For the second time since it was signed, the Egyptian government is looking to amend its Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) agreement with Israel.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry in Cairo said Saturday it was seeking to reduce Egypt's
dependence on exporting goods manufactured in Israel.
According to the agreement, when Egypt exports products to the United States it receives duty free access if 10.5% of the components are produced in Israel. Now the Egyptians want to lower the required value of Israeli components to just 8.5%.
Israel, Egypt and the US signed the Qualifying Industrial Zones agreement in 2004. At first, the value of Israeli content required in QIZ-made goods made that receive duty free treatment when shipped to the US was set at 11.7%. In 2007, the agreement was amended for the first time and the number was lowered to 10.5%.
Since the pact was signed, hundreds of Egyptian companies have been exporting goods to the US for a total value of some $800 million a year.
Egyptian Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Hatem Saleh said Saturday that he expected Egyptian industry to grow by 5% in the coming month, compared to the current estimate standing at 4%.
He noted that Egyptian exports had increased by 16% recently, adding that the rising growth rate showed that the country's industrial sector was recovering.