Egypt and Saudi Arabia are considering the possibility of using local currencies in part of their trade exchange during the coming period, according to the head of the Commercial Representation Authority of the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry Yahya Al-Wathiq Billah, Asharq Business reported.
Billah’s statements came on the sidelines of a visit to Cairo by a Saudi delegation headed by the Minister of Commerce, Majid Abdullah Al-Qasabi, featuring many Saudi businessmen.
He added that, “The Saudi Minister of Commerce submitted a proposal to discuss the possibility of paying part of the trade exchange transactions in local currencies,” and that the proposal will be subject to discussions between the central banks of the two countries.
Billah anticipates that studies for this proposal will be completed by 2024.
Figures from the General Authority for Statistics in Saudi Arabia indicate that trade exchanges between the two countries amounted to $20.4 billion during the past year.
Saudi Arabia has deposits in the Central Bank of Egypt worth $10.3 billion, of which five billion are short-term deposits, and $5.3 billion are medium- and long-term deposits, according to the latest report issued by the Central Bank regarding the external situation of the Egyptian economy.
Bolstering trade exchange with Russia & Turkey
Russian President Vladimir Putin back in May announced at the plenary session of the Eurasian Economic Forum that Russia is in talks on establishing a free zone in Egypt.
A noticeable increase has been recorded in the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Russia, Professor of International Economics, Karim al-Omda, said.
He noted that in 2021, Egypt’s imports from Russia amounted to more than US$3 billion. This percentage witnessed a significant increase in 2022, he added.
By 2021, he noted that Russia was the sixth largest supplier country to Egypt after China, Saudi Arabia, US, Germany and Turkey.
The Chargé d’Affaires of the Turkish Embassy to Egypt, Ambassador Salih Mutlu Şen said that he expects the volume of trade between Egypt and Turkey to reach $20 billion in the next coming years.
He said that the size and proximity of the two countries creates for a very attractive and lucrative investment climate.
This news was announced at an Iftar ceremony organized by the Egyptian-Turkish Businessmen Association, in the presence of a number of Egyptian and Turkish businessmen.
Egypt to join up with BRICS
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly participated in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in Johannesburg, South Africa back in August, a move analysts consider to be hammering the nail in the coffin of the US dollar in Egypt.
The head of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Mohamed al-Orabi, stated earlier that Cairo plans to request joining the BRICS at the current summit of the group and is counting on Russia for support.
Data from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) showed an increase in the value of Egyptian exports to BRICS countries to $4.9 billion in 2022, compared to $4.6 billion in 2021.
The value of Egyptian imports from BRICS countries amounted to $26.4 billion in 2022, compared to $23.6 billion in 2021.
CAPMAS data also showed an increase in the value of trade exchange between Egypt and the BRICS countries, reaching $31.2 billion in 2022, compared to $28.3 billion in 2021, an increase of 10.5 percent.