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4 Sep 2019

Egypt curious about Belarusian experience of building health resorts

Egypt curious about Belarusian experience of building health resorts

MINSK, 4 September (BelTA) – Minsk Oblast and Egypt’s South Sinai Governorate are developing a roadmap and a timeline to implement the memorandum of mutual understanding for 2019-2022. Certain provisions of the roadmap were discussed at a meeting between Minsk Oblast Vice Governor Nikolai Rogashchuk and Counselor to South Sinai Governor Walid El Sebai in the Minsk Oblast Executive Committee on 4 September, BelTA has learned.

In 2016, Minsk Oblast and South Sinai Governorate signed the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in trade, economic, social and cultural matters and developed a cooperation roadmap for 2017-2018. At present, the regions are working to design a new document for 2019-2022. Plans are in place to sign the roadmap during a visit of South Sinai Governor Khaled Fouda Sedike and a delegation of the city of  Sharm El Sheikh to Minsk Oblast in 2019.

The roadmap will include activities that have not been completed in line with the previous document. For example, setting up education and training camps for teams and athletes from Minsk Oblast using sports facilities of South Sinai, launching programs to exchange experience between Belarusian and Egyptian medics in various fields (in particular, establishing cooperation between the Molodechno Central District Hospital and the Sharm El Sheikh International Hospital).

“The guests from Egypt were fascinated by Belarusian nature and also expressed interest in tourism. They are willing to study Belarusian health resorts to build similar ones in Egypt. They have experience of building hotels, but lack expertise on medical equipment and treatment. We will also discuss helping our Egyptian partners with this matter,” Nikolai Rogashchuk noted.

The parties also considered supplying goods produced in Minsk Oblast. “We believe that Belarusian products will be in demand in Egypt. We may supply any food products but pork. The Egyptian partners also take interest in furniture and our woodworking industry. We will negotiate supplying our products to Egypt,” Nikolai Rogashchuk added.

The industry of South Sinai is developing rapidly and the region is setting up free economic zones. Egypt is interested in Minsk Oblast experience of secondary professional and vocational education and training qualified personnel for the industry.

In turn, Walid El Sebai expressed hope that the current visit will facilitate further development of cooperation between the regions. “Cooperation with Minsk Oblast is very promising,” he said. “We plan to arrange exhibitions in Belarus and in Egypt to advertise products of the two countries. We were also very impressed with Belarusian nature. In my opinion, Belarus can become one of the leading countries in tourism, because it has great opportunities for hunting tourism which enjoys great popularity now,” Walid El Sebai noted.

In January-July 2019, the trade between Belarus and Egypt totaled $3 million, export came at $940,000, and import amounted to $2.1 million, resulting in trade deficit for Belarus.

At the same time, foreign trade between Minsk Oblast and Egypt in 2018 equaled $5.2 million (up 98.9%). Nine enterprises of Minsk Oblast export their products to Egypt: OAO Belarusian Potash Company, the Belarusian automobile engineering company BelAZ, Foreign Production Private Unitary Enterprise Printcorp of Gilbert Lindsay, and others. In 2018, Belarus imported drugs packed for retail trade, citruses, frozen nuts, fresh and dried grapes, extracts, essences, and concentrates of coffee, tea, mate, and coffee substitutes.

Services export of Minsk Oblast to Egypt totaled $178,600, import - $7,500. Transport services of Belarusian companies enjoyed the greatest demand. For example, the Belarusian Potash Company had potash fertilizers transported to Egypt. OOO SimpleTravel, the health resorts Krinitsa and Yunost exported tourist services, the Minsk Oblast Clinical Hospital – medical services. In January-June 2019, Minsk Oblast services export to Egypt amounted to $96,800, import – to $1,800.

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