Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Egypt’s non-petroleum exports increased by 11 percent during the first 4 months of 2021, Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea said in a statement on Wednesday.
During the first quarter of 2021, non-petroleum exports reached $9.9 billion, compared to $8.8 billion during the same period in 2020.
“This increase has been achieved despite the current Coronavirus-related conditions afflicting the whole world, thanks to the efforts made by the government to support the productive and export sectors during the crisis,” Gamea said, adding that such support has helped prevent halts in production and preserved export markets.
Egypt’s exports fell slightly by 1 percent in 2020 to reach $25.2 billion, down from $25.6 billion in 2019, according to the ministry’s previous statements.
The medical, handicraft, ready-made garment, leather, and engineering goods industries are the major sectors that witnessed an increase in export value during that period, the statement said, quoting the Head of Egypt's General Organization for Export & Import Control Ismail Gaber,.
Gaber noted that the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Italy and Malta are the major markets for Egyptian exports.
These 5 countries accounted for around 30 percent of total Egyptian exports, with exports to the US valued at $676 million, Turkey at $651 million, Saudi Arabia at $633 million, Italy at $586 million, and Malta at $406 million, Gaber explained.
The trade minister also highlighted that Egyptian imports had also witnessed a slight increase of 5 percent during 2021’s first quarter, reaching $23 billion, compared to $21.9 billion in 2020.
Egypt’s imports dropped in 2020 by 12 percent to $63.5 billion, down from $71.8 billion in 2019. Gamea has previously attributed this drop to increased reliance on domestically manufactured inputs used by local industries.