Non-oil Egyptian exports increased by 11% year-over-year (y-o-y) during the period from January to October 2018, recording $20.642bn ,compared to $18.551bn during the same period last year, an increase of $2.91bn, according to the latest report received by Minister of Trade and Industry, Amr Nassar, from the General Organization For Export and Import Control.
For his part, Chairperson of the General Organisation for Export and Import Control, Ismail Jaber, said that five export sectors achieved significant growth during the first 10M18 including, books and binders sector, chemicals and fertilisers sector, medical industries sector, textile sector, and the ready-made garments sector.
He said that the largest markets receiving Egyptian exports during the 10M18 were in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, America, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Algeria and France.
Unfortunately, Egypt’s imports increased by 19% during the same aforementioned period, reaching $57.76bn, compared to $48.45bn during the same period last year, an increase of $9.22bn.
Jaber added that the sectors that recorded an increase in the volume of imports during the first ten months of this year included furniture sector, leather products, garment sector, and the handicrafts sector.
Jaber pointed out that the leading exporters to the Egyptian market during 10M18 included China, the US, Russia, Germany, Turkey, Ukraine, and Saudi Arabia.
Over and above, the non-oil foreign trade in Egypt rose by 16.8% y-o-y during 10M18, amounting to $78.40bn from the beginning of January until the end of October, compared to $67.96 bn during the same period last year, an increase of $11.311 bn.
These indications mean that there is a large gap between Egypt’s exports and imports, despite the fact that the Egyptian government has adopted a number of measures and policies to cut back on imports and reduce the depletion of hard currency, especially following the decision of the former Minister of Trade and Industry, Tarek Kabil, to ban the import of 50 commodities only after registering the factory of the manufacturing country in 2016.
In addition to the decisions of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to reduce consumption, which stipulated that banks have to obtain 100% cash insurance, instead of 50% on imports carried out for the account of commercial companies or government agencies.
For his part, Ahmed Shiha, former head of the importers division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, stated that decisions of cropping imports were wrong decisions, as Egypt depends 100% on its exports and industry in a foreign component ranging between raw materials, production requirements, intermediate goods and capital goods.
Therefore, the decision of rationing Egypt’s importing also led to decreased manufacturing and industry in Egypt, and consequently caused decreased exports, confirming that the decision negatively affected Egyptian exports.