Egypt - U.S. discuss subsidy program, Strategic Dialogue established
Egypt-USA, Economics, 7/16/1998
US - Egyptian discussions for discussing the future of the US subsidies program began today on the basis of converting economic relations into a trade driven relations rather than being based on subsidies that account for $2.1 billion.
The new director of the US subsidy department in Egypt, Richard Brown, announced during his meeting with the members of a US trade group in Egypt that his discussions with Zafer El-Beshri, the Egyptian minister of state for planning and international cooperation, will last for several months on several levels, on the basis that the new program will begin in June 1999.
The head of the US Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, Ahmed Shawki, said that Egypt is currently setting up one of the most important promising markets in the world as a result of economic reforms and positive developments in the Egyptian economy, adding that it has become one of the attractive world economies for foreign investment.
Brown said that the first economic and trade information database will be inaugurated before the end of the current year, which will allow Egyptian businessmen and Egyptian companies to get acquainted with these databases, contributing to encouraging and increasing the Egyptian exports.
Meanwhile, a joint statement following meetings between Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright highlighted the two states' commitment to a "strategic partnership."
The statement, read by US State Department Spokesman James Rubin, said that Egypt and the US plan to "engage more closely through the mechanism of the strategic dialogue, to further promote these shared objectives in the Middle East and to exchange assessments on how best to realize them."
The two sides "established mechanisms to improve bilateral coordination in the field of military cooperation (MCC), and in the field of economic and commercial cooperation through the Gore-Mubarak Partnership for economic growth and development," the statement said.
The "Strategic Dialogue" agreement calls for meetings "at the policy level" between the Egyptian foreign minister and US secretary of state, alternating between Washington and Cairo, dealing with agreed-upon agendas prepared by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and US State Department, and providing for action on the meetings' conclusions.
The aim of the dialogue is to "widen and deepen cooperation on areas where we share the same view and objectives and to resolve potential disagreements where our perspectives differ. It will also extend our cooperation beyond the Middle East," the statement said. The results of the meetings will be reviewed by the Egyptian president and US president and vice-president.
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