EGYPT- The Philippines and Egypt have entered into a bilateral agreement that has allowed Egyptian citrus access to the Philippine market, thus inaugurating cooperation between the two countries in the agricultural field.

In a statement released on its Facebook page on Tuesday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the protocol is a real start for cooperation between the two countries in the agricultural field given the great interest the two political leaderships are attaching to pushing forward bilateral relations in all domains.

The parties in a joint statement said the cooperation will take place by the requirements of the Philippine authorities with international phytosanitary standards.

Egypt is expected to export other vegetables and fruits such as potatoes and grapes to the Philippines and welcomes importing Philippine crops, known for their high quality and relatively cheaper prices, according to Egypt’s ambassador to the Philippines Ahmed Seif El-Din.

As per government figures, Egypt is the world’s leading orange exporter at a volume of about two million tons annually. Its agriculture exports exceeded 4.7 million tons between 1 January and 14 September 2022.

The closed deal comes after intense technical negotiations between Egyptian and the Philippines that lasted for more than five years.

The efforts culminated last week when a Philippine delegation visited Egypt and signed an export protocol with the country’s agriculture ministry after finalizing the procedures that guarantee botanical health in alignment with international standards.

Numerous meetings and field visits to farms and export stations were also conducted, including the central laboratory, to analyze pesticide residues and heavy elements.

The delegates were confirming the latest methods and means used by the laboratory to analyze samples of farms and export shipments that are withdrawn through agricultural quarantine inspectors.

The Philippine side applauded the control system over export shipments and confirmed that its implementation was sufficiently accurate to remove all obstacles facing the export of Egyptian citrus to the Philippines market.

The ministry noted that the success is one of the results of activating the new coding system, which includes tracking all Egyptian exported shipments, starting from the farm until reaching the importing country, using satellite technology (GPS).

The Philippine side also promised to quickly complete the procedures for opening the Philippine markets to Egyptian exports of grapes and potatoes as soon as possible.

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