Egypt's trade deficit dips 17% during 2020: Min.



Tue, 19 Jan 2021 - 12:55 GMT


Tue, 19 Jan 2021 - 12:55 GMT

Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea: File Photo

Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea: File Photo

CAIRO – 19 January 2021: Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea, announced the success of the ministry's efforts to reduce the trade balance deficit of Egypt with world countries during 2020 by 17 percent, on an annual basis.


Gamea added in a statement, Tuesday, that Egypt's trade deficit with the countries of the world during 2020 amounted to about $38.291 billion, compared to $46.225 billion during 2019.


“This decline came as a result of the positive rates achieved in the foreign trade performance indicators during the past year, which totaled $ 88.882 billion,” she pointed out.


The minister said that Egyptian exports witnessed a slight decline by 1 percent during 2020, reaching a value of $25.295 billion, compared to $25.637 billion in 2019, while imports witnessed a significant decline by 12 percent, reaching $63.587 billion, compared to $71.862 billion during 2019.


Gamea explained that these positive indicators that were achieved during the past year confirm the success of the Egyptian government's efforts to deal with the repercussions of the spread of the Coronavirus crisis, which cast a shadow over the global trade movement.


She emphasized that despite the cessation of the wheel of production in many countries of the world, the Egyptian industry was able to face this crisis. This is thanks to the urgent measures taken by the government since the start of the crisis, especially with regard to lowering the prices of gas and electricity for the productive sectors, as well as the launch of many initiatives to pay back dues to exporters, which contributed to preserving the export markets and employment as well.


She indicated that the significant decline in imports came as a result of the trend towards starting to manufacture a number of inputs and production requirements locally instead of importing them, which achieves the objectives of the national program launched by the ministry to deepen local manufacturing and network manufacturing chains.


For his part, Chairman of the General Organization for Export and Import Control, Ismail Gaber, explained that there are a number of export sectors that have achieved significant growth during 2020, including exports of the building materials sector, which recorded $6.15 billion, compared to $5.14 billion in 2019, with an increase of 20 percent.


According to Gaber, the most important recipient countries for Egyptian exports of building materials included the UAE with a value of $ 2.14 billion, Canada with a value of $ 632 million, and Italy with a value of $ 492 million.


The exports of the medical industries sector during the year 2020 amounted to about $548 million, compared to about $540 million, marking an increase of 1 percent at a value of $8 million, he noted.


He added that the most important markets receiving countries for Egyptian exports of medical industries included Saudi Arabia with 84 million, Yemen with $51 million, and Sudan with $43 million.


Moreover, Egyptian exports to the handicraft sector during 2020 amounted to about $208 million, compared to $207 million in 2019, and the most important markets for Egyptian exports included Turkey with a value of $ 32 million, Sudan with a value of $ 24 million, and Germany with a value of $ 24 million.


Gaber pointed to the success of the ministry’s plan to rationalize imports, especially those that have a local counterpart, and to replace the importer with a local product, pointing out that there are a number of sectors whose imports have witnessed a significant decline during 2020, including the ready-to-wear sector, whose imports decreased by 24 percent, recording $414 million, compared to $544 million in 2019.


“Handicraft imports recorded a decrease of 21 percent, recording $317 million, compared to about $401 million during 2019, and imports of leather and shoe sector products achieved a 20 percent decrease, recording $162 million, compared to $202 million in 2019,” he added.


He mentioned that there are 5 countries whose markets accounted for 35.6 percent of total Egyptian exports, including the United Arab Emirates with a value of $2.88 billion, the United States of America with a value of $1.556 billion, Saudi Arabia with a value of $1.7 billion, Turkey with $ 1.614 billion, and Italy with $1.268 billion.


On the most important exporting countries to the Egyptian market, Gaber pointed out that there are 5 countries that accounted for 41.1 percent of total Egyptian imports from abroad, including China with a value of $11.57 billion, the United States of America with a value of $4.577 billion, Germany with a value of $3.959 billion, and Italy with a value of $3.15 billion, and Russia worth $2.94 billion.



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