The Japanese market has opened up to Egyptian oranges and other citrus fruits after years of negotiations between the two countries.
Egypt supplied some 38 per cent of the world’s total imports of oranges last year, amounting to 50 per cent of its total production or 3.42 million tonnes of the fruit.
Ahmed el-Attar, head of the Central Administration of Plant Quarantine, told the Al-Monitor website: “After nearly 11 years of negotiations, this is the first time that Japan agrees to import citrus fruits from Egypt.
“We stepped up negotiations last year after an Egyptian delegation – which I headed – arranged for a technical visit to Japan.
“We discussed the export requirements, and the course of negotiations was accelerated and ended with their agreement to receive citrus fruits from Egypt.”
He went on: “Japan’s approval on the import of citrus fruits from Egypt is a testament to the world’s confidence in the quality of Egyptian products and in the ability of Egypt’s Central Administration of Plant Quarantine to implement the technical requirements for export to Japan – which is one of the most difficult markets in the world in terms of agricultural quarantine as it imposes very difficult conditions.”