Egypt can use COVID-19 to increase engineering exports: EEC

Engineering Export Council of Egypt conducted a study of Chinese exports

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Container trucks stand in line on the road due to bad weather in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, March 30, 2019.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Container trucks stand in line on the road due to bad weather in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, March 30, 2019.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The coronavirus outbreak may present opportunities for Egypt’s engineering sector to boost its products in certain markets, according to the Engineering Export Council of Egypt (EEC). The most important of these markets are Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, as exports between some large, competitive countries and Egypt decrease.

The EEC conducted a study of Chinese exports to gather information on the most important products and goods that it exports to its target countries. It then compared China’s divs with Egypt’s export capabilities for these products.

The council outlined plans to increase Egyptian engineering exports in the short- and long-terms by identifying the most important countries in each region. With a focus on the short-term, the most important companies in each country were also identified.

In its study, the EEC noted that the most important countries in Africa include Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya, and Zambia. Besides, Morocco, the UAE and Iraq were the Arab countries with the most opportunities, with countries such as Hungary, Estonia and the Netherlands as having the most European potential. The council noted that these countries were the most affected by the shortage of Chinese exports.

The most important engineering products to be exported to Africa are home appliances, alongside electrical and electronic products. The council identified ten products as the most important for Egypt to focus on, including electricity distribution boards, electricity meters, air conditioners, refrigerators, cookers and others. The EEC highlighted that the volume of Africa’s import of these products from China is worth $3.3bn annually.

The volume of the Arab world’s import of Chinese products has reached $100bn annually, while the average of Egyptian exports amounted to $1bn annually.

The most important targeted engineering products to be exported to Arab countries are automotive components, household appliances, electrical and electronic products. The EEC identified that local businesses could start by focusing on products such as as auto glass, electricity metres, electrical distribution boards, cookers, air conditioners, washing machines, amongst others.  The volume of Arab countries imports of these products from China recorded approximately $4.7bn annually.

Egyptian engineering exports recorded $380m in the first two months of 2020 compared to $349m in the same period in 2019, an increase of 9%. Moreover, engineering exports have increased to $1.618bn in the first eight months of the fiscal year (FY) 2019/2020, compared to $1.472bn in the same period of FY 2018/2019, an increase of 10%.

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