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Russia, Egypt agree on free trade zone, NPP construction

February 10, 2015, 16:54 UTC+3 CAIRO
The parties also agreed on developing energy and civilian nuclear power cooperation
1 pages in this article
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

© Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian presidential press service/TASS

CAIRO, February 10. /TASS/. Russia and Egypt have agreed on establishing a free trade zone and Russia’s industrial zone in the Suez Canal area, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said on Tuesday after talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

According to the Egyptian leader, Russia and Egypt will go ahead with military-technological cooperation under the current circumstances.

The parties also agreed on developing energy and civilian nuclear power cooperation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said a nuclear power deal signed by Russia and Egypt means establishing a new nuclear power industry in the North African country.

"We discussed today the possibility of cooperation in nuclear power engineering," Putin said, following the results of his visit to Egypt.

"If final decisions are made, they will relate not only to the construction of a nuclear power plant but also to the creation of a whole new nuclear power industry in Egypt," Putin said.

Russia’s Rosatom signs deal with Egypt on nuclear power plant project

Russia’s state-owned civilian nuclear power corporation Rosatom signed an agreement on Tuesday on developing a project for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Egypt.

The agreement was signed by Rosatom head Sergey Kiriyenko and Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker.

The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich earlier said Rosatom was ready to participate in Egypt’s project to build a nuclear power plant in El-Dabaa in the country’s north.

Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said Russia may grant Egypt a loan for the construction of a nuclear power plant.

"I can give the well-known example of the construction of a nuclear power plant in Finland, which is beginning and will be financed, as is known, from the National Welfare Fund," the minister said.

"If the project is qualitative, then possibilities exist for its financing," Ulyukayev said.

The Russian minister said, however, the allocation of funds for the Egypt NPP project from the National Welfare Fund should be examined separately.

"So far, no one has raised the issue of financing from the National Welfare Fund. When this issue was raised relative to the nuclear power plant in Finland, a positive decision was made," Ulyukayev said.

Russia-Egypt investment cooperation

Russian Economy Minister Alexey Ulyukayev and Egyptian Investment Minister Ashraf Salman signed a memorandum of mutual understanding on investment attraction and participation in the construction of facilities in Egypt.

Russian Direct Investment Fund Head Kirill Dmitriyev and Egyptian Investment Minister Ashraf Salman signed a memorandum of understanding on developing investment cooperation.

Under the agreement, the Russian Direct Investment Fund will support the Egyptian Investment Ministry at all the stages of creating Egypt’s investment fund. Russia and Egypt will jointly work on the fund’s establishment, its governance structure, investment strategy and the implementation of the co-investment model.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund will also help attract other international investors to the fund’s work, using its own experience of creating country partnerships with the world’s leading sovereign funds.

"Egypt is a country with large investment potential in a whole number of sectors and one of Russia’s key economic partners in the Middle East," Dmitriyev said.

"I’m confident that the structure that will be established will become an effective instrument for attracting investment to the republic and will contribute to closer investment cooperation between our countries," he said.

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