Egypt and Portugal
Sunday، 27 November 2016 - 12:00 AM
Egypt and Portugal enjoy excellent relations on different levels as well as a convergence of views on regional and international issues in general, taking into consideration that both countries are active Parties in the Barcelona Process, Union for the Mediterranean, the African European Dialogue and the Mediterranean Forum.
In addition, both countries share a deep interest in attaining stability and security in the world in general and in the Mediterranean region in particular.
Alliance between Egypt and Portugal is very important in all fields to benefit from the location of each country.
The Portuguese foreign policy heeds special attention to the Lisbon Countries. Thus, for Egypt Portugal is considered a gateway for cooperation with these countries, where it has special ties with such countries at various levels. It is noteworthy that Lisbon hosts the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Organization of Portuguese-speaking countries.
The organization was established in 1996 to promote disseminating of the Portuguese language and strengthening cooperation between Member States in political, economic and cultural fields. The organization includes Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, East Timor, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritius and Senegal in the capacity of an observer.
Lately, the momentum of the exchanged visits among officials in both countries has witnessed a boost coping with the developments in the international, regional and bilateral fields. On top of those mutual bilateral visits were:
From the Egyptian Side:
On 21-22/11/2016, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi arrived Portugal on a three-day official visit. Sisi met Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the president of the Assembly of the Republic, the prime minister and the mayor of Lisbon, along with representatives of a number of scientific and academic institutions and businessmen. The talks tackled important issues such as means of promoting joint political and diplomatic ties and boosting cooperation in the fields of economy, scientific research and defense. The two sides also discussed regional and international issues of common interest including conditions in the Middle East region and combating terrorism.
In December 2007, the second visit of former President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak to Portugal during which he participated in the EU-Africa Summit.
In December 2007, the visit of Minister of Transport to participate in the meetings of the Euro Mediterranean Ministers of Transport.
In November 2007, the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs in which he participated in the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Barcelona Process.
In October 2007, the visit of Minister of Trade and Industry to participate in the meetings of Euro Mediterranean Ministers of Trade.
In July 2007, the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs during which he held meetings with the President, the Speaker of the Portuguese Parliament, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Jorge Sampaio, former President in his capacity as the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.
From the Portuguese Side:
On 13/6/2016, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met visiting Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva. During the meeting, Silva handed over Sisi a message from his Portuguese counterpart inviting him to pay an official visit to the southern European country.
On 4/4/2016, Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs Hossam Zaki held talks in Cairo with Director-General for Foreign Policy in the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Francisco Duarte Lopes. The meeting was also attended by Portuguese Ambassador to Egypt Magdalena Fischer. The talks tackled means of fostering bilateral relations as well as preparations for Portuguese foreign minister's visit to Cairo to be held soon.
On 3/4/2016, Al Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El Tayyeb met the Portuguese assistant foreign minister for political affairs along with Portuguese Ambassador to Egypt Magdalena Fischer. During the meeting, Tayyeb underscored the key role of embassies in building bridges through a constructive dialogue between the eastern and western civilizations.
In November 2012, Former Portuguese Foreign Minister Paulo Portas - who succeeded Amado - visited Cairo to participate in the Euro-Arab dialogue meeting in the Arab League headquarter.
On 10/5/2011, Former Portuguese Foreign Minister Luís Amado visited Egypt, where he met former Foreign Minister Nabil El-araby.
In July 2009, the visit of Secretary of State for European Affairs to participate in the 15th of the Non Aligned Movement.
In April 2009, The visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In March 2009, the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs to participate in the International Conference in Support for the Palestinian Economy and Reconstruction of Gaza.
In December 2007, the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to participate in the Ministerial Preparatory Meeting for the Second African Summit.
In August 2006, the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In April 2006, the visit of the Secretary of State for External Affairs and Cooperation to participate in the meeting of the Mediterranean Forum.
In November 2004, the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs to participate in the funeral of the former President of Palestine Yasser Arafat.
In 1994, the official visit of the former President was followed by a private visit in 1995.
In 1994, the visit of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
There are number of important economic issues under negotiation between the two countries including the establishment of a joint Egyptian-Portuguese business council. Egypt could export its products to Mercosur country through Portugal, which is the main trading partner to its member states, the minister said. Egypt could also be an export hub for Portugal.
Trade exchange between Egypt and Portugal rose by 16 per cent in 2015 to hit 194 million euros against 167 million euros in 2014, according to a report by the Egyptian Commercial Service Office.
Egyptian exports rose in 2015 to 91 million euros against 87 million euros in 2014. Egypt's exports to Portugal cover leather, cotton and plastic products.
Egypt's imports from Portugal rose to 103 million euros in 2015 against 80 million euros in 2014. Egypt's imports include paper, petroleum, electronic and nuclear equipment and salt.
Egyptian investments in Portugal are estimated at 40 million euros covering the fields of information technology and communications, renewable energy, ready-to-wear clothes and constructions.
The volume of Portugal's investments in Egypt, particularly in the fields of communications and IT technology and ready-to-wear clothing, is estimated at nearly 404 million euros.
Portuguese tourism is a key for Latin tourism, thus, regularity of tourist movement from Portugal to Egypt will be reflected quickly on the tourist movement from Spain and Latin America.
The number of Portuguese tourists to Egypt has reached 8000 tourists in 2015.
Egypt participated in the annual International Tourism Fair in Lisbon in march 2016.
The history of the two countries witnessed many cultural and civilizational interactions in light of their geographical proximity and the intersection of their interests at several stages of history.
Egypt and Portugal signed in 1981 an agreement for scientific, cultural and artistic cooperation and a protocol for cooperation in the field of radio and television. The Egyptian-Portuguese Friendship Associatio was established in Portugal in 1996 to promote scientific and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
On 17/2/2016, Chairman of the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC) Osama Heikal met Portuguese Ambassador in Cairo Madalena Fischer to discuss ways to boost bilateral cooperation in the various media domains.
For educational cooperation, Portugal is cooperating with Ain Shams and the American Universities in Cairo.