Country Profile – Egypt


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Egypt is the 62nd largest export economy in the world and the 72nd most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). In 2017, Egypt exported $30.1B and imported $64.1B, resulting in a negative trade balance of $34B. In 2017 the GDP of Egypt was $235B and its GDP per capita was $11.6k.

Occupying the northeast corner of the African continent, Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley where most economic activity takes place. Egypt’s economy was highly centralized during the rule of former President Gamal Abdel NASSER but opened up considerably under former Presidents Anwar EL-SADAT and Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK. Agriculture, hydrocarbons, manufacturing, tourism, and other service sectors drove the country’s relatively diverse economic activity.

Despite Egypt’s mixed record for attracting foreign investment over the past two decades, poor living conditions and limited job opportunities have contributed to public discontent. These socioeconomic pressures were a major factor leading to the January 2011 revolution that ousted MUBARAK. The uncertain political, security, and policy environment since 2011 has restricted economic growth and failed to alleviate persistent unemployment, especially among the young.

In late 2016, persistent dollar shortages and waning aid from its Gulf allies led Cairo to turn to the IMF for a 3-year, $12 billion loan program. To secure the deal, Cairo floated its currency, introduced new taxes, and cut energy subsidies – all of which pushed inflation above 30% for most of 2017, a high that had not been seen in a generation. Since the currency float, foreign investment in Egypt’s high interest treasury bills has risen exponentially, boosting both dollar availability and central bank reserves. Cairo will need to make a sustained effort to implement a range of business reforms, however, to induce foreign and local investment in manufacturing and other labor-intensive sectors.





Egypt’s top exported and imported Agri Products

Top exported products (Million US$) Value HS CODE Top imported products (Million US$) Value
HS0805 Citrus fruit, fresh or dried 634 HS1001 Wheat and meslin 2 624
HS0406 Cheese and curd 273 HS1005 Maize (corn) 1 723
HS0701 Potatoes, fresh or chilled 273 HS0202 Meat of bovine animals, frozen 1 029
HS1701 Cane or beet sugar 235 HS1201 Soya beans, whether or not broken 864
HS0703 Onions, shallots, garlic, leeks 234 HS1701 Cane or beet sugar 800


Egypt’s top exported and imported Non-Agricultural Products

Top exported products (Million US$) Value HS CODE Top imported products (Million US$) Value
HS2710 Petroleum oils, other than crude 2 440 HS2710 Petroleum oils, other than crude 5 577
HS7108 Gold 2 107 HS2711 Petroleum gases 3 513
HS2709 Petroleum oils, crude 2 106 HS3004 Medicaments in measured doses 1 961
HS3102 Nitrogenous fertilisers 974 HS2709 Petroleum oils, crude 1 751
HS8544 Insulated electric conductors 766 HS8703 Motor cars for transport of persons 1 683


India-Egypt Trade and Commercial Relations:

India’s top 10 exports to Egypt

HS CODE Product Labels India’s exported value to Egypt in USD Million in 2017 Equivalent ad valorem tariff faced by India in %
TOTAL All products 2349.534
020230 Frozen, boneless bovine meat 265.895 0
271019 Medium oils and preparations 194.869 5
390760 Polyethylene terephthalate”, in primary forms 91.213 0
870321 Motor cars 73.761 27
281820 Aluminium oxide (excluding artificial corundum) 62.546 2
520523 Single cotton yarn 60.926 5
520524 Single cotton yarn with different densities 37.408 5
100630 Semi-milled or wholly milled rice 35.784 0
540233 Textured filament yarn of polyester (excluding that put up for retail sale) 25.541 5
294200 Separate chemically defined organic compounds 25.471 2


India’s top 10 imports from Egypt

HS CODE Product Labels India’s imported value from Egypt in USD Million in 2017 Equivalent ad valorem tariff faced by India in %
TOTAL All products 1216.074
2709 Petroleum oils, crude 701586 0
2510 Natural calcium 121.002 5
2711 Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 115.837 4
5201 Cotton, neither carded nor combed 45.640 0
2704 Coke and semi-coke of coal 34.010 5
7005 Float glass and surface ground or polished glass 21.530 10
805 Citrus fruit, fresh or dried 17.430 30
1209 Seeds, fruits and spores 16.685 9
7019 Glass fibres, incl. glass wool 12.172 10
2707 Oils and other products of the distillation of high temperature coal tar 8.391 3

Commercial Presence Out of the 50 Indian companies operating in Egypt with a combined investment of roughly US $ 2.5 billion, approximately 25 companies are joint ventures and wholly owned Indian subsidiaries. The rest of the Indian companies operate in Egypt through their representative offices and execute various projects for Governmental organizations. Major Indian investments in Egypt include TCI Sanmar, Alexandria Carbon Black, the Alexandria Fibre Co., Dabur India’s production facility for its cosmetics line, Egypt-India Polyester Company (EIPET) for manufacture of PET Resin, SCIB Paints, etc. The Oberoi Group manages a hotel and runs Nile cruises; Kirloskar Brothers sells diesel engines and irrigation pump sets in Egypt; Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra market their vehicles in Egypt, and Bajaj Auto dominates the three-wheelers market. Indian Public Sector Undertakings like Gas Authority of India Ltd, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL)., Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) also have a presence in Egypt, as does the State Bank of India. Indian companies also execute projects in railway signaling, pollution control including air pollution equipment, water treatment, irrigation, anti-collision devices etc.

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