The ambitions and hopes of the automotive sector were renewed after Amr Nassar became the new minister of trade and industry earlier this month.
Nassar is the first industry minister to have a background and history in the automotive sector, as he previously served as an executive consultant for MCV Group.
The demands and ambitions of the sector vary, including laying out a clear government strategy for automotive manufacturing, opening new markets for exportation, reviewing the laws regulating the industry, setting standard specifications for Egyptian cars, and manufacturing an Egyptian car for export.
Increasing productivity, exporting my main priorities: Nassar
“Increasing productivity and exporting are my main priorities in order to improve the competitiveness of the Egyptian industry with the aim of exporting to foreign markets,” said Amr Nassar in a statement to Daily News Egypt.
He added that the car manufacturing issue is one of the most important portfolios before the ministry.
Nassar was previously responsible for business development at MCV Group, the authorised agent of Mercedes-Benz. He managed to change the image of the company at the time from local to international.
MCV has several branches in Europe, the Arabian Gulf, Latin America, South Africa, Algeria, and Sudan.
Nassar has two university degrees, in engineering (1985) and law (1990). He also completed a range of studies in marketing and administration, which support his career.
He has worked as a business development adviser at Sony, General Electric, Exxon Mobil, and IIR United Kingdom and Dubai.
He also served as a member of the board of directors of the Automobile Marketing Information Council (AMIC), as well as vice chairperson of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) in the MENA region from 2008-2014.
Nassar has been part of the Egyptian Road Safety Association as a member of its executive committee since 2006. He was appointed in 2012 as the vice head of the Engineering Export Council of Egypt (EEC), which is the advisory council for the minister of industry.
His policies are clear in terms of developing exports: Ahmed Fekry Abdelwahab
Ahmed Fekry Abdelwahab, member of the board of directors of the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), said that the new minister is famous for his high efficiency, and he has clear policies for the development of exports through his work with MCV, especially in terms of exporting to European countries. He also has experience from his time as the secretary general of the EEC.
Abdelwahab explained to Daily News Egypt that it is early to judge the government’s vision and intention to deepen the automotive industry after the new minister took office. “We await a meeting with the minister in order to understand his future vision for the industry,” he added.
Determining auto, exporting strategies’ situation: Abdul Moneim Al Qadi
Abdul Moneim Al Qadi, vice president of the Engineering Industries Chamber of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, said that Nassar is one of the people who are very serious about what they do and who actively work to move the exports development file. He expects the new minister to give great attention to that area first, followed by the area of car manufacturing.
He demanded the new minister take decisions boldly when it comes to determining the position of the car manufacturing strategy. The sector needs a government direction in terms of manufacturing cars locally for exportation and setting standards and specifications for Egyptian cars, as well as taking practical steps to open the door for feeder industries.
New minister good addition to sector: Hamdy Abdelaziz
Hamdy Abdelaziz, a member of the board of directors of the Engineering Industries Chamber of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, said that Nassar is considered a good addition to the automotive sector; however, the effort made by former minister Tarek Kabil to set the strategy of car manufacturing must not be forgotten, along with his submitting it to the cabinet.
Abdelaziz added that the sector awaits the new minister to take steps in several areas, with exportation being the most prominent, as well as developing feeder industries and determining specifications for Egyptian cars.
I demand Nassar visit car factories: Hassan Soliman
Hassan Soliman, head of the Egyptian Automobile Manufacturers Association (EAMA) and Al Amal Group for car manufacturing, expressed his happiness with the new minister, wishing him the best of luck.
He stressed that Nassar must visit car manufacturing companies and increase their production capacities as well as solve their issues and cooperate with investors there. He must also look into the fuel crisis and its impact on the various industrial sectors, and he must lay out an integrated strategy for the ministry, according to Soliman.
Reviewing all laws and regulations governing the industry since 1958 up until now is necessary: Allam
Samir Allam, vice head of the Transport Division at the FEI, said that Minister Nassar taking office is among the most important news for the sector, explaining that choosing him is not only the result of the state’s attention to the automotive industry, but there are also many other reasons behind the selection.
He demanded a clear vision for the car industry, adding that, for his part, efforts will be made to support the implementation phase.
He added that reviewing all laws and regulations governing the industry, including specifications, quality, and licensing, as well as the industrial registration for factories, are all very necessary. He noted that no variety or increase in exports will take place without reviewing the situation of Egyptian products through the standard specifications system.
He must finish car manufacturing strategy: Moustafa
Hussein Moustafa, an expert in the automotive industry, said that Nassar becoming minister of industry is something to be optimistic about in the sector.
According to Moustafa, the new minister is a realistic man who takes careful steps and has his own vision that will become clear in the way he works. He stressed that all workers in the sector were happy to hear he took office.
He explained that as the minister of industry, Nassar is responsible for all sectors, and not just the automotive sector; hence, he must develop a comprehensive strategy to promote and encourage local industrialisation in all sectors.
As for the automotive sector, Moustafa believes that Nassar knows what is required and all the obstacles in Egypt. He demanded that Nassar encourage local industry and increase the percentage of feeder industries, and hence increase the percentage of local components in locally assembled cars. He also pointed out that it will be necessary to cooperate with smaller investors in the sector to operate troubled, small, and medium industries.
He added that Nassar must not limit himself to the decision made by former industry minister Kabil when it comes to the percentage of local components, as he must work to finish the automotive sector strategy, which the market has been waiting on for many years. That strategy is supposed to make Egypt a major automotive manufacturing base, not only locally, but for exportation and quantitative production.