Govt sources anticipate free trade zone with Sudan and UAE

Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri will soon announce the establishment of a free trade zone between Egypt, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, senior government sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The project objective is to facilitate the trade of agricultural products and meat, generally increase the volume of trade between the countries and improve food security.

The same sources said the free trade zone is expected to link the Toshka and Sharq al-Owainat areas of Egypt and the Halayeb and Shalateen regions, which are disputed between Egypt and Sudan. Ports overlooking the Red Sea and close to the projects in these areas will be used in the import and export process.

Agriculture Minister Mohamed Reda Ismail held a meeting on Thursday with Emirati investors to tackle problems related to their agricultural investments, particularly in Toshka and Sharq al-Owainat.

In a telephone conversation with Al-Masry Al-Youm, the minister said he would tell the Emiratis that the Egyptian government has helped investors since the 25 January revolution.

He added that it has already been agreed upon that Emirati company Zahira would begin reclaiming 20,000 feddans in Toshka in preparation for beginning cultivation in September. Half of the land allocated to Zahira will be used to grow wheat.

He said that 106,000 feddans will be available for Egyptian and Arab companies to cultivate.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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