Ahmed Samir, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, on the sidelines of presiding over the 43rd Ministerial Council meeting of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in the Zambian capital Lusaka, held a series of intensive meetings with a number of officials and ministers of the member states of the assembly.
The Egyptian minister's meetings included a meeting with Vice President of Zambia Mutale Nalumango, and Secretary General of COMESA Chileshe Kapwepwe.
Other meetings included ones with Chebuka Mulenga, Zambian Minister of Trade and Industry, Musa Kyari, Kenyan Minister of Trade, and Chantal Negber, Minister of Trade and Industry, Burundian Transport and Tourism, and Mark Katsonga Phiri, Malawian Minister of Trade.
The Egyptian minister said that the meeting with Nalumango dealt with Egypt's interest in supporting economic cooperation with the Zambian side, and Egypt's keenness to encourage trade relations between the two countries in light of the advantages offered by the COMESA agreement.
He pointed out that Egypt and Zambia enjoy distinguished relations based on the desire of both parties to develop joint relations in various fields, especially trade and investment relations.
On her part, Nalumango affirmed the Zambian side's keenness to enhance cooperation with Egypt as it is an important partner for Zambia within the framework of the COMESA agreement, as well as Egypt's efforts during its current presidency of the assembly to support regional integration and its full readiness to cooperate with the Egyptian government to deepen economic cooperation between the two countries. .
The Egyptian minister stated that the meeting with Secretary General of the COMESA reviewed Egypt's interest during its presidency of the COMESA in regional economic integration and encouraged the General Secretariat to carry out its role effectively, noting that Egypt, during its current presidency of the COMESA, launched a number of initiatives.
The initiatives include industrial integration initiative to form a committee of health ministers in the assembly, which held its first meeting during the month of June 2022, in addition to organizing a workshop to share Egyptian experiences with the Zambian side in the field of industrial complex management, as well as the meeting of central bank governors in member states COMESA.
Kabuebwe praised the active role that Egypt is currently playing during its presidency of the assembly, as it is considered one of the leading countries within the assembly with regard to achieving the goals and agenda of economic integration at the regional level as well as the continental level and at the level of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The Egyptian Minister also stressed Egyptian state's keenness to develop relations of joint economic cooperation and increase intra-trade rates between Egypt and Zambia in various commodity sectors, especially the sectors that Egypt enjoys with competitive advantages and acceptance within the Zambian market in particular. Engineering industries, medical and pharmaceutical industries, food industry, chemicals, fertilizers and building materials.
Samir hinted at Egypt's keenness to encourage Egyptian companies to develop trade exchange with Zambia and work to overcome all obstacles facing the intra-trade movement between the two countries and take advantage of the advantages offered by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The minister pointed to the Egyptian investments in the Zambia market, especially in the sectors of engineering, electricity, energy, communications, medical services and food industries, pointing to Egypt's keenness to benefit from the ingredients available in the two countries to enhance joint cooperation, especially since Zambia has natural ingredients and resources that can be used to deepen the industry.
Samir noted Egypt's keenness to cooperate with Zambia during its presidency of the COMESA assembly and work on joint coordination on various negotiating positions, praising the important role played by the Zambian government in developing regional economic integration, especially since Zambia is the headquarters of the COMESA General Secretariat.
Mulenga pointed to Zambia's desire to strengthen trade cooperation with Egypt, especially since Egyptian products enjoy a good reputation in the Zambian market, and there are a number of Zambian products that can be used as production inputs in the Egyptian industry, such as copper, manganese and tanning products.
He pointed out the importance of the Egyptian government encouraging Egyptian companies to invest in the Zambian market and to benefit from the investment incentives and advantages offered by Zambia to foreign investors.