Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil said that the flotation of the Egyptian pound has helped promote the country’s exports and limit its imports, according to a statement issued by Beltone Financial on Wednesday.
Kabil added during Beltone Financial’s “Africa’s Era, Egypt’s Moment” conference, which is currently being held, that “the 2011 revolution impacted sectors across the economy, with Egypt’s trade deficit rising significantly,” the statement reads.
“This amplified Egypt’s foreign currency shortage with almost all of Egypt’s foreign currency sources (Suez Canal, remittances, tourism, foreign direct investments, and exports) taking a hit,” it added.
Kabil explained in the statement, that his ministry had set a strategy based on five pillars to address the situation, focusing on industrial development, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), exports, competition, and governance.
Indeed, Egypt’s trade deficit has gone down since January 2016 by an impressive $9bn, as imports decreased by $7bn, while exports increased by $2bn, according to the statement.
“In terms of industrial development, Kabil noted that from 2007 to 2015, almost 9.5m sqm of industrial land were developed, while in 2016 alone, 11m sqm were launched with the objective of rapidly growing Egypt’s industrial sector,” the statement read.
The statement said that “in terms of Egypt’s strategy to support exports, Kabil noted that a huge part of the focus is going towards Africa, where Egypt has a clear edge.”
In a different context, Kabil agreed to renew anti-dumping duties for biro pens imports from China for 12 months.
Ibrahim El-Seginy, the head of the Anti-Dumping Agency at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that the agency received a call to renew the duties from local biro pens manufacturers, adding that the companies said that China might negatively affect the local industry.
El-Seginy added that the agency noticed an improvement in local manufacturing indicators; that is why it approved the duties to save the local industry.
On another note, Kabil attended the international exhibitions Furnex and The Home. He said that the exhibitions represent a new launch for Egyptian furniture industries.
The minister said that furniture industries provide jobs for a lot of workers, and increase the possibility of increasing Egypt’s exports, adding that Egyptian furniture is one of the best industries in the country.
He believes that the country could attract foreign investments in this sector, because Egyptians have experience in this industry.