The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) revealed that Egypt’s exports to the US increased by 28.2% during the period from January to September 2018.
The CAPMAS explained that the volume of the Egyptian exports to the US exceeded $1.30bn, 7 bn during the first nine months of 2018 (9M18), compared to $1.020bn during the same period in 2017, an increase of $287.5m or 28.2%.
According to CAPMAS’s recent bulletin on Egypt’s exports and imports during the period from January to September 2018, the most prominent Egyptian exports to the US were clothes, fuel, and fertilisers.
“The Us is one of the top five countries importing from Egypt during the above mentioned period of this year, accounting for 6.1% of Egypt’s total exports during the first 9M18 recording $21.6bn,” according to the CAPMAS.
Notably, this volume of exports is still limited in view of the fact that Egypt’s products have a free gateway to the US through the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) agreement, which is a protocol between the US, Egypt, and Israel. The agreement enables unlimited duty-free exports of Egyptian goods to the US market.
As for Alaa Ezz, secretary general of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce(fedcoc), he informed Daily News Egypt that Egypt is not properly benefiting from the QIZ agreement, as it focused on exporting ready-made garments, however all traders and manufacturers did not think to diversify their industries in order to increase Egyptian exports to the US.
“If an investor comes to Egypt to open a new factory, why do we not explain to him that if he develops the factory in any QIZ area, he will be able to export to the US duty-free?” Ezz asked.
Notably, the QIZ areas are represented in 14 geographical regions in Egypt, which were designated by the US, from which goods can be exported duty-free to the US.
Ezz elaborated that most of the investments which started in the QIZ zones are Turkish and Chinese companies, thus most of the exports of the QIZ are Turkish and Chinese investments which are manufactured here in Egypt, along with some Egyptian companies.
He affirmed that Egypt needs to further promote the idea of manufacturing in the QIZ regions, explaining that the Turkish and Chinese companies began their investments in the QIZ regions alone without any promotional efforts from Egypt.