The agreement must now be ratified by remaining member-state parliaments and the European Parliament. This process should be complete by the end of 2004.

Agriculture, including horticulture, as well as industry should benefit from reciprocal trade liberalisation.

Under the terms of the deal, the EU has significantly improved its concessions for Egyptian exports by increasing tariff quotas for the country's main exports and introducing new tariff quotas for products that do not already enjoy preferential treatment.

There is also provision in the agreement for a mechanism to review any agricultural concessions three years after they come into force.

In turn, Egypt will reduce tariff duties for certain EU agricultural exports.