Egypt’s non-oil exports recorded $3.8 billion in the first two months of 2018, with an increase of $500 million, compared to $3.3 billion in the same months of 2017, according to General Organization for Export and Import Control.
Non-oil sectors such as building materials, chemicals and agricultural crops, food industries, garments, textiles, as well as engineering goods were the top exporters during the first two months in 2018.
Among the countries which imported the Egyptian goods in January were the UAE, Turkey, Italy, Saudi Arabia, United States, Spain, United Kingdom, Lebanon, Jordan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Netherlands, India, Russia, and Iraq.
The rise in exports came as a result of opening new markets and expanding the traditional markets, besides benefiting from free trade agreements signed with foreign markets.
Egypt is involved in international trade deals that came into action during the recent period; as the Mercosur Agreement which is a free trade agreement signed by Egypt and Mercosur countries in 2010, including immediate customs clearance for 63 percent of the exports of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to Egypt.
The Mercosur trade deal covers food, cars, auto parts and industrial supplies, and was signed by Egypt and Mercosur members in 2010, but only came into force in 2017.
Another trade agreement that Egypt is involved in is the deal with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which represents a free trade area with 19 member states, stretching from Libya to Swaziland. COMESA was formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981.
The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said Sunday that Egypt’s exports increased 7 percent in a year-on-year basis in January 2018 to reach $2.15 billion, compared to $2.01 billion in the same month in 2017.
Moreover, Egypt’s exports of chemicals and fertilizers increased by 22.2 percent in January and February 2018, recording $748 million, compared to $613 million in the same period of 2017, according to data from the Chemicals and Fertilizers Export Council.
Egypt’s non-oil exports rose 10 percent in 2017 to $22.42 billion, up from $20.41 billion in 2016.
Egyptian goods became attractive to foreign markets after the floatation of the state’s currency in November 2016, losing 50 percent of its value, which is reflected on the increased exports.