Egypt’s chemicals and fertilisers sector has started exporting products to Spain and Argentina for the first time, according to Khaled Abo Al-Makarem, Chairperson of the Chemical Industries and Fertilizers Export Council.
Abo Al-Makarem added that the sector’s exports are expected to be no less than $5bn by the end of 2020.
He said that the sector’s total exports during the first half (H1) of 2020 declined 15% to about $2.875bn, compared to the $3.372bn during the same period last year.
He also revealed that a memorandum is currently being prepared that will be submitted to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, calling for the implementation of the shipping support programme to Africa to include all markets.
Abo El-Makarem said that the disbursement of support for exports to all markets will facilitate an increase in exports. These have been implemented to counter the economic effects, both locally and internationally, of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He added that the global health crisis has significantly impacted production at factories and caused a decline in demand in both domestic and foreign markets.
He also said that a new system for export support is currently under discussions, which is expected to be announced next month.
Abo El-Makarem said that the system, which will be presented to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, confirms the importance of quickly putting into place support mechanisms. He also said that the period for providing support should not exceed six months.
He also said that about 20% of export customs arrears will be disbursed during the next month, bringing the total of disbursements to about 50% of the total arrears. In parallel with this, the new dues will be disbursed within a maximum of six months.
Abo Al-Makarem praised Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea’s response to complaints put forward by Egyptian companies producing and exporting alcohol products and its derivatives.
Many companies in the sector had highlighted a surplus in alcohol stocks that negatively impacted their production outputs. Egypt has significant export opportunities from and to the UAE, Jordan and Europe, with Gamea’s agreement to the export of Egyptian alcohol products ensuring a stabilisation in this sector.
Abo Al-Makarem revealed that Egypt will also be able to make use of a large logistics entity in Africa through which the country will be able to export its goods. This entity was created through the merger of five shipping companies belonging to the country’s public business sector, to facilitate exporters and importers in the field of shipping.
He added that a permanent centre for Egyptian products is being established in Sudan’s free zone. He said that the council had previously established a centre in Sudan that managed, within two years, to increase Egyptian exports by 48%.