Unilever Mashreq for Food Products SAE intends to open a new detergent factory with investments of €24m in two months.
The new factory for producing washing powder will be built in 6th of October City, and the entirety of its production is planned to be exported to the Gulf and Africa, according to marketing director at the company Mounir Gazayer.
The company has four factories in the Egyptian market, not inducing the new plant which will begin production in early 2017.
Egyptian companies are participating in international exhibitions more and more. Their high-quality products and professionalism in dealing with customers will significantly contribute to increasing Egyptian exports aboard, Gazayer said.
Exporting is a huge challenge for Egypt currently, not only to provide the hard currency required for raw material imports, but also to reduce costs.
Unilever exports over the first nine months of 2016 are estimated at €160m. The company intends to double this number over the next four years.
Gazayer said that as the company possesses hard currency, it managed to evade the constraints of providing raw materials required for industry, and thus reduced costs.
The increase in the price of Lipton tea is due to high tea prices globally, as well as the slight effect of the official devaluation of the Egyptian pound against the US dollar. “Lipton absorbed part of the increase to reduce the burn on the Egyptian citizen,” he said.
Gazayer described Egypt’s food industry as an attractive field for investment, owing to its prime geographical location for transferring products between different countries.
He pointed out that international agreements such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Arab Free Trade Area (AFTA) that allows Egyptian exports to traverse the European and Gulf markets without incurring customs fees—this distinguishes the Egyptian product owing to its competitive price.
The Egypt market is consumer-based. Gazeyer said that despite the decline in the citizens’ purchasing power, the consumer pattern remained as it is. However, the state has tended to “schedule” consumption by buying smaller quantities in the short-term.
Unilever Egypt achieved an annual growth rate of 6-7%, which is a good rate compared to growth rates in the national economy.