Egypt’s non-petroleum exports to the European Union (EU) rose by 38 percent in the first eight months of 2021, reaping nearly 4.1 billion euro, up from 2.9 billion euro in the same period in 2020, Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea stated on Saturday.
The hike was the result of high demand on Egyptian products from 23 European countries, most notably Italy, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands, Gamea's statement read.
Egypt's exports of plastic products, fertilisers, aluminium, iron and steel, and organic chemicals recorded a remarkable increase, the statement said, quoting head of the Egyptian Commercial Services Ahmed Maghawry.
Fruits, electrical equipment, textiles and clothing, glass products, cotton, and ceramics were also highly demanded in the 27 EU countries, added the statement.
Egypt and the EU inked a free trade agreement that has been in force since 2004. Another agreement on agricultural, processed agricultural and fisheries products was enacted in 2010.
Gamea said Egypt is keen on boosting trade cooperation with the EU, being "Egypt’s biggest trading partner."
In 2020, the EU covered 24.5 percent of Egypt's trade volume, according to the European Commission.
Total trade in goods between the EU and Egypt amounted to 24.5 billion euro in 2020. EU imports from Egypt totalled 6.4 billion euro, comprising mainly fuel and mining products, chemicals, agricultural and raw materials, as well as textiles and clothes.
Up to 21.8 percent of Egypt’s exports were directed to the EU, while 25.8 percent of its imports came from the union.
Egypt’s imports dropped in 2020 by 12 percent to $63.5 billion, down from $71.8 billion in 2019. Gamea previously attributed this drop to the increased reliance on domestically manufactured inputs used by local industries.