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Egypt discusses lowering Israel share of US trade agreement

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry, Tarek Kabil [Egypt Forward/YouTube]

Egypt is currently holding negotiations between the different parties of the Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) agreement with the aim of reducing the proportion of the Israeli component in the Egyptian industries, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry, Tarek Kabil, announced yesterday.

Speaking in a meeting with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, Kabil said that "this would contribute to doubling the value of Egypt's exports to the US market."

The QIZ is a trade agreement initiated by the US Congress in 1996 to support the peace process in the Middle East and allow Egypt and Jordan to export products to the United States duty-free as long as they include production inputs from Israel.

QIZ started operating in seven designated industrial locations in Egypt in 2005. The agreement stipulates that the percentage of locally manufactured ingredients should not be less than 35 per cent and contain 10.5 per cent Israeli components.

Read: US pledges $121m in aid to Egypt

In April, Egypt announced talks with the US to reduce the Israeli component to eight per cent as is the case in Jordan.

According to official data, Egyptian exports to the US amounted to about $9 billion between the years 2005 and 2016.

Some 966 companies benefit from the QIZ as it led to an increase in their exports to US market.

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