Mars Wrigley Egypt is looking to increase its exports to $100m by the end of 2018, according to Ehab AbouOaf, Mars regional president for the Asia-Australia, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA) region.
AbouOaf said that about 80-90% of Mars’ overall production from its Sixth of October factories will be exported. Furthermore, these expansions will create 100 new direct job opportunities at Mars as well as hundreds of indirect job opportunities such as distribution, logistics, advertising, and retail.
The company held an inauguration ceremony Tuesday for the first phase of its investment expansions for its Sixth of October factory, within the company’s plans to transform Egypt to a regional industrial and exporting hub in the AMEA region through supplementing two new production lines worth EGP 750m of investment.
The company will launch its second production line in six months.
These expansions coincide with Mars’ celebration of 17 years of operating in the Egyptian market, through which it managed to double its investment volume 20 times as much, from EGP 50mn in 2001, to over EGP 1bn at present. This is an addition to exporting its products from Egypt to 20 other markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
The ceremony was attended by Tarek Kabil, minister of industry and trade, Martin Radvan, president of Mars Wrigley Confectionary, and Ehab AbouOaf, Mars regional president for the AMEA region, along with several key figures from Mars global bureaus.
Mars Wrigley is the world’s biggest confectionery manufacturer, operating in 80 countries worldwide with over 80,000 associates. Mars owns nine brands that achieve a record of over $1bn annually, such as Galaxy, Twix, Snickers, M&Ms, Mars, and Bounty.
Kabil said that the inauguration of such massive expansions sends a message that will resonate with international corporations: come invest in the Egyptian market. “Our market restored its status as one of the most central investment hubs in the region and the world,” he added.
He revealed that Mars’ investment in expansion plans are positive results of Egypt’s economic reform programme, emphasising the government’s success in creating an attractive and encouraging environment for international corporations to invest.
Kabil highlighted that Egypt’s conclusion of several trade agreements with different countries and international economic conglomerates, including in the Arab Gulf region, COMESA, European Union, Turkey, and Agadir, provides more access to numerous promising markets.
“The Egyptian market is open to about 1.8 billion consumers, which ticked up to 2.2 billion after establishing the Eurasian market, then to 2.6 billion after the agreement between the three biggest African conglomerates, providing companies operating in the Egypt with more access to a host of internationally active markets,” the minister said.
For his part, Mars Wrigley President Martin Radvan said, “Egypt represents a wonderful success story for Mars. Since we started our operations in Egypt in 1995, Egypt has been and is still a perfect market, which supported our choice of Egypt to be our centre of productions in the Middle East and Africa, and to double our investments in the country to reach EGP 2bn by the end of 2018.”
Radvan added, “our expansions reflect Mars’ confidence in the Egyptian economy, as Mars is committed to long-term investments in the places it operates in. We came to stay in Egypt, and our commitment towards the Egyptian economy is firm.”
AbouOaf stated that the company’s industrial expansion does not only reflect an increase in the production capacity of its factory, but also represents a true turning point in operations, making Egypt the core of Mars’ industrial and exporting processes in the region. It further reflects the company’s upbeat outlook towards the Egyptian economy’s future, particularly following the recent economic reforms package implemented by the Egyptian government, he said.