A Russian industrial zone off the New Suez Canal, in Egypt, will become the first platform to open up the markets of African countries to Russian goods, Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov said Tuesday.

A memorandum to establish an industrial zone near the Suez Canal for Russian products oriented toward the local and regional markets was signed in early February 2016.

“It is a platform for Russian products to enter not only [market of ] Egypt, but also other African countries. I see it as a hub. I believe it is a first stage in shaping basic platforms for spreading Russian goods in African countries,” Kalamanov said at a session organized within the framework of the International Industrial Trade Fair INNOPROM-2017, in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.

In June, a source in the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry told Sputnik that the signing of the deal to create the industrial zone would take place in September in Moscow.

The zone is expected to focus on the production of trucks, agricultural tractors, chemicals, as well as reinforced-concrete products to be further sold to African and Middle Eastern countries.

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