By Mariam Sami
Sector currently comprises about 17% of the country's total GDP and employs 15% of the overall workforce
Egypt is to allocate LE80.2 billion ($5bn) to support the country’s industrial sector, according to a statement by Planning and Economic Development Minister Hala El Said.
The sector currently comprises about 17 percent of the country’s total GDP and employs 15 percent of the overall workforce. It also represents about 60-65 percent of Egypt's exports and about 80-85 percent of the country's non-petroleum exports, according to the minister's statement.
"The sector of transformative industries is the driver of economic development," El Said announced.
The sector, however, has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic forcing several factories to halt or reduce production amid overall uncertainty in the local and international markets which "called for the government's intervention through several initiatives to increase local demand and remove difficulties facing the industrial facilities", the minister's statement said.
One such assistance scheme was the initiative by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to support the industrial sector with LE100bn (about $6bn) at an 8 percent interest rate to help about 5,150 factories as well as other schemes to support exporting products, said the statement.
The focus in the new fiscal year will be on expanding the healthcare industry, particularly in the production of medical masks, syringes and medicines aimed at combating different viral diseases.
"The food industry sector will also be expanded so as to meet the needs of the local market and reduce dependence on imports especially in view of the (post Covid-19) closures," added El Said.