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Trade between Russia and Egypt is expected to reach $550 million in 2004
Trade between Russia and Egypt is expected to reach $550 million in 2004, a source in the Russian delegation said before the beginning of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov's visit to Egypt. According to the source, trade between the two countries was $416 million in 2003 including $377 million in Russian exports. "One could say that trade is imbalanced," the source said, "if not for half a million Russian tourists who spent at least $300 million in Egypt. Therefore, speaking about balance of payments, it is not disproportionate." Russia exports timber, cardboard, grain, machinery and equipment to Egypt. "Today, we will work to conclude contracts for deliveries of Russia equipment," the source said. "There are already contracts for $150 million of equipment." Russian car manufacturers intend to assemble VAZ-2110 cars and UAZ-3162 SUVs in Egypt. "Assembling VAZ-2110 [at the Volzhsky car plant in Togliatti] is being discussed," the source said. "The Ulyanovsk car plant [UAZ] is ready to conclude a contract for the assembly of 1,000 UAZ-3162 and the contract is expected to be signed during the visit." According to the source, Egyptian companies are already assembling VAZ-2107 cars. This year 2,000 cars will be assembled. The Gorky car plant (in Nizhny Novgorod) signed a contract to deliver assembly equipment for Gazel cars. Also, the Lipetsk tractor plant is discussing assembling LTZ-55 and LTZ-60A tractors. The source also said LUKoil Overseas intended to joint gas production projects in Egypt. The company already produces oil near the Suez Canal. In 2003, it produced 516,000 metric tons of oil. LUKoil Overseas has also put a 100km pipeline into operation in Egypt. The source said Egypt was Russia's largest trade and economic partner in the Middle East. The Soviet Union built 97 large energy, agricultural, industrial and other facilities in Egypt, including the Aswan Dam hydroelectricpower plant, the Heluan metallurgical plant, the Naga Hammadi aluminum plant, a phosphate plant in Abu-Tartur and a shipyard in Alexandria. Russia and Egypt are currently cooperating to modernize, renovate and renew the assets of many of these facilities. In a joint project, Tyazhpromexport and several Egyptian companies are renovating a metallurgical plant in Heluan. Silovye Mashiny and Siemens signed a contract with Egypt to modernize 12 generators at the Aswan Dam. There is also a unique project in which Egypt will manufacture Tu-204-120 aircraft with engines and avionics from the leading Western firms in Russia. The project is being carried out by Sirokko Aerospace and Russian enterprises led by Ulyanovsk Aviastar. Fifty percent of Egypt's exports to Russia are citrus fruits, 24% are onions, 14% are potatoes and there is also a small portion of consumer goods
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