The Office of the United States Trade Representative

U.S. and Egypt Agree on Measures to Strengthen Bilateral Economic Cooperation
Contact: Amy Stilwell (202) 395-3230 04/03/2001

United States Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick and Yousef Boutros Ghali, Egypt's Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, agreed today on measures the U.S. and Egyptian governments will take to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation. The two trade officials agreed to a paper outlining steps the two sides will take to establish the basis for a free trade and investment framework. The initiative was undertaken in conjunction with the U.S. visit of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

"Egypt is one of the most important partners of the United States," noted Ambassador Zoellick. "We are committed to assisting in its economic development. I am pleased that our two governments will be working together to speed Egyptian economic reforms. These reforms will make it easier for our companies to do business together. We have a valuable tool for expanding economic cooperation in the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement which the United States and Egypt signed in 1999."

"Closer economic ties are in the interests of both our countries," observed Minister Boutros Ghali. "Egypt has made great strides in modernizing and liberalizing its economy and offers U.S. businessmen the biggest market and investment platform in the Middle East. Increased U.S. trade and investment will help reinforce our ongoing economic reform efforts," noted the Minister.

Ambassador Zoellick and Minister Boutros Ghali also agreed on the importance of expanding cooperation between the United States and Egypt in the World Trade Organization (WTO). "Egypt and the United States can play a vital role in helping to build consensus between developed and developing countries in the WTO," said Minister Boutros Ghali.

The United States is Egypt's second largest trading partner. Trade between the two countries totaled $4.2 billion in 2000.

Read the Joint U.S.-Egypt Paper on Economics.