The value of Egyptian non-oil exports increased during January-November to approximately EGP 142.9bn, with 81% of the targeted yearly strategic plan for duplicating exports accomplished. The value of exports amounted to EGP 175bn, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade.
The ministry released a report showing a summary of the events of the year 2014 and showed its expectations for the year 2015. The report also highlighted the protocols and agreements that Egypt formulated with other countries in 2014 in the fields of industry and trade.
The trade sector witnessed during 2014 the signing of cooperation agreements between Egypt, Russia and Belarus in trade, industry, investment, infrastructure, agriculture, petroleum, energy, environment, transport, exhibitions and customs.
The report noted that the formation of a joint group of experts occurred to start free trade agreement talks between Egypt and Eurasian Customs Union countries.
A new system for export incentives involving supporting small exporters and encouraging the use of new and renewable energy, as well as modern technology, was approved.
Egypt and China formed the Egyptian-Chinese business council to support the trade sector between the two countries.
Egypt and Kuwait signed an economic cooperation agreement to strengthen industrial and trade cooperation between the two countries, and encouraging the formation of international exhibitions.
Abu Dhabi and Egypt established an office for coordinating and following up on agreed upon projects between the two countries. It was also formed for expanding economic cooperation between them.
The statement highlighted the protocols and agreements that Egypt formulated with other countries in 2014.
Egypt and Russia signed a protocol for cooperation in the fields of trade, industry, investment, transport, infrastructure, agriculture, customs, environment, oil, energy and exhibitions.
A US support fund was established in 2014 for backing investment projects in Egypt with $120m.
Carbon holdings signed agreements with Italian and Dutch companies worth $1.7bn. Constructions of plants will start in the first quarter (Q1) of 2015 and is expected to offer 20,000 employment opportunities.
Among the ministerial decisions taken in 2014 was the imposing of protection duties on imports of rebar by 3.7% with a minimum of EGP 290 per tonne, where the decision was valid for 200 days.
As for the industrial sector, the ministry approved the draft law for giving priority for domestic products and requiring governmental entities to buy them. Also EGP 240m were allocated for funding the projects and programmes implemented by the industrial training council.
Regarding the accomplishments of the sector, the industrial growth rate increased by 6.9% in Q3 of the current fiscal year 2013/2014. Investments in the sector increased by 55% and foreign investments increased by 89% in nine months compared to the same period the previous year.
In its outlook for the coming year, the ministry outlined a set of expectations were mentioned in the report for the industrial and trade sectors.
In the industrial sector, the development of a new mechanism for offering industrial lands, as an attempt to facilitate matters for investors is expected.
Other expectations include studying the possibility of lowering standard costs collected by the industrial development authority especially from small and medium enterprises.
The selection of the winning company, which will be responsible for preparing the Golden Triangle Project’s master plan after handling a financial assessment for the project, is also expected to be done next year. The general plan for exploiting various projects in the fields of industry, tourism and mining will be issued. Up to 60,000 employment opportunities for job seekers through projects implemented by the industrial training council is also expected.
Finalising the procedures needed for obtaining the ISO 9001 certification is expected to happen before 30 June, 2015. The ministry foresees completing the execution of the proposed amendments to a number of laws and legislations, including the real estate registration law and the companies’ law.
Regarding the ministry’s anticipations for the trade sector in 2015, they expect to start negotiations for signing the free trade agreement between Egypt and the Eurasian union.
The ministry is also looking forward to signing a free trade agreement between Egypt and the largest three African blocks, COMESA, SADC and the east African community.
The opening of the Arqin port with Sudan is also expected and the completion of the study for implementing the one-stop-shop concept in the customs services for facilitating trade between Arab countries that are members of the Arab cooperation agreement.