January 26, 2011 / 7:17 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-Egypt trade minister cancels Davos trip

* No reason given for cancellation of Davos trip

* Egypt rocked by unprecedented unrest

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid has cancelled his visit to the World Economic Forum, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Rachid, who is also acting investment minister, did not give any reason for his decision to stay away, she told Reuters.

But Egypt has been rocked by unprecedented protests against the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak, following the overthrow two weeks ago of Tunisian leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in a popular revolt.

“Unfortunately Minister Rachid has had to cancel his participation in Davos,” the spokeswoman said.

Rachid, a former businessman, is a regular at the annual Davos meeting of business and political leaders, where the risks and opportunities of investing in emerging economies is a major topic this year.

He was also due to take part in the traditional meeting of trade ministers on Saturday, hosted by the Swiss government, which will review progress on the Doha round.

Rachid has expressed scepticism about the chances of World Trade Organization members reaching a deal in the nine-year-old talks and preferred to promote Egypt as a trade and investment destination through bilateral and regional contacts. But his role goes beyond that of Egypt’s interests as Cairo acts as a coordinator for African countries in the negotiations. (Reporting by Jonathan Lynn; editing by Myra MacDonald)

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