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CAIRO – 4 July 2018: Egypt’s exports of medical and pharmaceutical industries hiked 14 percent in May 2018, recording $41 million, compared to $35 million in the same month of 2017.
From January to May, the medical and pharmaceutical exports amounted to $191 million, compared to $180 million in the same months of 2017, with an increase of 6 percent.
This came in the monthly report of the Export Council of Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries, headed by Maged George.
On a different note, the Chemicals & Fertilizers Export Council (CEC) announced earlier that Egypt’s chemical exports dropped 9 percent to $376 million in May 2018, compared to $415 million in the same month of 2017.
While generally the non-petroleum exports recorded $10.7 billion during the first five months of 2018, according to Head of the General Organization for Export and Import Control Ismail Gaber.
Gaber added that exports in May reached $2.07 billion, in which $1.58 billion went for non-oil and non-manufacturing exports and $489 million for food exports.
Egypt’s exports witnessed a recovery during the last period after the flotation of the Egyptian currency, the activation trade agreements, and the application of the 2020 strategy.
In November 2016, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of an economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
The 2020 strategy was launched in November 2016 by former Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil. It includes five main axes: industrial development, small and medium enterprise (SME) development and entrepreneurship, export development, training and technical education development, and corporate governance and development.
The strategy aims at increasing exports in the first place after strengthening the local industry.
Kabil aimed to enter new markets, expand in traditional markets and make full use of trade agreements signed with a large number of countries and economic blocs around the world to boost Egyptian exports to foreign markets.
Egypt benefits from the trade agreements that have lately come into action, reflecting on the rising volume of its exports. The state is involved in international trade deals such as the Mercosur Agreement, which is a free-trade agreement signed by Egypt and Mercosur countries in 2010, including immediate customs clearance for 63 percent of the exports of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay going to Egypt.
The Mercosur trade deal covers food, cars, auto parts and industrial supplies, and was signed by Egypt and Mercosur members in 2010, but only came into force in 2017.
Another trade agreement that Egypt is committed to is the deal with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which represents a free-trade area with 19 member states, stretching from Libya to Swaziland. COMESA was formed in December 1994 to replace the Preferential Trade Area, which had existed since 1981.
In 2004, Egypt signed Agadir Agreement which is a free trade agreement between four Arab countries: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. The agreement which came into force in 2007 helped to enhance the trade exchange between these four countries.