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The return of Russia to Africa - Egypt


During Russian President Vladimir Putin's earlier years, Russia-Egypt ties which were already on the rise have noticeably improved after Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became Egypt's president post the military coup of July 2013. In 2014 bilateral trade between the two countries doubled to $5.5 billion, in 2015 they held their first joint naval drills and military exercises in 2016. In March 2017 Russia also deployed special forces to Egypt on the Libyan border which signaled Russia's growing role in Libya.

Cairo finalized negotiations with Moscow to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant in October 2017. As of late, after Russia’s decision to resume flights to Cairo on April 11 2018 after a two-year suspension, Egypt expects a massive boost in tourism. In late 2015, Egyptian-Russian civilian air traffic was halted by Russia after a bomb went off aboard a Russian jet over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 passengers. Since Russians make up the largest number of tourists to Egypt, it's tourism sector suffered greatly due to the devastation. For Egyptian tourism insiders, this decision will rekindle Russian tourism to the Red Sea coastal cities.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, in 2014 Russian tourists numbered between 2,8 million and 3.1 million, bringing in estimated revenues of $2.4 billion. In the aftermath of the 2015 incident, Egypt has tightened security in its airports to satisfy Russian concerns. The Egyptian President feels that the return of the Russian tourists would reassure the world that Egypt is a country of safety and security.

In 2014 the decision to build a Russian industrial zone in Egypt was agreed by President Vladimir Putin and President al-Sisi. The area of the Russian industrial park on the Suez Canal was expanded from 80 to 2 000 hectares, and has a friendlier tax regime for resident Russian firms. This is expected to provide 77,000 jobs and the companies expect revenues to reach $11.6bn. By 2035 Russia might invest around $4.6 billion in the construction of the industrial park which will start in 2018 and most of the funds will come from private investors. Russian companies like Tatneft, Kamaz, UAZ, GAZ, Gazprom Neft, Inter RAO, Transmashholding and others will be part of the new industrial hub. Russia has selected Egypt's East Port Said to establish the industrial park.

Source : Bizmart