The Chamber of Food Industries aims to complete its study of investment opportunities in the sector by December to establish national projects in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry.
Ashraf El Gazayerli, Chairman of the Chamber of Food Industries, said that the Minister of Industry, Tarek Kabil, has commissioned the Chamber to study the needs of the local market and investment opportunities that can be turned into national projects. He added that the study is expected to be completed and submitted to the minister before the end of the year.
He pointed out that the food industry is one of the most attractive sectors of investment in the coming period because it has nearly 100 million consumers.
Gazayerli expected that the juice sector will achieve the highest growth rates in the coming period, since it depends on local raw materials so the cost of production has not increase significantly compared to other sectors.
Gazayerli called for eliminating the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade’s decision to oblige the companies operating in the food industry to print the price on the commodities, in accordance with the amendments of the consumer protection law. He noted that the minister’s decision violates the free market rules, and the supply and demand mechanism.
Gazayerli pointed out that the decision raised controversy among some foreign and Arab investors wishing to invest in the food sector in Egypt, revealing that a number of local and foreign companies filed complaints to the Chamber objecting the decision.
The Ministry of Supply announced in February the implementation of several measures to control the markets through amending the consumer protection law, and obliging companies to print prices and full data on products. The ministry gave companies a period of notice until the beginning of 2018 to adjust their situation.
Gazayerli said that the economic decisions, especially the flotation of the pound, contributed to developing the Egyptian economy and gave hope to the industrial society in increasing industrial growth rates and the competitiveness of local products in international markets.
He added that the government decisions to increase the prices of electricity and fuel have negatively affected local companies, and increased the cost of production which resulted in prices hikes and 25% decline in sales while the production capacity of factories fall to 50%.
Gazayerli pointed out that the rise in imported raw materials’ prices in addition to high production costs contributed to the decline of companies’ profit margins.
He said that a strategic plan had been put in place to increase the sector’s exports in the coming period through entering new markets in the European content in particular.
Gazayerli pointed out that the issuance of the new Investment Law will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the Egyptian product and attract Arab and foreign investments to the Egyptian market.
He stressed that the issuance of the Food Safety Authority Law and the Executive Regulations of the Land Licensing Law will contribute to the elimination of unlicensed factories, pointing out that these legislations are working to raise the efficiency of Egyptian products. Gazayerli said that the rise in the interest rate on borrowing and deposits caused a deflation in the market, as well as high inflation due to the decline in demand for goods and not because of high production costs.