Dr. Ali Al-Moselhy, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Franck REISTER, met the French Minister of Foreign Trade, during his visit to France, accompanied by Dr. Ibrahim Ashmawy, First Assistant Minister of Supply and Head of the Internal Trade Development Authority, in the presence of Alaa Youssef, the Egyptian ambassador to France.
At the beginning of their talks, the French minister welcomed Dr. Ali Al-Moselhi, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, pointing to the strong relations between Egypt and France, and the French side’s commitment to President Macron’s instructions to strengthen them in all fields, pointing out that the relationship of trust between the two political leaderships enriches this cooperation and gives it strength. The required payment, and it opens new horizons that the two sides should invest to achieve their common interests. He also stressed the vital role played by Egypt to ensure the stability of the region, pointing in particular to the success of its efforts to calm down in Gaza.
The Minister of Supply and Internal Trade expressed his happiness with the distinguished bilateral relations between Egypt and France, the most prominent features of which were the mutual visits at the presidential level, starting with President Macron’s visit to Egypt in 2019 and ending with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s visits to Paris in December 2020 and May 2021, pointing out that This momentum resulted in the signing of the agreement to contribute to the implementation of priority projects in Egypt within the framework of the comprehensive financing package, which in its civil part alone amounted to about 3.8 billion euros, in addition to the development projects that were carried out with French support over the past years, which represented stories of Success, which Egypt highly values.
Al-Moselhi reviewed the nature of the market in Egypt, which includes more than 100 million consumers, which requires the state to organize internal trade in an efficient manner to ensure that products and goods reach consumers, pointing out that the project to establish a wholesale market in the Burj Al Arab region is funded by 100 million euros from the French Development Agency. It comes in line with these efforts, and that this project represents the beginning in light of the studies showing Egypt’s need for 7 similar projects, in addition to other market projects dedicated to specific commodities.
Al-Moselhi explained that the French Development Agency is expected to complete the process of selecting the expert who will prepare an economic feasibility study for the wholesale market project in Burj Al Arab, in order to start later on forming the Egyptian-French joint company that will manage the wholesale markets in Egypt. Major French companies will contribute to the creation of infrastructure and control systems at the highest international level, in addition to the qualification this allows for human cadres and raising their capabilities.
The French Minister expressed his satisfaction with the success of this model of cooperation that contributes to the regularity of food supply chains, stressing the need to strengthen the production process in parallel with investment in the logistical infrastructure, noting in this regard the role of important studies carried out by the French Development Agency, as well as the The expertise provided by major French companies such as Semmaris and Carrefour that can contribute to the creation of efficient supply chains, reiterated his commitment to intervene to remove any obstacles.
Al-Moselhi addressed the role of the Ministry of Supply in securing the strategic reserve of basic commodities, especially wheat, noting that Egypt – as the largest importer of wheat in the world – is working to diversify its sources of imports from French wheat by adjusting specifications, allowing a humidity of 13.5%, which is what It represents an opportunity for the French exporter. He added that the current obstacle is the high freight prices compared to shipping wheat through the Black Sea, proposing finding a long-term agreement with companies to reduce expenses not related to the price of wheat, and involving the Egyptian National Shipping Company.
The French minister also mentioned that the current year is distinguished for wheat production in France, and that he met with a number of wheat producers who all expressed their aspiration to increase the volume of their exports to Egypt, especially with the amendment of the Egyptian specifications for French wheat, and stressed that the cooperation relationship with Egypt goes beyond being a commercial transaction relationship. Rather, it amounts to a “partnership” relationship. He stressed in this regard that the French government reciprocates on this partnership and is committed to strengthening it, noting in this regard that one of the mechanisms to achieve this is to facilitate the work of the French Grain Group by amending its legal status in Egypt to become a sales office in line with Egyptian controls.
The French minister added that, for his part, he will discuss the problem of freight rates to consider the available alternatives within the framework of his keenness to regulate the grain export market in general, explaining that the wheat export file to Egypt will represent a guiding model that can be measured to identify the price setting process, which was also recently affected by the pandemic conditions. Health (Coronavirus).
At the conclusion of the joint talks, Al-Moselhi confirmed that upon his return to Cairo, he would address the issue of the legal status of the French group of grains, and that the government would not put administrative obstacles in this regard. He also invited the French minister to visit Egypt at the earliest opportunity, provided that the dates would be determined through diplomatic channels.