Egypt and Turkey on the Way to Deescalation

Cairo and Ankara want to increase bilateral trade between the two countries to $20 billion a year.

As part of the normalization of bilateral political and economic relations, Egypt and Turkey, in addition to returning ambassadors to their respective countries, are also discussing a significant increase in bilateral trade, which “can and should reach $20 billion a year.”

This statement was made to the Dunya newspaper by Mustafa Denizer, President of the Egyptian-Turkish Business Council (DEİK). In addition to boosting trade and economic exchanges to $20 billion, Turkey and Egypt are analyzing the prospects for a sharp increase in mutual investment in sectors ranging from retail to energy, consumer industry, household appliances, and transportation. “Relations between our two countries, which have been at an impasse for the past 10 years, are rapidly improving,” Denizer said, adding that “Turkish companies will invest at least $500 million in Egypt over 2023-2024.”

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (Tüik), Turkish exports of goods and services to Egypt in 2019 amounted to $3.32 billion, falling to $2.95 billion in 2020. Thanks to the normalization of relations between the two countries, trade has increased to $4.03 billion in 2021, with a record $10 billion expected in 2023.

On July 4, Egypt and Turkey announced a “full restoration of diplomatic relations” and appointed new ambassadors to their respective countries.

“Relations between Turkey and Egypt will continue to improve after new heads of diplomatic missions were appointed today, which is an important step in the process of normalizing relations between our two countries,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, according to whom “Ankara and Cairo cannot afford to remain divided due to their historical, geographic, cultural, religious, and strategic relationships.”

The break between Turkey and Egypt came about when current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, then defense minister, led a popular military revolution in June-July 2013 that ended a controversial year of rule by Muslim Brotherhood that was backed by Ankara and came to power in the first elections since the fall of the thirty-year-old reign by autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The process of rapprochement between Egypt and Turkey has been going on since May 2021, when a Turkish delegation visited Cairo and was instructed to discuss a possible normalization of relations.