Egypt’s annual chemical industries’ exports reached $5.6bn, accounting for 25% of the country’s total exports, according to Khaled Abu Al-Makarem, Chairperson of the Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council.
He added that the sector’s annual production recorded about $60bn.
During the council’s newly-formed Board of Directors’s first meeting on Monday, Abu Al-Makarem stressed the importance, strength, and attractiveness of the chemical industries sector to local and foreign investors. Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea participated at the meeting.
Abu Al-Makarem noted that the sector’s raw materials imports decreased by 32% during the first four months of 2020. The decrease comes on the back of a greater dependence on locally sourced raw materials, as well as government moves to reduce Egypt’s dependence on imports.
He noted that local production requirements and raw material supplies have seen a price exaggeration.
He also demanded measures to set the indicative prices for which local raw material prices do not exceed their global prices by more than 5%. This would mean companies do not have to return to importing raw materials to face exaggerated prices.
Abu Al-Makarem called for a new export subsidy programme that would achieve the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s goals. With the current programme, which was approved last year, set to expire on 1 July, the new programme would focus on increasing export rates and increasing youth employment opportunities.
He asked for part of the subsidy to be allocated towards helping companies market their products through online platforms, as most local and international exhibitions in 2020 have been cancelled. The move to increase digital outreach for companies would contribute to maintaining export markets for Egyptian products.
Abu Al-Makarem pointed out that, in the next few days, a number of chemical sector meetings will be arranged to develop an action plan to reach export targets. This would be carried out by overcoming problems facing the sector in production and exports, particularly with the ongoing global health crisis.
Mostafa El-Gabaly, Managing Director of the Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council, noted the freight sector’s importance in supporting exports across Africa, and also to new markets.