Cur­rency flota­tion in­creased ex­ports by $2bn: Tarek Ka­bil

New in­dus­trial zones will help in­cur more for­eign in­flows to the coun­try, the trade and in­dus­try min­is­ter says

The Daily News Egypt - - Business - By El­sayed Soly­man

Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Tarek Ka­bil said that cur­rency flota­tion has re­sulted in in­creas­ing ex­ports by $2bn, while im­ports have de­creased by al­most $11bn.

Ka­bil, who was speak­ing on the side­lines of the Akhbar Al Youm economic con­fer­ence, con­firmed that Egyp­tian prod­ucts are get­ting more at­ten­tion from in­ter­na­tional con­sumers due their lower prices and high qual­ity.

Egypt’s im­ports dur­ing the first nine months of this year have de­creased by 20% to hit $39.88bn com­pared to $49.74bn dur­ing the same pe­riod last year, Ka­bil added

Egypt’s ex­ports hit $5.1bn in the sec­ond quar­ter of the 2016/2017 fis­cal year (FY) up from $4.3bn over the same pe­riod in the pre­vi­ous year, he said.

Egypt’s ex­ports to Euro­pean and Arab coun­tries amounted to $1.5bn and $1.7bn, re­spec­tively, in the last quar­ter of the pre­vi­ous FY.

US-im­ported prod­ucts from Egypt reached $356.6m in the same pe­riod, the state­ment added.

Ac­cord­ing to Ka­bil, the trade deficit dur­ing the first nine months of 2017 has de­clined by 33% com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2016.

The deficit stood at $23.39bn dur­ing the first nine months of the cur­rent year, com­pared with $34.86bn in the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod of 2016, he re­vealed.

Ka­bil also said that Egypt’s non-petroleum ex­ports have tan­gi­bly risen from Jan­uary to Septem­ber 2017, com­pared to the same pe­riod last year, reach­ing $16.49bn, an in­crease of 11%.

Ka­bil pointed out that trade bal­ance in 2015 was the worst ever for the coun­try ahead of the cur­rency flota­tion.

Com­ment­ing on the new in­dus­trial zone, Ka­bil said that the first in­dus­trial in­vest­ment area in Egypt is an at­tempt to im­prove the coun­try’s ail­ing econ­omy and at­tract more in­vest­ments.

“The new in­dus­trial zones [across the coun­try] will help ob­tain more for­eign in­vest­ment,” he ex­plained.

“The map in­cludes 4,136 in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in eight in­dus­trial sec­tors,” Ka­bil added.

The zone cov­ers en­gi­neer­ing, chem­i­cal and tex­tile in­dus­tries, he pointed out.

Ka­bil said that “the project is the first of its kind in Egypt, and it will strengthen the in­dus­trial sec­tors and limit the mar­kets gaps, ra­tion im­ports, as well as in­crease the added value of lo­cal prod­ucts.”

Around 200 en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cians con­ducted in­spec­tion tours of more than 100 in­dus­trial ar­eas na­tion­wide to col­lect data, he pointed out.

Ka­bil also noted that the new area will boost small and medium-sized en­ter­prises (SMEs).

The Min­istry of Trade and In­dus­try launched in 2016 a strat­egy for in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment that aims to in­tro­duce new meth­ods and plans to up­grade trade and SMEs to boost the in­dus­trial growth rate to 8% and in­crease the in­dus­trial sec­tor’s con­tri­bu­tion to the gross do­mes­tic prod­uct from 17.7% to 21%, he added.

The strat­egy would also work to in­crease the con­tri­bu­tion of SMEs to the GDP to 10%, re­duce the deficit in the trade bal­ance by 50%, and pro­vide 3 mil­lion job op­por­tu­ni­ties, Ka­bil noted.

Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Tarek Ka­bil

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