Predynastic Egyptians in the Naqada I period traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, and the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean to the east. They also imported obsidian from Ethiopia to shape blades and other objects. Charcoal samples found in the tombs of Nekhen, which were dated to the Naqada I and II periods, have been identified as cedar from Lebanon.
Narmer had Egyptian pottery produced in southern Canaan — with his name stamped on vessels — and then exported back to Egypt. Production sites included Arad, En Besor, Rafiah, and Tel Erani. An Egyptian colony that was stationed in southern Canaan dates to this same era. First Dynasty Egyptian pottery has been found in southern Canaan, some bearing the name of Narmer.
Evidence of Old Kingdom trade (external map here) extends southward to Nubia (in modern Sudan and Ethiopia) and Punt (probably modern Ethiopia/Eritrea or the Eritreo-Sudanese borderlands, possibly Somalia), eastward to the Near East (Byblos and Ebla, Syria), northward to the Aegean and the Greek islands, and westward (limited evidence) with Libya.
Eastward, the Egyptians successfully conquered the ancient regions of Palestine and Syria, being opposed by the Mitanni and the Hittites. Although, limited trade between the regions seems to have continued, culminating in the world's earliest known peace treaty, between Ramesses II and the Hittites.
Foreign contacts in the Late Period of Ancient Egypt seem to have been mere extensions of those of the New Kingdom. Military expeditions again persist, everywhere but in ancient Greece. In fact, there is in this period evidence of Greek soldiers fighting for Egyptian pharaohs and the establishment of a Greek trading post, called Naucratis, within Egypt.