sisi as Russia’s trade with Egypt surges 62%

Economic ties between Russia and Egypt are developing successfully, according to President Vladimir Putin. He met with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fatah el-Sisi in Sochi on Wednesday.

The Russian president noted sharp 62-percent growth in trade turnover between the countries, adding that “in the first six months of this year the volume of trade increased 28 percent.”  Putin attributed this to diversification of bilateral ties, which include “agriculture, industry, equipment and vehicles.”

The president also mentioned “a large contract worth €1 billion to supply passenger cars to Egypt together with Hungarian partners.”

He said Moscow supports the idea of creating a free-trade zone between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which would “open up additional opportunities for expanding economic cooperation and trade turnover.”

Putin and Sisi discussed the construction of Russia’s industrial zone in the Suez Canal area. According to Putin, around $7 billion worth of investments will be attracted to the zone.

The decision to build a Russian industrial zone in Egypt was agreed in 2014. The industrial park will have a friendlier tax regime for resident Russian firms. It is expected to provide tens of thousands of jobs, and the companies expect revenues to reach more than $11 billion. The tax rate for businesses in the project and personal income tax will be 10 percent. Sales tax will be abolished.

Four years ago, Cairo announced the modernization of the Suez Canal, which is one of the world’s major transportation routes. The new Suez Canal will include a vast range of services, as well as several industrial parks, including Russian, Chinese and Italian areas.

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