Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry is about to finalise a comprehensive strategy for automotive industry after adding new items related to electric cars, in preparation for submission to the Prime Minister within a week, where the new strategy will be agreed upon by all concerned authorities, according to Minister Nevine Gamea.
“The ministry used the old strategy in the automotive industry and added to it a new item for electric cars. Moreover, the Ministry conducted a comprehensive review of the old strategy, made amendments to it and added new items,” Gamea highlighted. “Over and above, the ministry is currently completing a feasibility study on imposing fees on pallet imports and steel, and we will present it to the ministers within two weeks.”
The minister revealed that decreasing Egypt’s imports and boosting exports is a key priority for the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The government has achieved a 4% increase in non-oil exports in January, amounting to $2.188bn, compared to $2.103bn back in January 2019.
In her first press meeting, Gamea said that the ministry is currently considering trade agreements to increase Egypt’s commercial growth rates, as well as activating some important agreements, noting, “we pursued efforts to increase the utilisation of these agreements to increase the presence of Egyptian products in foreign markets and to maximise these newly activated agreements.”
Additionally, the Minister said that another key priority for the coming period is linking industrial complexes around the country to market studies provided by the Industrial Modernisation Centre.
The Trade and Industry Ministry is very interested in supporting participation of Egyptian companies in foreign exhibitions. The Trade and Industry ministry allocated EGP 125m to support exhibitions, however, the ministry is still reviewing and studying this file, looking to allocate 30% of the subsidy to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Gamea noted.
Paying exporter dues under the Export Subsidiary Fund is also another urgent issue the ministry is currently working on. She unveiled that EGP 924m has been paid to 1,400 Egyptian companies and the prime minister has already approved another 10% of dues to be paid.
Contracts for the settlement of dues for 77 exporting companies have been signed, and any SME that has a due exceeding EGP5m will be totally paid.
The ministry plans to complete the construction of about 13 industrial complexes, meaning that there will be an additional 4,500 plants contributing to the productivity of the industrial sector, especially for products meant for exporting. It will also be providing more direct job opportunities while attracting more domestic and foreign investments into the sector.
Gamea announced that one of her latest priorities is activating the role of Preferring Local Components Committee and deepening the role of Industrial Modernisation Centre to develop and modernise the industrial sector and increase its competitiveness.
The minister affirmed that there is no disagreement between the Industrial Development Authority and the New Urban Communities Authority regarding the allocation of industrial lands. In fact, there is great coordination between ministers of industry and housing to provide lands for industrial activities as there is work currently being done to break up any overlap in terms of reference.
Regarding energy prices for the industrial sector, Gamea mentioned that this is subject to the competence of the Ministerial Energy Committee, which meets every 6 months. This matter will be discussed in its entirety during the committee’s next meeting in April. The decision will be made in accordance to a common vision between the ministries and the Prime Minister.
Gamea disclosed that a mechanism is being developed to implement Ministerial Resolution No. 43 regarding the registration of companies exporting to the Egyptian market in order to define procedures for decision implementation and business community facilitation.