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Wednesday, 03 May 2017

AEC prepares to enter Africa

The Agriculture Export Council (AEC) is working on the preparation of marketing and consumer studies for the African markets and is expected to finish them in May. The AEC also intends to raise exports of the sector to $2.26bn in 2017, up from $2.146bn in 2016, with an expected growth of 5%. Head of the AEC, Abdel Hamid Demerdash, said that the African market is important and promising for the future of Egyptian crops, where there are many potential large markets. He added that the studies are based on exploiting the joint trade agreements between Egypt and the rest of the African countries, which will contribute to entering these markets with the help of intact economic trade plans. He explained that the AEC is cooperating with the Egyptian trade representation offices in Africa to target specific markets, feed the council with information and market needs, and prepare studies. He noted that the current size of exports to Africa is very low, with plans to boost exports to 5% of all agricultural exports over the next five years, with 1% growth per year. Demerdash explained that the AEC will first send delegations with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture to communicate with African countries on trade and their willingness to open their markets for Egyptian products. He added that, despite their importance, African markets have many challenges facing Egyptian exporters, limiting their penetration. He explained that the most important problems facing Egyptian exporters are the lack of guarantees to receive their financial dues and the difficult logistical situation, both of which raise the cost of production. Demerdash noted that many exporters complain about their inability to collect their payments after exporting, due to scams committed by importers in these markets. He pointed out that exporters can resort to the Export Development Bank of Egypt (EXPA) to prepare studies on importers in these markets and prepare a list of trusted importers. Moreover, he said that transportation and logistics also hinder Egyptian exporters, where the lack of direct shipping lines drive production costs up, which limits the exports to these markets.

Source: Daily News Egypt