Horticultural Export Improvement Association (HEIA) seeks to enter five new markets and increase the exports of agricultural crops by 10% at least in the coming season.
Chairperson of HEIA, Mohsen El-Beltagy, said that the Egyptian Agricultural Quarantine Authority has begun negotiations with similar departments in five new countries: Uganda, the Philippines, Belgium, India, and Nigeria.
He explained that the opening of new markets is the strongest way to develop targeted exports, especially since European markets are saturated with Egyptian products, and expansion there has become difficult in the current period in light of the fierce competition with a number of countries competing in this market.
He pointed out that the most important markets that Egyptians should focus on in the coming period are the ones in Africa and East Asia, given the increasing economic feasibility of dealing with these markets, especially after opening the door to China to import Egyptian grapes recently.
He noted that Egypt offered China more than one product after the acceptance of the grapes, namely dates, pomegranates, guava, and strawberries, but China chose dates only. “We act according to what the customer requests,” he added.
El-Beltagy said that the opening of new markets increases the volume of agricultural exports by a minimum of 10% in the coming year.
HEIA seeks to develop a new system for the export of strawberries and peppers in cooperation with the Agriculture Export Council (AEC) and the ministries of industry and agriculture in order to resume exporting them to the countries that banned them recently.
He pointed out that the new system ensures registration of the farms, which directs its production for export at the level of companies and farmers, and control them in terms of the use of pesticides and fertilizers to avoid crises with importing markets.
El-Beltagy said that the national economy will begin to reap the fruits of the economic reforms taken by the state during the last period by early 2018, stressing the need to complete the new Investment Law so that companies can adjust to it, inject further investments, and attract new foreign investors to the market.
He also urged the need of intensifying the efforts of the government to create a suitable environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), considered the right bet to achieving high rates of development during the coming period.
He pointed out that these projects are the most able to create the largest number of employment opportunities for young people, and by taking advantage of the available capacities there will be more positivity in the market.
He noted that the increase in the number of SMEs will provide real employment opportunities and increase domestic production, and thus lower inflation rates and increase exports to attract more foreign currency and increase foreign exchange reserves.