Belarus invited to take part in Egypt's offshore oil and gas projects
Egypt invites Belarusian companies to take part in the implementation of big oil and gas projects in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, Speaker of the Egyptian parliament Ali Abdel Aal said at the meeting with Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich on 14 October. The talks took place on the sidelines of the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in St Petersburg, BelTA has learned.
According to Ali Abdel Aal, the two countries have been steadily developing relations. The visit of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko to Cairo added a considerable impetus to their development. A big number of agreements in military, agricultural and other sectors were signed during the visit.
“We hope Belarusian companies will take part in the implementation of various projects in Egypt. We have big oil and gas projects in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. There are also big projects in the east of the Suez Canal,” said the chairman of the Egyptian parliament. Belarus could also take part in the implementation of the new capital of Egypt project. “We are interested in joint cooperation in the implementation of the whole cycle of projects related to agriculture, including the construction of elevators and plants to produce, process and pack agricultural products,” Ali Abdel Aal said.
Another promising cooperation area is investments that Belarusian companies and businessmen inject in the economy of Egypt. “Last year the House of Representatives approved a so-called law on investments that envisages preferences to foreign investors. The law contains articles to guarantee the protection of foreign investment and also articles allowing foreign companies export their profit from Egypt to their countries,” the speaker said.
He said that the Egyptian side is taking steps to reduce import duties on products of foreign manufacturers on the Egyptian market. “We, in turn, hope for the support of the Belarusian Parliament with regard to the signing of the agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union. Once the agreement between the EAEU and Egypt is ratified, all the goods that will be imported into Egypt by the EAEU member states will enjoy preferences,” the Chairman of the Parliament said.
Mikhail Myasnikovich assured the Chairman of the Parliament that Belarus attaches great importance to developing friendly relations with Egypt. He stressed the importance of opening an Egyptian embassy in Minsk as this would create corresponding diplomatic infrastructure for boosting cooperation. “We see good prospects in investment cooperation. Your ministers and a number of companies have repeatedly been to Belarus, particularly to discuss the projects involving water supply and sewerage. This is one of the important areas of our interaction,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.
He asked the Egyptian colleague to provide legislative assistance in addressing the issue regarding the participation of Belarusian companies in Egyptian tenders for supply of goods for public use. Mikhail Myasnikovich emphasized that the Egyptian legislation protects domestic producers through high import duties and non-tariff regulation. “This creates certain difficulties in mutual trade. It would be great if Parliament considered this issue in the light of our long-term projects. Maybe it makes sense to introduce a particular preferential treatment regime in part of deliveries for public use. We are ready to consider it on the basis of reciprocity,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.
(Source: Belarusian Telegraph Agency BelTA)