Egypt’s exports of ready-made garments increased 17 percent in the first quarter of 2018, recording $385 million (6.77 billion Egyptian pounds), compared to $330 million during the same period of 2017, the Ready-Made Garments Export Council revealed.
The USA allocated 48 percent of Egypt’s ready-made garments exports in Q1, recording $185 million, compared to $160 million in the same period of 2017, with a 16 percent increase.
On a monthly basis, the exports in January 2018 increased to $129 million, compared to $104 million in the first month of 2017.
The exports in February climbed 21 percent to reach $133 million, compared to $110 million. Furthermore, they recorded $123 million in March, compared to $116 million in the same month of the previous year.
Executive Director of the Ready Made Garments Export Council Sherin Hosny said earlier that the council aims at increasing ready-made garments exports 20 percent by the end of 2018 to record $1.8 billion.
She anticipated that the sector’s exports will exceed $1.8 billion in case the rate of exports continues on the same trajectory as the first quarter of the current year.
Hosny added that the sector’s exports to African countries do not exceed 2 percent, but activating trade agreements, especially the African Continental Free Trade Area, will increase the export of Egyptian products to specific markets such as South Africa, stating that South Africa’s demands for readymade clothes are increasing.
She clarified that not having a specific trade agreement with South Africa, in addition to the high tariffs, are considered to be obstacles in the way of exporting to South Africa, hoping that these obstacles will be solved by the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
Through this agreement, Egypt can import accessories used in manufacturing ready-made garments from African countries, and African countries can rely on Egypt’s textile sector, Hosny said.
She added that such an agreement creates opportunities for cooperation between Egypt and African countries in the field.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement aims to ease the trade exchange between the countries that signed it according to a scheduled timeline and not through an immediate activation of the agreement.
The CFTA is considered to be the biggest deal ever signed since the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established as it was signed by 43 countries.