The Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council (CFEC) plans to allocate more than 20% of its total target exports, valued at EGP 30bn, to African markets in 2016, according to CFEC Chairman Khaled Aboul Makarim.
The CFEC is affiliated to the Egyptian Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) and controls more than 25% of the total Egyptian exports. Approximately EGP 4.3bn of this share currently go to African markets, while the rest is exported to other world markets.
“We will increase our exports in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and Ghana,” Aboul Makarim told Daily News Egypt.
Aboul Makarim disclosed that the council is currently conducting studies into the feasibility and benefits of establishing a logistical centre in Kenya that would promote Egyptian products.
Fertiliser and chemical companies have suffered due to the shortage of gas supply, leading to a 15% decline in the sector’s exports during the first nine months of 2015. However, Aboul Makarim noted that factories have begun to receive regular gas supplies.
The chemicals industries sector exported a total value of $2.9bn during 2015, compared to $4.2bn in 2014, marking a decline of 30%.
“We will sign a cooperation protocol with Rift Valley Railways, affiliated to Qalaa Holding, to use its railway in Africa to transport the CFEC’s exports to African countries,” Aboul Makarim added, noting that the protocol will be signed during the COMESA conference scheduled for 20-21 February.
Rift Valley has had exclusive rights to manage and operate the railway linking Kenya to Uganda for 25 years, linking the Kenyan Mombasa Port on the Indian Ocean and the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The 2,352 km-long railway passes through all the interior areas in both Kenya and Uganda.
Aboul Makarim revealed that they are negotiating with numerous African countries located along the railway to use their warehouses to store the CFEC’s goods.
He added the CFEC has reached an agreement with the Egyptian Export Support Fund to bear 50% of transportation costs of the CFEC’s goods to Africa, with a view to lowering the affect of external costs on Egyptian products in Africa in order to increase their sale volume and competitiveness.
The World Economic Forum estimates that sub-Saharan African markets will see GDP growth of 35.7%, worth $1.9tr by 2017.
Aboul Makarim pointed out that the African market has a number of advantages for investors, such as its consumer base of more than 1 billion people, and a fast-growing workforce. Moreover, the rapid growth of exports has attracted a high rate of foreign direct investment.
He further pointed to state support for exporters as a crucial factor for the sector’s development, indicating the funding mechanism provided by the Export Support Fund.
He further revealed that the CFEC will organise an exhibition in Tanzania next May for Egyptian goods and products.