US mulls expansion of QIZ arrangement with Egypt

The United States is currently considering an Egyptian request to expand its Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) agreement with Egypt to include additional governorates in southern Egypt, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said this week.

Statistics confirm that Egypt’s annual clothing and apparel exports to the US have doubled within the past five years to reach a current US$800 million. According to Kirk, this figure is expected to rise by some 25 percent in 2011.

Kirk went on to say that 700 Egyptian companies had so far benefited from the agreement, which had led to an increase in Egyptian exports to the US market. The agreement exempts exports from African countries from customs duties, provided the exports in questions are manufactured using a certain percentage of Israeli input.

Israeli exports to Egypt and Jordan–the two signatories of the QIZ agreement–have also doubled, noted Kirk, currently standing at almost US$90 million. The arrangement was expanded in Egypt last year to include the Upper Egyptian governorates of Minya and Beni Sueif.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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