EGYPT’S EXPORTS ONE BILLION USD UP, IMPORTS SEVEN BILLION USD DOWN: MINISTER

Egypt’s exports increased by one billion U.S. dollars, since the beginning of this year, while imports decreased by seven billion U.S. dollars, the country’s trade and industry minister said, in a statement on Sunday.

“The fields of construction materials, chemicals, fertilisers, food industries and furniture are on top of the sectors where exports have increased,” said Trade and Industry Minister, Tarek Kabil, referring to the period from Jan to Sept, 2016, compared to the same period last year.

He added that, the rising exports and declining imports over the past 10 months contributed to reducing the country’s budget deficit by eight billion U.S. dollars.

Egypt’s budget deficit has exceeded 35 billion dollars in the outgoing fiscal year 2015/2016, which led the country to resort to a 12-billion U.S. dollar loan, from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose initial agreement has been reached in Aug.

The minister said, the large decline in imports “represents a great chance for Egyptian industries to replace imported products with local ones.”

Egypt has recently seen a sharp decline in its main foreign currency resources, including tourism, which led to a large hike in dollar price and a wide gap between its official and black market exchange rates, affecting many import-based businesses.

Economic reforms, the IMF loan, tourism recovery and rising exports are hopeful steps for the country to revive its struggling economy.

“Exports represent one of the most important sources of foreign currencies, so raising our export rates requires improving the competitiveness of Egyptian products in the local and foreign markets,” the trade and industry minister explained.

Kabil said, his ministry is currently preparing a new strategy, to double exports within the next five years, in cooperation with all export sectors in Egypt.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.