Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Ihor Zhovkva paid a visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt heading a delegation that included representatives of a number of Ukrainian ministries and departments.
During the visit, he held talks with Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs of Egypt Badr Abdel Aati. The interlocutors coordinated the list of top-priority tasks of the bilateral agenda, as well as discussed regional issues and promising areas of cooperation within international organizations.
Particular attention was paid to the implementation of the agreements reached during a phone conversation between President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, which took place on July 24 this year. The parties stressed that friendly personal contacts between the heads of the two states are a solid basis for further mutually beneficial cooperation between Ukraine and Egypt.
In Cairo, the Deputy Head of the Office of the President also held talks with Minister of Public Enterprise Sector Hisham Tawfik, Minister of Industry, Trade and Small Industries Nevine Gamea and Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
During the meetings, the parties exchanged views on the ways to optimize existing and create new effective tools for trade, economic and investment cooperation between the two countries. Agreements have been reached to hold the next, eighth meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation in 2021 in Cairo.
"Ukraine and Egypt are united by the common task of further increasing the volume of bilateral trade, which in 2019 amounted to a record 2.6 billion US dollars, and in the first nine months of this year - almost 1.3 billion US dollars. To this end, today we have reached an important agreement to start negotiations on concluding an agreement on the provision of preferential terms of access to the parties' markets (Preferential Trade Agreement)," Ihor Zhovkva said during a meeting with the Egyptian delegation of the Ministry of of Industry, Trade and Small Industries.
The Egyptian side praised the activities of Ukrainian companies implementing ambitious projects in Egypt, especially in the transport and industrial spheres. During the meetings, the common interest in further expanding such cooperation was noted.
The parties emphasized the potential for the development of cooperation in the tourism industry. The Deputy Head of the Office of the President stressed: “Ukrainian tourists became the first guests of Egyptian resorts after Egypt resumed international air services in July 2020. In total, in 2019, Egypt was visited by almost 1.5 million tourists from Ukraine”.
In addition, Ihor Zhovkva visited the Egyptian Space Agency and met with its CEO Mohamed ElKoosy and leading Egyptian experts in space research, many of whom were interns or studied in Ukraine.
As a result of the meeting, the parties confirmed their joint commitment to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Space Agency of Ukraine and the Egyptian Space Agency in the near future. Such a document will be a good basis for the implementation of joint projects of the two countries in the field of space and peaceful use of outer space.
The Deputy Head of the Office of the President discussed separately with Egyptian officials the issue of Ukrainian citizen Edward Chikosh, a Ukrainian citizen imprisoned in Egypt, and the modalities of his return to Ukraine. Ihor Zhovkva personally visited Edward Chikosh at the Qanatir Prison in the suburbs of Cairo.