Moscow and Cairo will switch to mutual settlements in rubles and Egyptian pounds, Russian Trade Minister Denis Manturov said on Thursday.
“It is necessary to make active use of the ruble-pound pair for mutual settlements. The volume of trade between Russia and Egypt makes it possible. We believe that our Egyptian colleagues are in close cooperation with Russia at the level of central banks, ministries and businesses. I am sure that, just like with other friendly countries with which we have mutual trade and use our own currencies [China, India, the United Arab Emirates], we will also use this format of interaction with Egypt”, Manturov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
The minister noted that Russia and Egypt have agreed on the modernisation of a duty-free zone provision deal in Port Said, which will give an even greater impetus to the economies of the two countries.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Trade and Industry Minister Nevin Gamea told Sputnik on Thursday that Cairo would retain trade ties with Moscow despite persisting challenges.
“We have strategic plans despite challenges stemming from the ongoing crisis… Maritime and air cargo sectors are the most affected but we are working to fix them,” she said on the sidelines of the SPIEF.
Gamea said the two countries enjoyed a history of official and business-to-business ties. Egypt identified several sector where these ties would be deepened, including free trade talks with the Eurasian Economic Union.
The Egyptian minister said trade was at $4.7 billion in 2021, up 5.1% from the previous year. Egypt’s exports to Russia amounted to $591.7 million and imports to $4.2 billion, rising respectively 14.7% and 3.9%.
In 2018, Russia and Egypt agreed to establish a Russian Industrial Zone in East Port Said. At the moment, the construction of production facilities in the zone is underway.
The 25th SPIEF was declared open on Wednesday and will run through Saturday. The forum is a leading global platform for members of the business community to discuss key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets, and the world as a whole. Sputnik is the official media partner of the event.