Mubarak gives directives to sign partnership agreement with EU on June 26
Egypt-European Union, Politics, 6/22/2001
The Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak yesterday agreed on signing Egypt-European Union agreement in Brussels on June 26.
Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher will sign the agreement on behalf of Egypt with the participation of 15 EU member-states.
President Mubarak reviewed during ministerial meeting the steps made towards signing the agreement.
"The program (reviewed by President Mubarak) mainly depends on modernizing the Egyptian industry, agriculture, tourism and utilities as well as service sectors, such as power, communication, roads, airports, seaports, education and health," he said.
An agreement was reached on a detailed program of modernization that would be followed up every three months.
Once signed the agreement will be submitted to the parliaments of the EUmember-states to be endorsed as well as the People's Assembly (PA) before putting its articles into effect, he added.
Ebeid expected the parliamentary endorsement to take "two years" and all articles to be effected within 16 years by 2018 when the various stages are implemented.
The agreement stipulates deregulating trade and gradually slashing customs on four categories of commodities, including yarn and vehicles, he added.
"Egypt will be capable of modernizing all its institutions under the leadership of President Mubarak to get its fair share in world trade," Ebeid said.
Ebeid termed Egypt-EU differences as "minor" and the letter received by Egypt last week as just a "dialogue and a demonstration of standpoints".
"Egypt is ready to discuss these files in a spirit of partnership and is ready to reach a compromise," he said.
Ebeid was not worried on improving the standard of the Egyptian industry, arguing that in each sector in Egypt there were many firms where production reached or was about to reach the international standards.
"The heads of BMW, nestle, and Wady El-Asmeda visited me in the past two weeks and said their production in Egypt was on a par with their cwin companies worldwide," he noted.
"We implemented plans, provided resources and exerted efforts and all these have to yield in the end," Ebeid said.
The agreement stipulates liberalization of trade and gradual customs cut on four groups of commodities including spinning, clothes and textiles and cars.
Prime Minister Ebeid and ministers of defence, economy, finance, foreign affairs, supply attended the meeting.
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