On December 14, Israel, Egypt and the United States will sign the agreement leading to the establishment of Qualified Industrial Zones in Cairo, Egypt.

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman

On December 14, Israel, Egypt and the United States will sign the agreement leading to the establishment of Qualified Industrial Zones in Cairo, Egypt. This is the first agreement to be signed by Israel and Egypt, since their Peace Treaty was signed. The areas to be recognized as Qualified Industrial Zones are located around Cairo, Alexandria and the Suez Canal. Goods will be exported duty free from these areas to the United States.

Under the joint leadership of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor and Communications Ehud Olmert, the two ministries worked in close cooperation with Egypt and the United States, from the beginning of negotiations in July 2003 and until a draft agreement was formulated and signed.

Israel welcomes the Egyptian government’s recognition of the importance of this agreement, not only for its economy, but also for creating opportunities for the consolidation of bilateral relations. Israel is in no doubt that the agreement will significantly enhance the trade between the two countries, and hopes that the movement of goods and entrepreneurs will lead to warmer relations between the peoples, giving expression to the fruits of peace.