Daily News Egypt conducted an interview with the deputy head of the Transportation Division at the Chamber of Engineering Industries, Samir Allam, on the occasion of the third annual Egypt Automotive Summit scheduled to take place on 13 December.
What are the main topics you aim to discuss during the Egypt Automotive Summit?
I believe that the third annual Egypt Automotive Summit should address the investment opportunities in the automotive sector, specifically in the feeding industries, and the manufacturing of new automotive components, in line with the future policy of the automotive sector which aims to increase the domestic manufacturing ratio in vehicles.
How do you evaluate the third annual Egypt Automotive Summit?
The Egypt Automotive Summit represents the largest and most powerful summit that gathers experts and manufacturers from the automotive sector to exchange positive ideas in the field.
What are your main demands from government agencies concerned with the automotive sector?
Our main demand is facilitating the procedures of obtaining licences and permits, as well as commercial records, in light of the expected increase in local investments and the attraction of foreign investors to enter the Egyptian market. The awaited foreign investors are expected to establish new factories or enter in partnership with existing factories in the automotive and feeding industries.
We call on government agencies to eliminate burdens in this sector.
What are the major challenges facing the automotive sector?
The sector lacks a clear vision, represented in the delay of releasing the automotive industry strategy, which can provide adequate incentives under the government’s programme.
How do you evaluate the investment opportunities and the growth of the feeding industries in the Suez Canal Economic Zone?
The Suez Canal Economic Zone has promising investment opportunities, but the launch of feeding industries requires the establishment of an automotive factory, because the feeding industries follow automotive manufacturers.
What do you think of the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) decision to liberalise the exchange rate?
I think that this decision was delayed, which increased its negative effects, especially on the prices of all goods and products of which the components are imported. The companies are not capable of developing their budget plans for future business due to the currency fluctuations, particularly the customs paid in US dollars.
What is the impact of this decision on the automotive sector in terms of cost and investments?
The flotation of the Egyptian pound negatively affected the automotive sector, while the customs value on imported cars and automotive components has been increased, due to the use of the customs dollar in imports. It also led to a decline in investments allocated to the sector after the decline of the pound’s purchasing power.