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Egypt exports seen up 10 percent for year, China fastest growing investor
Source: 9/19/2017

Egypt's exports should grow about 10 percent this year to reach $22 billion, Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said as the country lures foreign investors keen on setting up manufacturing following economic reforms.
,br> He also told Reuters in an interview that China was set to be the country's fastest growing investment partner.
,br> Egypt has been looking to plug a gaping trade deficit that stood at $42.64 billion last year but which has been narrowing in recent months, helped by a currency float that halved the pound currency's value, making Egyptian goods cheaper abroad and buying more expensive.
,br> "Exports will be higher than last year, we expect about $22 billion," Kabil said. Last year, they were at about $20 billion.
,br> Earlier, he told a Euromoney financial conference that the trade balance this year had been reduced by 37 percent, with imports down 23 percent to almost $30 billion and exports growing by 11.5 percent to $15 billion.
,br> Egypt has been trying to market itself as a manufacturing hub for foreign investors, with easy access to European markets, relatively cheap labour, and economic reforms tied to a $12 billion International Monetary Fund lending programme it hopes will instil confidence in investors, many of whom fled after the 2011 uprising.
,br> Foreign direct investment for the fiscal year that ended in June hit $7.9 billion, but Cairo is hoping a new investment law offering a slew of incentives which is expected to be active within weeks will help it top $10 billion this year.
,br> Kabil told Reuters he expects China to be the fastest growing investor in coming years, with Egypt positioned to reap major investments from its Belt and Road initiative, a global development project aimed at expanding links between Asia, Africa and Europe.
,br> "Currently (the European Union) is the biggest but I think China investors will grow rapidly... We're in discussion with major players in terms of textiles and automotives.
,br> Those are two main projects we are in discussions with," said Kabil, without providing more specific details. Egypt and China this month signed a memorandum of understanding for Beijing to finance a rail link worth about $739 million to serve a new administrative capital, a large portion of which is expected to be constructed by Chinese developers.

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