Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea has announced she is currently holding meetings with several export councils to formulate a new programme to support exports.
Gamea added, during her meeting on Saturday with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), that she has already met with six export councils to discuss their problems. The meetings were also set up to formulate a new export support programme that is more flexible and feasible.
The move comes especially as several export councils have faced problems in implementing the current programme due to its lack of flexibility.
The minister indicated that she has discussed problems of obtaining a certificate of origin to export agricultural products with the Minister of Agriculture.
She explained that the new programme would eliminate bureaucracy, and at the same time would automate the services provided by the Export Development Fund.
Gamea also confirmed that her ministry is working on evaluating the previous year-long programme to support exports, which started on 30 June 2019. There is an exception, however, with cash support to be paid to companies until the new programme is finalised.
She explained that a negative point observed in the previous programme was its inability to provide equal services to international companies, including providing export subsidy arrears in the form of training programmes.
Gamea pointed out that Egypt’s trade offices will witness staff transfer, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the aim to activate their role to support the private sector and increase exports.
She explained that Egypt now has achieved self sufficiency in natural gas and electricity, which allows the auto industry to be more focused on natural gas and electric cars during the current and future period.
Gamea added that the purpose of Egypt’s automotive strategy is to increase local production. It includes the move to convert taxis and other public transport vehicles to gas, instead of conventional oil fuel, through a catalytic programme.
The minister touched on the industrial lands file, saying that a comprehensive review of the industrial lands that were allocated during the last period is ongoing in order to discourage land hoarding.
She confirmed that the Ministry of Trade and Industry is reviewing the map of industrial investment, especially as it is marred by some technical errors in offering land electronically.
The minister also noted that there is continuous follow-up with all parties to help investors, and urged business associations to promote investments in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).
Gamea noted that a slowdown has occurred due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but hte Ministry of Trade and Industry is working to reverse the impacts and fix customs issues to facilitate trade.
She explained that imports decreased as a result of the slowdown in global trade, with some sectors negatively affected by the pandemic. Other sectors, such as medical supplies, food industries, and ready-made clothes, have achieved significant growth rates, with some factories in these sectors converting their production lines to produce fabric face masks.