File Photo: A worker is seen at a company for engineering industries in Cairo. REUTERS
Boosting industrial exports is the key to Egypt’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and its related impacts, said Business Oxford Group (BOG).
In an article published on Wednesday, OBG said that Egypt is at the heart of many global supply chains and the industrial sector has the potential to its drive COVID-19 recovery.
It added that various initiatives, which Egypt has launched or renewed since the onset of the pandemic, are expected to increase private sector investment.
Also, major infrastructure projects, whether completed or still under construction, are set to expand exports, according to OBG.
OBG cited statements by Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Niven Gamea on 20 March that Egypt has put in place a strategy to increase its exports to $100 billion over the long term, which is up from pre-pandemic levels of around $30 billion, by shifting its focus towards more European, African and Arab markets.
The strategy involves boosting national industries and increasing exports from small enterprises. In addition, export logistics will be enhanced, through the automation of import and export procedures.
It also includes developing Upper Egypt and various border areas, as well as supporting projects in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
OBG also said that the economic reforms that Egypt has been adopting since 2016 focus on private sector-led growth as a key priority, as well as improving the business environment to attract private investment.
“The significant move came at the end of 2019, when the government and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) launched a $6.4 billion initiative to boost domestic manufacturing by giving medium-sized factories access to subsidised loans at a declining 10 percent interest rate. A central focus of this drive has been the development of industrial zones, the largest of which is the Suez Canal Economic Zone, where the integration of logistics and the clustering of manufacturing value chains have been shown to improve efficiency and lower costs,” OBG said.