File photo: Egypt's Finance Minister Mohamed Maait. Al-Ahram
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has instructed the government to work on making the country an international advanced logistics hub centred on the optimisation of cutting-edge technologies, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait stated on Wednesday.
Maait made his statements while addressing a group of economic attaches and representatives of chambers of commerce from around the world in a conference held to explore the benefits of Egypt’s unified registration system for imported and exported cargos.
During the event, Maait expounded that a number of logistics centres have been established in Cairo, West and East Port Said, Port Tawfik, Daqahliya, Alexandria, Damietta, and Ain Sokhna.
He explained that the online government platform, the National Single Window for Foreign Trade Facilitation “Nafeza”, covers 95 percent of Egypt’s imports and exports.
Nafeza is expected to include all of the country’s ports before the end of 2021 for the sake of establishing an integrated strategic customs system that aims to modernise the performance of Egypt’s customs, according to the minister.
Maait also emphasised the willingness of Egypt’s leadership to create an enabling environment for domestic and foreign investments and to facilitate the work of the business community, which is the locomotive of Egypt’s economic development and one of the growth engines that provides plenty of job opportunities.
Regarding the advanced cargo information (ACI) system, Maait noted that the business community has been reacting positively to its implementation, adding that he is looking forward to even further positive reactions in the future.
The ACI system provides public and private trade operators with holistic electronic cargo information prior to the arrival of shipments to the country of importation in order to facilitate processing and clearance.
The system was adopted under Egypt’s strategy of digital transformation, which is in line with Egypt’s 2030 Vision and its sustainable development goals agenda.
According to the new Egyptian Customs Law 207/2020, which came into effect in November 2020, the ACI was initially meant to be strictly mandatory for all Egyptian import shipments starting 1 July 2021.
However, the government put off the official application date to 1 October due to the COVID-19 crisis and its repercussions that hit the export and import sectors hard.