US emergency plan seeks to encourage Egypt’s economic recovery

The US has approved an emergency action plan for supporting Egypt’s economy over the next six months, Egypt’s Industry Minister Mahmoud Issa has revealed.

The plan aims at increasing trade between Egypt and the US, doubling US investments in Egypt and supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises, the minister said, adding that a delegation from the US Trade Representative Office will visit Cairo within the coming two weeks to discuss the timetable for the implementation of the new plan.

Issa described the US move as “positive.” According to the minister, the plan involves putting together a conference encouraging investments in Egypt and inviting US investors to capitalize on incentives provided by the Egyptian government.

The plan also has the objective of increasing Egyptian exports according to the Generalized System of Preference (GSP), a US program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories, which was instituted on 1 January 1976, by the Trade Act of 1974.

The plan also seeks to add new areas to the Qualifying Industrial Zones agreement, as well as increasing Egyptian agricultural exports to the US

Meanwhile, Ambassador Ron Kirk, head of the US Trade Representative Office, stressed that the US is anxious to assist Egypt in its transition to democracy. He said Egypt is a major trade partner and that the US desires to continue consultations with Egyptian officials in order to agree on a full action plan to support Egypt’s economy both in the short and long terms.

Relations between the two nations have been tense after Egyptian security forces and prosecutors raided the offices of 17 NGOs, including the US-based National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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