Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour and Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Kaled Hanafy inaugurated, Wednesday, the African food exhibition for food industries, entitled “FoodAfrica”.
Organized by IFP, the exhibition is taking place from 6 to 9 May at the Cairo International Convention Center, with the participation of more than 200 companies, representing 25 Arab, African and foreign countries.
“The Food Export Council is encouraging the establishment of such exhibitions specialized in exportation, targeting the promotion of the food sector exports, as well as the opening of more markets for Egyptian food products and the attraction of new investments ,” said Chairman of the Food Export Council Alaa Al-Bahy.
“The council significantly supports the food industry, seeking the success of the exhibition, as this is its first time in Cairo,” Al-Bahy added, noting that the sector needs new marketing ideas and various exhibitions in order to increase the competitive capacity of the food sector.
FoodAfrica is an opportunity for Egyptian manufacturers to exhibit their products and communicate and exchange information with importers and investors from all over the world interested in African products, Raafat Rezika, a member of the Food Export Council, told Daily News Egypt.
The volume of food exports from Egypt to all African countries has reached EGP 23bn in 2014. However, the total number of exported agricultural crops marked a decrease in the first quarter of 2015, recording EGP 4.8bn, compared to EGP 5.1bn in the same period of 2014.
As for the food industry exports, they have also recorded a decrease, reaching EGP 4.9bn in the first quarter of 2015, compared to EGP 5.1bn in the same period of 2014.
The decrease of exportation is the result of various factors, such as the instability of many countries around Egypt. The security situation in Libya, which was an important market for Egyptian products, affected exportation, as was the case in Syria and Iraq, Rezika said.
Furthermore, Algeria has recently suspended imports of all Egyptian products without giving any reasons. As a consequence, the government must negotiate with the Algerian side to resolve this issue, Rezika noted.
“In order to promote the food exportation to Africa, we have to take advantage of the available easy navigation routes, and to try eliminating the existing challenges facing the sector,” Rezika added.
He also noted that the customs imposed by the government on imported sugar – EGP 700 per ton of imported sugar in order to protect the Egyptian sugar industry – have negatively affected the sector, as Egyptian have companies exploited this and increased the price of sugar, weakening Egyptian competition.
Meanwhile, the exportation assistance offered by the government must be expanded and delivered in time, Rezika added.
As for promoting African exportation, communications are taking place in order to unify all African blocs, such as COMESA and others, targeting the benefit of all African countries with the same advantages, and fortifying the competition.
Daily News Egypt