Egypt pumps US$1.2bn into promoting cotton sector

The Egyptian Government is pumping a 21bn Egyptian pounds (US$1.2bn) investment to promote the added value of Egyptian cotton, in an effort to develop the country’s textile industry, .

The announcement was made in a meeting between the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, and Hisham Tawfiq, minister of the public business sector. Madbouly said developing the textile industry and promoting the cultivation and trade of Egyptian cotton is among the government’s priorities.

The meeting also saw the minister review the features of a new system for domestic cotton trade that will ensure transparency and quality, guarantee the highest return to the farmer, and return Egyptian cotton to its former status.

The moves follow several steps to re-establish the reputation of the Egyptian Cotton brand, which suffered a setback in 2016 when US department store retailer Target Corporation withdrew all luxury bed linen produced by India’s Welspun Global Brands after non-Egyptian cotton was used in what were supposed to be 500-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and pillowcases.

In June, Cotton Egypt Association (CEA), the organisation behind Egyptian Cotton, announced it was doubling down on efforts to tackle fraud in the cotton supply chain by naming and shaming manufacturers who fail its rigorous accreditation scheme.

Other moves include the appointment of an official steering committee to safeguard its future and the introduction of a partnership with Bureau Veritas and a new rigorous accreditation process that uses DNA testing to distinguish between genuine Egyptian Cotton and regular cotton.

The CEA is also collaborating with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in a bid to boost sustainability efforts and improve conditions for supply chain workers – including a pilot launch of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) for the first time in Egypt.

As reported on just-style earlier this year, Egypt is moving ahead with its Vision 2025 strategy to quadruple garment and textile exports, employ a further 1 million people, and attract US$17.5bn in investment – even though the double-digit growth needed to achieve the goals has yet to be reached.

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