INTRODUCTION: Sixty Israeli companies participated in the annual Cairo International Trade Fair which opened on Saturday (14 March).
GV PAN Flags of nations.
CU UK and US flags then Israeli flag. (2 SHOTS)
GV ZOOM IN TO Israeli Ambassador Dr. Eliahu Ben-Elissar and wife.
GV PULL OUT & PAN TO Deputy Premier Dr. Abdel Razzak Abdel Meguid cutting ribbon and applause.
GV French flag and stand.
SV Dignitaries walk past.
CU UK and Israeli stands. (2 SHOTS)
SV Israeli Ambassador inspects.
CU Cups and PULL BACK TO include half empty bottle Israeli wine.
CU Israeli Ambassador interview.
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
BEN ELISSAR: "I've been here for over a year and I have this very natural nature to feel emotion all over again, whenever I see the Israeli flag flying in Cairo beside the Egyptian flag. For the first time we are participating at the International Trade Fair in Cairo, and since I'm not cynical, neither blase, I feel very well. And I'm not ashamed to tell it to everybody."
REPORTER: "What's Israel's objective here at this fair?"
BEN ELISSAR: "To show just a little part of what we are doing, of what we are accomplishing in Israel, and what we are ready to sell. This is a commercial fair, a trade fair. Unfortunately, we are not able to show more of what we are producing in Israel. I'm sure that next time we will do it."
REPORTER: "What is your trade objective. I mean do you have a goal of how much you want to sell or what is your goal?"
BEN ELISSAR: "Nations generally don't fix goals this way. First of all just to show the Egyptians who would like to visit Israel, just what we are doing, what we are, what we are producing...that we are a peaceful country, and eager to have all our industry and commerce directed towards peace, nothing more towards war. (INDISTINCT) The second point is the commercial and trade interest."
REPORTER: "You know that other Arab countries are boycotting this fair. What is your reaction to that?"
BEN ELISSAR: "I didn't know they are boycotting but I'm the representative of the state of Israel and not a part of Arab countries."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Sixty Israeli companies participated in the annual Cairo International Trade Fair which opened on Saturday (14 March). It was the first time ever that Israeli firms have taken part in the event. The Soviet Union stayed away for the first time in 13 years, and most Arab States continued their boycott of Egypt.
Over 900 companies from 31 countries are displaying their products during the two-week exhibition. Products ranged from heavy industry and agricultural machinery to highly developed electronics.
Israel's first Ambassador to Egypt Eliahu Ben-Elissar performed one of his last duties before ending his one-year posting.
The fair was opened by Egyptian Deputy Premier for Economic and Financial Affairs, Dr. Abdel-Razzak Abdel Meguid.
All Arab countries except Sudan boycotted the fair because of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. Police arrested several Egyptians calling for a boycott of the Israeli stand.
Ambassador Ben-Elissar is leaving diplomacy to run in the Israeli general elections in June. Several of his country's companies have already received orders from Egypt for seed, plants, poultry, processed food and agricultural equipment.
The trade balance between the two countries had previously been heavily weighted in Egypt's favour. Now the old trade barriers are falling.