Together We Can See Much Further 112 years of Romanian-Egyptian relations
In 2018, Romania celebrates one of the most important landmarks in its history which has consecrated our country’s openness and attachment to the principles of understanding, friendship, and mutual respect within nations – the Centenary of the Great Union of all Romanians. Since fulfilling the age-old aspiration of the Romanian people, our country has made significant efforts to mitigate and eliminate conflicted and vengeful mentalities by promoting an example of cooperation, inclusiveness, tolerance, and respect, values that we constantly stand by today in our foreign policy.
This cornerstone event is also a constant reminder that, with great sacrifice, determination, and unity, our nation has the power to overcome any hostile historical circumstances.
Within this anniversary context and its international significance in Romania’s foreign policy, we are glad to underline the very good and constantly growing relationship between Romania and the Arab Republic of Egypt, which has been unfolding uninterruptedly for 112 years. Romania and Egypt officially established diplomatic ties in April 1906 and have developed and consolidated a traditional and friendly bilateral relation in most of the areas of mutual interest.
Romania and Egypt had a quite similar experience of a progressive transition from an autocracy to a democratic state, with Egypt currently undergoing a period of change, a time of progress and modernization of society. In this regard, Romania stated its willingness to help and share its experience, looking forward to further enhancing and strengthening the bilateral cooperation.
Increasing economic cooperation, commercial exchanges and investments are goals that both sides share and it is our strong belief that the growth recorded during the last years in the bilateral trade relations, which made Egypt into Romania’s most significant commercial partner in the Middle East and Africa, will continue in the years to come. These strong ties are also supported by a substantial mutual political and economic interest, and the geo-strategic position and relations of our countries. Egypt could thus play an important role in Romania’s strategy of developing relations with Africa and Middle Eastern countries, and Romania, as an important EU and NATO member, could provide a significant support for Egypt in Europe.
In a brief economic and commercial historical perspective, one can notice a steady growth of bilateral trade relations, the level of which reached in the years 2014 and 2015 almost 1 billion U.S. dollars, securing for Egypt the first place among Romania’s trading partners in the Middle East and Africa.
Among Romanian exports to Egypt there are: grains (mostly wheat), oil derivatives, wood, chemicals, metal products, industrial and electrical equipment, cars and spare parts, tires, furniture etc. There are also Egyptian exports to Romania, quite well diversified: vegetable and fruits, food products, drugs, chemicals, plastic materials, ceramic and glassware, textile, some industrial and electrical equipment etc.
There is a real perspective for Romanian companies to further increase the economic cooperation considering the significant development programs of the main Egyptian economic sectors such as electricity, oil and gas, agriculture and water resources, infrastructure, housing, river, railway and road transports, tourism etc. Several Romanian companies specialized in these fields have already stated their interested in participating in these programs, some contracts being already signed and unfolding.
It is worth mentioning the auspicious investment climate of Egypt in the light of the recent investment law, the structural reforms launched by the authorities, and the important changes in the economic legal framework, all of which are creating good opportunities for various sectors such as energy and mineral resources, infrastructure, industry, agriculture, trade etc.
At the same time, the cooperation between Romania and Egypt in the field of tourism is a very important topic, often mentioned in the bilateral official meetings, especially since Egypt has always been a favorite destination for Romanian tourists; there is also a growing Egyptian interest for tourism, medical tourism, and spa facilities in Romania, as well as for well-known Romanian health products, like those of Ana Aslan, an outstanding Romanian international brand.
But cooperation between Romania and Egypt is not limited to the political, economic and commercial fields. There has also been a constant development of education and cultural activities and projects as main vectors for bridging our two countries’ deep and rich cultures. Based on an important agreement signed in 2016, the “Program of Cooperation in Education, Culture and other related domains between Romanian Government and the Arab Republic of Egypt Government”, new and substantial cooperation was established and materialized in most cultural and artistic areas, as well as in cooperation agreements signed between universities in both countries. Romania also offers, every year, full scholarships for Egyptian citizens.
There are many other important cultural achievements, like the agreement signed between the Cairo Opera and Cluj-Napoca Opera, based on which Romanian opera singers are part of the main cast in gala shows staged at the Cairo Opera House, one of the most prestigious Egyptian cultural institutions. Apart from that, the Program covers a broad area of cultural fields and encourages cooperation at all levels, between mass media, libraries, national movie archives, museums, national news agencies, different international festivals, and so much more.
We are therefore pleased to add to the celebration of the Great Union of all Romanians the positive, substantial, and constantly growing framework of the Romanian – Egyptian relations, as an important achievement of Romania’s foreign policy.