USAID launches TRADE project to increase Egyptian SME exports

Meeting discussed the strategy to support SMEs in the engineering industries sector

  
Group of entrepreneurs and business people sitting at the table and discussing potential cooperation and joint projects. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Group of entrepreneurs and business people sitting at the table and discussing potential cooperation and joint projects. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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The Engineering Export Council of Egypt (EECE) has met with representatives from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to launch the Trade Reform and Development in Egypt (TRADE) project.

Also present at the meeting were a team of experts responsible for the TRADE project, which is funded by USAID.

The project aims to increase small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) exports in some industrial sectors, including engineering industries.

The EECE said that the meeting discussed the strategy to support SMEs in the engineering industries sector, as well as plans to increase exports and ways to overcome obstacles that affect competitiveness of exporting companies. 

This is in addition to enhancing the council’s role in supporting Egypt’s industrial community and exporters. The meeting also tackled issues of developing policies related to trade and investment in Egypt.

The council stated that the TRADE project will be implemented during a period of five years, starting this year. The project includes three main components, namely: improving the export capabilities of SMEs; building capacities of trade-supporting institutions, such as export councils; and developing trade and investment policies besides improving the institutional environment.

EECE Executive Director Mai Helmy said that the council will present a clear vision within the project’s framework, to benefit companies that are currently exporting. This will also see new SMEs added for export during the coming period.

Helmy added that the project will enable companies benefiting from it to obtain some services, such as granting SMEs quality certificates to penetrate African markets. 

This would also see: training grants provided to increase exports to all markets; increasing capabilities of small companies to raise the level and quality of exported products; and support for new small companies in market penetration and export.

She revealed that the council seeks to enhance ways of cooperation with development partners from international bodies. This will provide all aspects of support and assistance necessary for the engineering industries sector to increase its exports, create new export opportunities, as well as introduce new companies to the export sector.

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