By Ahmed Amer
Business News Foundation held its second preparatory meeting to launch the second Egypt Automotive annual summit with the participation of experts and officials of various market sectors on 8 December.
The summit aims to provide a clear vision that is consistent with the requirements of the current phase and the challenges in the sector, thereby contributing to a better future for investment in manufacturing and trading automotive and feeder industries. The summit will also review a number of global proposals and international experiences to the contributions of the sector in GDP growth and increasing exports and employment.
Chairman of Business News Mostafa Sakr pointed to the effective contribution of the sector in the preparation of the summit agenda and its main topics.
A number of prominent officials and businessmen contributed to the preparatory session, including automotive sector experts Amr Al-Iskandarani and Hussein Mostafa, Media Spokesperson of the Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC) Khaled Hosny, General Manager of Brilliance Bavarian Auto Khaled Saad, After Sales Senior Manager at Fiat-Chrysler Group Emad El-Din El-Shorbagy, and Vice Chairman of Abu Hetta Automotive Company Nashaat Abu Hetta.
Hosny said the first Egypt Automotive annual summit succeeded in reviewing the challenges in the sector to government agencies. He thanked Business News for its efforts in preparing the second annual summit to ensure the benefit of the automotive industry. The automotive sector’s associations, AMIC, and chambers of commerce and industry are expected to form committees to present their recommendations to ministries and government agencies.
El-Shorbagy said the automotive industry is keen to deliver the messages of the sector to the government through the Egypt Automotive summit, noting that the first summit failed to form follow-up committees, which were needed to make the best use of the summit.
The government should participate with the sector’s experts to draft the automotive strategy.
El-Shorbagy said the automotive sector will be waiting for the government to announce its steps regarding the sector and discuss impacts of international conventions, such as the Agadir convention, as they may only benefit certain producers only.
He pointed to the importance of discussing development and mechanisms of implementation of the new automotive standards, taking into account non-European origin products. “The new standards only benefit European origin vehicles,” he said.
Hussein Mostafa said the government is in the process of issuing the auto industry law within weeks, signaling the importance of reviewing it and studying the impact of international agreements on domestic industries.
Trade agreements should benefit both parties. “The government, as well as car producers, should find new methods to exploit the agreements and open the door to export domestic products through attracting direct investment and provide basic industrial infrastructure,” he said.
Al-Iskandarani said the Suez Canal Axis Development provides opportunities to establish logistics and storage areas, as well as re-exporting zones. Increasing the ratio of domestic components requires studies by government agencies, noting that it will be difficult to increase the ratio to 60% over eight years. “The current domestic component ratio is 28% but it is presented as 45% accounting for locally assembled cars”.
Saad said some factories are moving to produce from Europe and export to Egypt to exploit the EU-Egypt Association Agreements. However, this can negatively affect domestic industries. Brilliance entered Egypt to establish an export base by establishing a manufacturing plant and export to African countries, utilising the COMESA agreement. “However the state’s policy for the automotive sector halted this,” he said, noting that Nissan also entered the market for the same reason.
Saad said the new customs law is expected within days, where indicative prices and procedures are expected to be debated when the law is discussed.
Abu Hetta said Cairo is about to establish an auto city on the Ain Sokhna road. However, this could halt the automotive industry, he said, calling on the government to reconsider providing sufficient spaces and adequate concession years.
Abu Hetta also called on the government to announce automotive industry incentives before producers exit the Egyptian market following Mercedes.
Business News previously held the first preparatory meeting to discuss the summit’s agenda. The meeting was attended by car experts Raafat Masrouga and Hussein Mostafa, Media Spokesperson of the Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC) Khaled Hosny, General Manager of MCV Amr Nassar, Automotive Company Chairman Yasser El-Kasrawy, Chairman of Saba Automotive Alaa El-Saba, and member of the Automotives Division in the Giza Chamber of Commerce Wael Ismail.