Egyptian exports to France increased by 17% in the first half (H1) of 2017, scoring a value of €321.3m, up from €274.9m in H1 2016.
According to the latest report of the Economic Department of the French embassy in Egypt, imports from France increased by 11% in the same period, reaching €915.9m, compared to €825.7m.
Trade exchange between Cairo and Paris increased from €1.1bn to €1.2bn, up by 12.4%. French exports to Egypt increased because of the rise in imports of appliances and electric devices by 41% at a value of €306.5m.
The value of French imports of calculators was about €29.9m, turbines and engines €15.7m, and measuring equipment €82m, with a growth of 30%.
French imports of optical devices and data storage devices came in at €51.3m, marking a growth of 119% compared to 2016.
Imports of agricultural food products increased by 55% to €60.9m in H1 2017, while French exports of transport equipment registered €53.8m.
The value of France’s imports of industrial products stabilised at €369.2m, up by 0.6% in H1 2017 compared to H1 2016.
Exports of mineral products also increased by 75% to €29.1m and mining by 18% to €54.3m because of the price increase of metals.
Pharmaceutical imports saw a slight decline by 6% worth €129.6m, while chemicals declined by 5%, despite marking a value of €106.3m.
Although French imports of agricultural products during H1 2017 reached €45.3m, but they still declined by 64%, which reflected on the imports of France from grain with a decline of 70% worth €34.2m, especially wheat, which fell by 68%, while imports reached a value of €34.1m.
French grain imports were down in 2016 by 64%, reaching €121m compared to 2015.
The embassy explained that this was caused by the poor quality of the 2015/2016 harvest that did not meet the Egyptian standards, next to the Egyptian authorities tightening the quality measures. Egypt instead sought imports from eastern Europe, including Russia, Ukraine, and Romania, which were more able to compete with France within the Egyptian market in this regard.
Egyptian exports to France of chemical products, including fertilisers and methanol, registered a remarkable growth of 80% worth €147m in H1 2017 compared to H1 2016.
Egypt has resumed the export of natural gas to France in 2017, with a value amounting to €13m in H1 2016 has not seen any activity in this field. Egypt’s crude oil and petroleum products exports to France stopped this year.
Egypt’s exports of transport equipment decreased also to €18.3m (9%) while exports of communication equipment grew by an impressive 445% with exports of €3m.
Agricultural export products of citrus and vegetables amounted to €2.7m with a growth of 19%.
French textile companies to visit Egypt 10 November: BTM Group vice president
Five French textile companies are set to visit Egypt on 10 November. The companies will be accompanied by representatives of the French Association for the Textile Industry. The delegation will explore investment opportunities and ways of joint cooperation with Egypt in the fields of vocational and technical training.
Mary Lewis, vice president of BTM Group, a member of the Egyptian-French Business Council told Daily News Egypt that the Textile Export Council and its French counterpart will sign a memorandum of understanding )MoU) to transfer the technical and professional expertise to Egyptian factories and develop Egyptian textile industries.
She added that the visit of the French delegation will include tours within Egyptian factories to see the Egyptian cotton spinning industry closely, activate the trade exchange movement and increase the volume of Egyptian textile exports.
Among the most prominent companies that will visit Egypt is Eminence, which has investments of €100m, as well as Deveaux, which has investments of €74.2m, next to Verne with investments of €4.5m, and Tenthorey with investments of €10m.
Lewis stressed the importance of complementary industries, which greatly affects the country’s trade balance and drains a great deal of efforts and money in importation, resulting in a rise in the price of local products.
She added that the majority of large factories need many complementary industries. For example, the textile industry needs to manufacture hangers, buttons, and zippers, which are being imported, either because of the scarcity or lack of complementary factories. A similar situation is across all other industries.
She called for the establishment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for young people through the establishment of a complex of complementary industries to various sectors in one of the industrial areas, which will save a lot for manufacturers and will reflect on the development of investments and reduce imports and support the Egyptian exports.
She explained that the Business Council, in addition to its work to attract large investment projects to work in the Egyptian market, targets a new segment of investors to establish SMEs and to support the national economy and stimulate trade exchange between the two countries.
Lewis pointed to the ongoing talks between the Egyptian side and French technical schools to develop technical approaches to be taught in Egyptian factories and technical schools, with a focus on handicraft industries, which have been disappearing.
She said that the major development projects, led by the network of roads and bridges implemented by the state, are some of the most attractive factors for investment. She expected these projects to contribute to an investment growth in Egypt.
Lewis expressed her pride that the BTM Group and all of its factories are 100% Egyptian and have managed to reach global levels, making it possible for the group to support the Egyptian economy, raise exports, and bring more hard cash to Egypt.
The group exports 80% of its products to several countries, including the US, Canada, Italy, and France.
Lewis aims to increase production capacity by 15-20% in 2018.
Brands like Mary Lewis and Te Marie Bishara of BTM were the first Egyptian brands on global markets and have fashion shows in Paris. The latter brand is 100% made of pure Egyptian cotton and exports most of the quantity to France, whose residents love Egyptian cotton.
Lewis explained that the production lines hold ISO certificates in all five factories for suits, shirts, pants, and women wear, next to the specialised factory that produces global brands, such as Next, Zara, and Calvin Klein (CK). The company designs and produces outfits for the largest international hotels, including the Four Seasons, the Meridian, and San Stefano.
BTM factories rely on imported yarn besides the local ones.
BTM Group has established a technical school in one of its factories in 2008 that accommodate 300 students training on the use of latest machines to produce a professional generation qualified to work.
10 new members in Egyptian-French Business Council
The French government restructured the Egyptian-French Business Council, which has been completely reshuffled and 10 French businesspersons were appointed.
Daily News Egypt received the new formation of the council, which includes Eric Bodhuin, the director-general of the Decathlon Group; Michelle Mutrani, the director of Orange for the Middle East and North Africa; Michel Nalet, head of communications and external relations at Groupe Lactalis; and Jean-Christophe, the vice president of Peugeot and Citroën for the Middle East and Africa.
The French government also appointed Guy Sidos, head of Groupe Vicat; Mohamed Saad, vice president of Schneider Electric in Africa and the Caribbean; and Denis Semoyer, director of European and international relations of Angi Petroleum Products.