Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Qabil said Egyptian-German bilateral trade exchange has grown steadily, exceeding €5bn in 2015 and expected to increase to €6bn by the end of 2016.
Qabil added that the value of Egyptian exports to Germany has increased to €1.7bn, while Egyptian imports from Germany amounted to €3.4bn.
During the Egyptian-German Business Forum held Monday in Egypt, the minister said he is looking towards doubling these figures in the short-term.
German investments in Egypt amounted to €600m at the end of 2015, which is not commensurate with the size of Egyptian and German economies or with the available investment opportunities in both markets, Qabil said.
He called on German companies to invest more into the Egyptian market during the next phase and take advantage of the free trade agreement that was signed in June in Sharm El-Sheikh, between the three African blocs.
Moreover, he urged the companies to take advantage of the trade agreement signed with Arab countries, which provides access to 1.6 billion consumers.
“The Egyptian economy has faced many challenges and difficulties over the past five years, which has required us to take serious steps towards restoring confidence in the Egyptian economy through executing comprehensive and serious reforms,” Qabil said.
“These reforms led to some positive results in terms of the GDP growth rate, which rose to 4.2%. The government targets 6% of real GDP and to reduce the fiscal deficit to 8.5% of GDP by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2018/2019.”
During the conference, the Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy said the Suez Canal Area Development Project is more than just a corridor, stating that it can become a real international logistics hub that could maximise the benefits from trade agreements between Egypt and various global economic blocs.
Hanafy added that Egypt is currently aiming to increase economic growth rates from 5% to 6% in the upcoming period.
“The government is working to make use of available resources, such as low wages, and provision of land for investors,” Hanafy said.
Germany is interested in boosting new investments in the Egyptian market, as German companies are expanding their partnerships with Egyptian companies, CEO of the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC), Rainer Herret said.
“We are still far from being fully operational in the country and further efforts are being exerted for investment,” Herret said. “German investments are different and have an advantage over other investments as we seek money flow and job creation.”
Egypt’s industry does not produce sufficient products of value, Herret said. However, he added that Egypt does have potential and opportunity for investment in the fields of mining, gas and solar power.
He further called for the enforcement of the one-window investment system, which would cut down on a lot of bureaucracy for investors seeking to launch new projects in Egypt.