The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, the Right Honourable Liz Truss welcomed His Excellency Mr. Sameh Shoukry, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt to London on 5 July for the inaugural meeting of the UK-Egypt Association Council.
The inaugural Association Council created a new platform to further the ambition laid out in the UK-Egypt Association Agreement, signed in December 2020. Within this framework, the Ministers had fruitful discussions on the development of the strategic partnership between the United Kingdom and Egypt.
The Ministers welcomed a number of recent commercial successes between the UK and Egypt, including:
- The two-line Cairo Monorail project, which includes trains manufactured in Derby, and is supported by UK Export Finance (UKEF)
- The sale of two ex-Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships to the Egyptian Navy, including contracts for their refit and upgrade;
- The opening of a new 66MW solar farm by Globeleq, following an investment worth $80m;
- The finalisation of a $100m investment by British Investment International (BII) to acquire Alfa Medical Group;
- The launch of commercial operations at the Lekela wind farm, following an investment worth $325m.
The Ministers discussed prospects for enhanced economic cooperation between the UK and Egypt. They agreed to working intensively to grow bilateral trade and investment, including through tackling any barriers to trade and sharing expertise. They also committed to work towards reviewing and improving market access in the agriculture, healthcare, energy, and financial sectors, through the newly established subcommittee on trade.
The UK and Egypt emphasised their commitment to strengthening bilateral cooperation and investment in healthcare and education, given both fields’ direct impact on levelling-up, job creation, and enhancing the quality of public services.
The Minsters welcomed deeper technical collaboration that will support joint work to overcome market access barriers in priority sectors. Including:
A new phase of collaboration between NHS’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Egypt’s Unified Procurement Authority (UPA), helping to institutionalise Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in Egypt.
A joint statement of intent signed between Egypt’s Energy Regulatory Authority (EERA) and the British Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM,) to help in reforming Egypt’s renewable energy regulations.
The Ministers welcomed strengthening cooperation in Africa and exploring trilateral cooperation opportunities with African countries in various fields, particularly infrastructure.
The UK welcomed Egypt’s preparations to host COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh (November 2022) as it takes over the COP Presidency. The UK and Egypt reinforced cooperation to deliver ambitious outcomes at COP27 building on the Glasgow Climate Pact and previous COP decisions. Both countries noted the importance of supporting developing nations in effecting a just transition, including through the transition to sustainable energy and green hydrogen, as well as in adapting to the impacts of climate change, including through the sustainable & integrated management of natural resources, enhancing resilience and building technical and technological capacities in this regard. The UK commends Egypt’s leadership and efforts on renewable energy generation and opportunities for British investors and firms within the energy sector.
The Ministers also discussed a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, including on consular issues and human rights.
The Ministers looked forward to holding the meetings of the Association Council regularly to further enhance Egypt-UK cooperation in various fields and take stock of progress.