Southern Common Market and Egypt's Bilateral Relations with Mercosur

Southern Common Market and Egypt's Bilateral Relations with Mercosur

Reviewed by: Wafaa El-houseiny

Translated by: Nour Elhoda Abdel Ghaffar

Southern Common Market and Egypt's Bilateral Relations with Mercosur

In recent years, Egypt has been able to conclude a joint agreement between it and the countries of the Southern Common Market Union (Mercosur), one of the most important economic blocs in Latin America, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) allows preferential privileges for Egyptian exports to enter Latin American markets and reduces the cost of imports from Latin American countries such as sugar, meat, and soy oil.

The agreement aims to reduce customs duties by more than 90% between Egypt and Mercosur countries and to eliminate customs duties on agricultural goods. The agreement includes several promising areas of cooperation between Egypt and Mercosur countries in various goods and services, including trade in meat, dairy, sugar, fodder, paper, and wood. It opens the way for the establishment of joint projects in the fields of food processing and juices, as well as cooperation in the fields of manufacturing cars, electrical appliances, and engines.

That is not all; the agreement also works to expand mutual knowledge of trade and investment opportunities for both parties. The contracting parties work to increase trade development activities such as discussion panels, trade missions, exhibitions, seminars, and markets.

The Contracting Parties shall promote the development of joint activities aimed at implementing cooperation projects in the agricultural and industrial fields, among others, through the exchange of information, training programs, and technical missions.

Egyptian political relations with Latin countries are friendly and deep. They extend to about six decades; to a period whose roots extend to the era of the late leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Perhaps the Southern Free Trade Agreement with the Mercosur countries since 2010 and until now, is the most prominent manifestation of these relations at the level of trade, cultural and economic cooperation.