Egypt

Outlined below a list of the most important quotations from the latest report on the trade policies and practices of Egypt prepared by WTO Secretariat on 26 and 28 July 2005:

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES

Egypt participated actively in the WTO, in particular in the services negotiations and in the information technology and communications area.” the representative of Japan said.

TAX REFORMS AND PRIVATIZATION PROCESS

Since 1999, the economic reforms had opened Egypt’s market. Openness had been flanked by tax reforms and a revitalized privatization process”, the representative of the European Communities said. “Since 1999, Egypt had undertaken notable reforms. Recent steps included tax reform, floating the Egyptian pound, and further privatization steps” the representative of USA said.

INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL LEVEL

Egypt was important in global, regional, and local trade, and was convinced that global market-opening and strengthening of rules were the best way forward” the representative of the European Communities said.

Indonesia appreciated Egypt’s active role in the DDA, in particular in the negotiations of interest to developing countries and LDCs. At the regional level, Egypt had encouraged the African Group countries to pursue their benefits from the multilateral trading system” the representative of Indonesia said.

Egypt was one of the most advanced developing countries in Africa, and played a leading role in the African Union and African Group” the representative of Japan said.

Egypt was seeking to strike a good balance between its multilateral, regional, and bilateral engagements, and it had rarely used trade defence measures” the representative of Turkey said.

Egypt’s progress would have a positive impact on all the Arab countries and on Africa” the representative of Mauritania said.

CUSTOM TARIFF

Hong Kong, China welcomed Egypt’s recent efforts in liberalizing its tariff regime through, inter alia, reducing tariff rates, narrowing the gap between bound and applied rates, lowering the applied rates that exceeded their bound rates, and improving and simplifying its tariff structure” the representative of China said.

Egypt had reduced the number of applied tariffs that exceeded bound rates, cut the number of bands, and increased the number of duty-free lines” the representative of USA said.

Egypt had bound over 98% of its tariff lines, decreased the applied tariff rate, and improved its customs procedures” the representative of Japan said.

Brazil commended Egypt for fully implementing the Customs Valuation Agreement, and its programme to ensure that its standards comply with international norms” the representative of Barazil said.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Switzerland welcomed Egypt’s intellectual property legislation, covering all major areas of the TRIPS Agreement, and the adoption of its first competition law” the representative of Switzerland said.

Turkey was pleased to hear that Egypt’s IPR legislation would be further consolidated” the representative of Turkey said.

MARKET ACCESS

Canada congratulated Egypt for its overall efforts in trade facilitation and in offering improved market access to certain products from LDCs” the representative of Canada said.

Kenya commended Egypt for integrating into the global economy, using multilateral, regional, and bilateral agreements to expand market access; as a result, trade was contributing to its economic recovery” the representative of Kenya said.

LIVING STANDARDS

Colombia highlighted Egypt’s efforts in implementing trade and economic policies towards productive employment, and improved living standards” the representative of Colombia said.