Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour called on agricultural exporters to focus on Arab markets more than in the past, particularly the Gulf countries, in light of the difficult situation in Turkey, which was formerly a the main supplier of this market.
He said: “Turkey is influenced by its security situation and instability in Syria and Iraq, and this is an opportunity for Egyptian agricultural exports to acquire a larger portion of these markets in the near future.”
Abdel Nour pointed out that agricultural exports of vegetables such as green beans and fruits like grapes and strawberries witnessed a record-setting boom in terms of volume and value over the past year. The minister called for Egyptian agricultural exporters to enter new markets, including the United States, Asia, and Africa, while also maintaining a strong presence in traditional markets.
The minister intends to redistribute subsidies allocated to exports for various industries after having reduced them in the fiscal year 2014/2015 general budget by EGP 500m, down to EGP 2.6bn in total. He stated these facts during his speech at the annual celebration organised by the Horticultural Export Improvement Association, which was attended by Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Adel El-Beltagy.
Abdel Nour said: “The decrease in the fund’s budget is a result of current economic conditions and adecrease in public spending… the ministry held many consultations within the government in order to arrive at these amounts; the proposals for financial allocations were much less than what has now been attained.”
“Support for exports provided by the agricultural exports fund has been reduced… however, this reduction can be compensated through additional incentives granted to each producer from remote areas like the New Valley, Upper Egypt, Sinai, and other border governorates, as well as support for exporters to forge new markets for Egyptian agricultural exports,” he said.
“We are interested in the governorates of Upper Egypt and in benefitting from the potential within these governorates, as they may prove a great resource for a number of agricultural exports in the near future,” Abdel-Nour added.
He also pointed out that conversations are currently being conducted to establish storage areas for agricultural crops within the Sohag or Assiut airports. Funding is available to build the areas and fully exploit the benefits of all crops available from these governorates that enjoy popularity in European markets, he explained.