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Trade agreements excluded from tariff hikes, officials

Saturday 03 December 2016 10:37 PM

minister of finance Amr El Garhy
minister of finance Amr El Garhy

by Mohmed Rihan, Maha Abu Wedn, and Hagar Omran

Goods imported from countries with which Egypt has entered into bilateral or multilateral trade agreements 
will be excluded from tariff increases, said officials in the Egyptian minsitries of Finance and Commerce. 
A presidential Decree hiking tariffs on 5 groups of goods,nearly 370 items,by 50% has already been published 
in the Official Gazzette. A lot of items will, therefore, be subjuct to 60% increases, the maximum tariff increases 
for Egypt to levy on imports. 
Said Abd Allah, head of International Treaties at Ministry of Commerce and Industry,said that Article 24 of Gatt 
Agreement stipulates excluding goods imported from foreign countries from any effective tariff increases, 
in case a trade agreement is already signed with the country imposing the increases. 
Several countries, including Indonisia, South Korea, Singpore, and China, signed with Egypt trade agreements, with 
China, alone, exporting to Egypt USD4bn annually, he added.
The volume of goods traded with such countries amounts to 70% of total Egyptian trading with the world, meaning that 
the remaining 30% of goods will only be subject to increases imposed by Egypt on tariffs, he continued.
on the other hand, Reinhold Brender, head of the European Union delegation to Egypt, refused to comment 
on the presidential decree, citing the importance of holding a meeting with the Egyptian officials to discuss the 
tariff increases.