CAIRO - 31 May 2022: The industrial sector is receiving unprecedented attention from the Egyptian state, as it is the locomotive of economic development in Egypt and a mainstay for achieving social stability by providing job opportunities and improving the standard of living of citizens, Industry Minister Nevine Gamea affirmed.
Gamea pointed out Tuesday that this great interest had the greatest impact in achieving qualitative leaps and developments in the Egyptian industrial sector at the level of legislation, new investments and expansions in cities and industrial areas, as well as the rise in export indicators for all industrial sectors during the past years.
The minister said that the Egyptian leadership paid great attention to the export sector, which contributed to achieving a remarkable improvement in Egypt's foreign trade indicators, especially with regard to the increase in export rates, the decline in imports, and the achievement of positive development in the indicators of Egypt's trade balance with the countries of the world.
She pointed out that these factors contributed to the rise in the value of Egyptian merchandise exports during 2021 to reach $32.34 billion, which is the highest value of exports in the history of Egypt's foreign trade.
This came in the context of the Minister’s speech during her participation in the inaugural session of the activities of the sixth edition of the Egypt Can with Industry Conference, which is held under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and in the presence of Mostafa Madbouli, Prime Minister and with the participation and presence of a large number of scholars and experts in Egypt abroad as well as a group of industrialists in Egypt and a number of representatives of international companies.
The minister reviewed a number of positive indicators about the industrial sector in Egypt, which comes at the forefront of the economic sectors, as it contributes 11.7 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP), with the aim to reach 15 percent in the near future, and absorb about 28.2 percent of the total Egyptian workforce.
“The industrial sector investments amounted to about LE 49 billion during the fiscal year (2020/2021), which represents about 6 percent of the total public investments, in addition to the increase in the value of industrial output to about LE 982 billion in 2021, in addition to Egypt’s enjoyment of a diversified industrial base that includes about 150 industrial zones distributed over all governorates of Egypt,” She added.
Gamea indicated that Egypt is linked to a system of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with a large number of countries and international economic blocs that allow the Egyptian product to reach about 2 billion consumers around the world, in addition to the availability of a legislative environment that stimulates investment in various economic sectors in general and in the industrial sector in particular.
The minister clarified that the most prominent of which is the Law to Facilitate Licensing Procedures and its Executive Regulations, the New Investment Law, the Special Economic Zones Law, the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise Development Law, as well as the amendments to the Law on Protection of Competition and Prevention of Monopolistic Practices.
The Minister pointed out that, in conjunction with the challenges that the global economy has witnessed since the start of the Corona pandemic, the President has directed to strengthen partnership with the private sector with regard to infrastructure and national projects, and to rely on the Egyptian industry to supply the needs of these projects, which contributes to stimulating national production through investment in infrastructure as a main engine for the advancement of the economy.
“The most prominent of these projects included adding more than 4,800 km of roads, developing the railway system for transporting goods, the new Suez Canal, developing commercial ports, increasing the length of berths, and establishing 8 new airports, the establishment of new power stations, the reclamation of 4 million feddans, and the inauguration of development projects such as the Egyptian Rural Development Project and the Good Life Initiative,” She added.
She explained that these strategic projects contributed to creating a large local demand for the products of the various industrial sectors, the most important of which are building and construction materials, the chemical industry, furniture, engineering industries, and others, with the aim of supplying about 70% of the total needs of these projects.
These projects also contributed to providing the Egyptian industry with an opportunity to expand, increase its production capacity and provide more job opportunities, thus contributing to improving the standard of living for citizens, according to the Minister.
She pointed out that these efforts contributed to making the Egyptian economy an attractive economy for foreign investments, in addition to facilitating access to global markets
“This took place by doubling the absorptive capacity of the infrastructure for transporting products, providing advanced logistics services, and linking with regional and global roads, which contributes to reducing production costs and increasing export competitiveness by shortening the time taken to access ports and promoting industrial infrastructure from industrial cities, complexes, new cities, and land and sea ports that enjoy all related services,” she explained.
Gamea noted that the government has taken, during the past 8 years, a number of measures to stimulate investment in the industrial sector, including the establishment of 17 industrial complexes in 15 governorates nationwide, at a total investment cost of LE 10 billion, and a total of 5,046 industrial units providing about 48 thousand direct job opportunities.
The measures also included And the establishment of 4 new industrial cities, including the Leather City in Al-Rubiki, the new Furniture City in Damietta, the Marble City in Galala, and the Medicine City in the Khanka region, in addition to the opening of the first phase of the Textile Industries Complex in Al-Rubiki and the Silo Foods project for food industries in Sadat City.
The minister added that 43.5 million square meters of attached industrial land were made available in all governorates during the period from July 2016 until now, as during the last four years, 4 times the area that was available during 10 years was made available, and the first integrated map for industrial investment was launched in Egypt includes 27 governorates, in addition to launching the national program to deepen local industrialization, which aims to raise the competitiveness of the Egyptian industry, replace imported national products, and create an industrial base from local suppliers.
Gamea added that the measures taken by the government also included the launch of the national program for converting and replacing vehicles to work with clean energy, and that the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprise Development Agency provided LE 3.5 billion in financing for 67,273 small and micro-industrial projects from July 2014 to April 2022. This contributed to creating 232,390 new job opportunities, issuing 4,900 new Egyptian standards, launching the Egyptian Halal mark, and graduating 95,000 qualified technical workers to meet the needs of the industrial sector.
The Minister of Trade and Industry stated that a list of 100 stimulus measures had also been prepared to advance the Egyptian industry and attract investors to invest in the various industrial sectors, including 58 short-term measures, 33 medium-term measures, and 9 long-term measures, in addition to the speedy disbursement of exporters' dues to the Export Development Fund, where the total amounted to Export support disbursed during the period from 2014 to the current year LE 54.6 billion to 2,600 companies through several initiatives, including 1963 companies within the framework of the immediate payment initiative.
She stressed the importance of the role of the private sector in achieving the goals of industrial development, as it is a key partner in implementing the state’s plans to achieve the targeted industrial development.
The Minister indicated that 12 industrial zones were established through 8 industrial developers from the private sector, with a total area of 42 million square meters, pointing out that approvals and licenses were also granted to establish new factories and expansions of existing factories, totaling 6,223 industrial facilities at an investment cost of up to LE 225 billion, which created about 370,000 job opportunities, during the period from June 2014 until the issuance of Law 15 of 2017 on facilitating licensing procedures, in addition to granting 61,253 operating licenses, 4,946 building licenses and 40087 industrial registration certificates, since the issuance of the licensing procedures facilitation law in June 2017 to the end of April 2022.
On the ministry’s action plan to achieve the targets of $100 billion in exports announced by President Sisi, Gamea noted that the ministry’s efforts succeeded in achieving an unprecedented increase in export rates during the last period, as the total Egyptian merchandise exports in 2015 amounted to about $18.6 billion, compared to $32.3 billion by the end of 2021, marking an increase of 73.6 percent.
These positive indicators have contributed to fixing the imbalance in Egypt's trade balance with the countries of the world, which at the end of 2021 amounted to about $46.392 billion, compared to $53.4 billion in 2014.