Egypt’s imports shrank 12%, between January and November 2020, to about $58.1bn compared to $65.82bn in the same period of 2019, according to Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea.
Gamea said that the country’s trade deficit also experienced a drop of 17%, during the same period of 2020, coming in at $35.3bn compared to the nearly $42.5bn reported in the comparison period of 2019. The downturn in the trade deficit reflected a decrease of $7.1bn.
The minister added that the total value of Egyptian exports in the first 11 months (11M) of 2020 amounted to about $22.8bn. This compared to the $23.4bn reported in the same period in 2019, reflecting a slight decrease rate due to the global conditions caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
She had previously projected for Egyptian exports to exceed $25bn by the end of 2020.
Gamea said that sectors that achieved an increase in their exports during the period from January to November 2020. This included: the building materials sector which achieved $5.6bn; the medical industries sector which achieved $488m; and food industries sector which achieved $3.1bn.
The largest receiving markets of Egyptian exports during the period include: the UAE, with a value of $2.7bn; Saudi Arabia, with a value of $1,5bn; Turkey, with a value of $1.4bn; the US, with $1.4bn; and Italy with $1.1bn.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has adopted an ambitious plan to double the value of merchandise exports to $100bn over the next few years.
It expects to do so by accessing and opening up new export markets for Egyptian products, particularly markets that are linked to Egypt through preferential agreements that allow access to about 2 billion people.