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Romania vows to help Egypt in coming phase
Published in Daily News Egypt on 19 - 06 - 2011

CAIRO: In post-revolution Egypt, Chairman of the Egyptian-Romanian Business Council Hassan El-Shafei announced that by 2015, the council plans to reach $600 million in bilateral economic exchange while increasing yearly mutual investments to $10 million.
He added that as Romania would assist Egypt with its research, educational or industrial aptitude, Egypt would in turn offer its insight on growing African markets such as Tunisia and Ethiopia.
At a meeting with an Egyptian delegation, which included members of the Egypt-Romania Business Council and the Egyptian Businessmen's Association (EBA), Teodor Baconschi, Romanian foreign minister, vowed that Romania would support Egypt in a new chapter of democratic and economic development.
Baconschi said that Romanian companies could take part in the development of certain sectors, which are vital for the growth of the Egyptian market.
Shaimaa Said, international relations manager at EBA, who was also part of the delegation, told Daily News Egypt that the Romanian foreign minister reaffirmed the country's commitment to Egypt.
After the Egypt's January 25 revolution, which forced Hosni Mubarak's regime out of power and put many of his close business associates under investigation, Baconschi added the only thing that would change in the upcoming period would be contacts.
“Between Romania and Egypt, there is a traditional relation, we know each other, trust one another, the only thing we have to do is to make up the list of contacts again and start working,” he said, according to a statement by Romanian news agency, Act Media.
While contributing to Egypt's railways, gas, IT, or agricultural sectors with advice from their expertise, Romania would help with the overall enhancing of the economy during this transition.
The foreign minister added that there would be a new “economic context” that would pave the way for several possibilities of economic cooperation between the two nations.
“Egypt plays a very important role in the developments unfolding in the Middle East and we share converging views about all these matters,” said Baconschi.
According to the statement, Nabil El-Araby, Egypt's foreign minister, talked about Romania's history and its past experience in a similar situation after the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu's communist regime in 1989.
“When looking at Romania's experience, we realize that we need your advice because you were successful in the tasks you set yourselves then,” said El-Araby.
In 2010, bilateral trade was at $277 million, which is about LE 1.6 billion.
Baconschi, however, pointed out that this is a number “too humble” for the potential prospects that the two countries could share.
Egypt exports a wide array of products to Romania including railway parts, plastics, man made fibers, ceramic products, and textiles.
In 2010, the total worth of Egypt's exports to Romania amounted to LE 495 million.
Currently, Romania has two consulates in Egypt, one located in the country's capital and another in the coastal city of Alexandria.
Another meeting that will discuss economic, scientific and technical collaboration between Egypt and Romania is set to take place later this year.

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