Trade Agreements In Egypt

The agreement also contains provisions for the elimination of other trade and trade-related barriers, including competition rules, state monopolies and subsidies. In addition, the agreement contains provisions relating to intellectual property protection, investment, services, current payments and capital flows, public procurement, economic cooperation and institutional and procedural issues. The agreement establishes a joint committee to oversee the implementation of the agreement and provide for a binding arbitration procedure. The Association Agreement between the EU and Egypt has been in force since 2004. It creates a free trade area between the EU and Egypt by removing tariffs on industrial products and facilitating trade in agricultural products. Meanwhile, the United States negotiated an agreement between Egypt and Israel on the creation of a “qualifying industrial zone” between the two countries, provoking Egyptians and Arab neighbors. In 2009, U.S. and Egyptian officials signed a strategic partnership plan under the Obama administration pledging to pursue “a program to intensify U.S.-Egyptian cooperation on economic, trade and investment issues.” However, no substantial steps have been taken to negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement between the two countries. In November 2010, the EU and Egypt signed a protocol establishing a dispute settlement mechanism for the trade parties of the Association Agreement. Egypt has not yet ratified the protocol. The agreement covers trade in all fish and other seafood [Article 4, point c), and Appendix II].

EFTA states grant duty-free access to imports of all Egyptian fisheries products. With regard to EFTA exports to Egypt, the agreement provides for the reduction of tariffs within the quotas from the time the agreement enters into force. Quotas for certain products will be abolished six years after the agreement comes into force. The parties intend to completely eliminate tariffs on all fish and other seafood within fourteen years of the agreement`s entry into force. In 2004, Egypt signed the Agadir Agreement with Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. This agreement removes all tariffs between them and harmonizes their rules on product standards and customs regulations. Trade in processed agricultural products is a protocol to the main agreement (Article 4, point b), and Protocol A). In addition, trade in agricultural commodities is covered by three bilateral agreements negotiated separately between Iceland (the agricultural agreement between Iceland and Egypt), Norway (an agricultural agreement between Norway and Egypt) and Switzerland/Liechtenstein (an agricultural agreement between Switzerland and Egypt), on the one hand, and Egypt on the other. These agreements, which are part of the instruments for creating the free trade area (Article 4, point d), provide for tariff concessions.

The provisions relating to the protection of intellectual property rights (Article 23 and Appendix V) concern, among other things, patents, trademarks, copyrights and geographical indications. They are based on the WTO agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) and provide a high level of protection, taking into account the principles of the most favoured nation and national treatment.