Ambassador of Egypt to Russia: Egypt and Tatarstan have great potential for cooperation
Ihab Ahmed Talaat Nasr — about the reason why Rustam Minnikhanov is valued in the Arab Republic and why partnership with TAIF Group is so expected
Egypt is interested in even more active development of relations with Russia in general and Tatarstan. Business from our republic on the shores of the Mediterranean and Red Seas are waiting and ready to create the most comfortable conditions for work of all our partners. This was announced during the recent visit to Tatarstan of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Russia Ihab Ahmed Talaat Nasr. He specially came to Tatarstan to meet with President of the Republic Rustam Minnikhanov and Senior officials and the management of TAIF Group. Later agreed to give a short interview to Realnoe Vremya online newspaper.
In Rustam Minnikhanov I appreciate particularity
Last year, when you came here, during the meeting with Rustam Minnikhanov, three key areas were discussed: cooperation in the field of education, tourism, and culture. What has been added this time? What other points have been actively discussed during this visit?
I very much appreciate such qualities of Mr. Minnikhanov as his particularity and practical approach, and I'm keen to further develop the partnership has not diminished, but on the contrary – is growing.
In fact, we discussed the same areas, but based on the results of Rustam Minnikhanov's trip to Cairo (in October last year — editor's note), we discussed how to use our already joint active cooperation and move forward. As for the areas such as culture, trade, economy, education, religious ties, tourism, we talked about how to adapt and use what we have already gained, what we have already achieved.
As for the cultural side, there are great similarities between Egypt and Tatarstan, it is necessary to create opportunities for the population on both sides to learn more about each other and to know each other more deeply. I have met with the minister of culture of Tatarstan, and we discussed the organization of days of culture of Tatarstan in Egypt and days of culture of Egypt in Tatarstan. The next year has been declared the year of humanitarian cooperation between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Russian Federation, and Tatarstan has a great role to play here, of course.
We are actively working on the organization of meetings between Egyptian and Tatarstan companies
As for the prospects of cooperation between Egypt and Tatarstan — in what areas will it be most effective, in your opinion?
I believe that there is a huge potential for cooperation between Egypt and Tatarstan. I would, first of all, mention the economy and trade. And the results of the visit of President Minnikhanov to Cairo in October are very promising.
We intend to continue to maintain and develop these contacts, we are working hard on organizing a trade mission of Tatarstan to meet with Egyptian companies. I really think that we have a great potential. I believe out of my intensive meetings in Kazan with the senior officials and representatives of leading companies and business circles that we have good prospect for some new, creative ideas of cooperation – including localization of some Russian industries in Egypt using the opportunities that our geographical location, infrastructure and the free trade agreements Egypt has to access markets of 1,5 billion consumers providing good growth potential for the companies.
You spoke about the preparations for the launch of a large energy hub in Egypt, much has been said recently about the creation of the Russian economic zone…
The RIZ is a very rapidly developing and promising project, and I very much hope to see Russian and Tatarstan companies becoming a large, significant part of it. Some of them have already signed a preliminary agreement on mutual understanding with Russian export centres. And we expect more to be signed in the near future.
We will be glad to see TAIF among our partners
Regarding cooperation with TAIF, in what projects does the Egyptian side see the participation of the Tatarstan group of companies?
As already mentioned, Egypt is creating the largest energy hub in the region. Besides, Egypt has a very advantageous strategic and geographical position, has a developed infrastructure. We are close and well connected with a series of FTA's with many countries.
The surplus of gas in the region allows to provide reliable sources and markets to provide good ground for our partners as it is profitable to process gas and receive further chemical products from it. It gives a good opportunity to partners, including TAIF, to work in a profitable project and in a good atmosphere. And to develop partnership. It will be much more feasible for exporters to sell the final processed product than raw materials.
I was looking forward to my meeting with the management of TAIF Group. Just two weeks ago, I had a meeting in Moscow with Ruslan Shigabutdinov. He gave a great presentation, and now I'm here.
TAIF is a leading company in Russia its sector. To be honest, I talked to various Russian companies. Many of them are already working in Egypt and discussing how to take this cooperation to another deeper level. As Ambassador of the Republic of Egypt to the Russian Federation, I will be very pleased to see TAIF Group among our Russian partners involved in the implementation of major projects in our country.
The cooperation between Russia and Egypt has gone through several stages over the past few years, turning into an increasingly strong partnership, and we are working hard to further deepen this cooperation for the benefit of the two economies.