According to Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil, Egyptian exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey achieved a major breakthrough in 2016, registering $1.443bn, up from $1. 216bn in 2015—representing a 19% increase. Also, Egyptian imports from Turkey decreased by 12.9% from $3.125bn in 2015 to $2.733bn in 2016, reducing the trade deficit by $619m to reach $1.290bn in 2016, compared with $1.909bn in 2015—a 33% decline.
In the UAE’s case, Egyptian exports increased by 125% in 2016 to reach $2.4bn from $1bn in 2015. On the other hand, Egyptian imports from the UAE decreased by 27% during the same period to register $885m compared to $1.2bn in 2015, achieving a surplus in the trade balance in favour of Egypt, with $1.5bn from a deficit of $156m previously in 2015, according to reports received by Kabil from Egypt’s commercial representation offices in Istanbul and Abu Dhabi.
The report has pinpointed that the witnessed increase during 2016 in Egyptian exports to the both Turkey and the UAE was the result of the promotional efforts for commercial representation offices to introduce Egyptian products to the Turkish and Emirati consumers. Exports also increased as a result of the efforts of the Istanbul and Abu Dhabi offices to help Egyptian exporters by providing marketing studies, arranging bilateral meetings with Turkish and Emirati importers, and launching promotional campaigns for Egyptian products, said Ahmed Antar, head of Egyptian Commercial Services.
Antar pointed out that according to Istanbul’s office report, Egyptian textile exports maintained their lead after contributing 28.4% of total exports, while the garments sector achieved a trade balance surplus in favour of Egypt, registering at $28m in 2016 compared to $3m deficit in 2015. He added that in the chemicals sector’s case, an 81.4% increase was achieved due to an increase in urea fertiliser exports, while Egyptian exports of precious and semi-precious stones, glass, and agricultural and food products registered $82.6m, $44.5m, and $41.5m respectively in 2016.
In the near term, Egypt targets boosting cotton yarns, medical supplies, tyres, and agricultural waste exports to Turkey, said Antar.