Confronted with pervasive macroeconomic imbalances and microeconomic distortions, the Government of Egypt (GOE) started in 2016 to move forward with important reforms to stabilize the economy and restore confidence. This report looks at an important aspect of the economy’s competitiveness: export performance and integration into global markets.
The focus chapter investigates two questions: (i) to what extent is the structure of domestic production supportive of export-oriented growth? and (ii) what are the key trade and non-trade barriers that prevent the country from unleashing its exports potential?
The analysis identifies three main areas where historic lack of reforms has impeded Egypt’s ability to fully exploit the recent competitiveness gains from currency depreciation and shift towards an exports-oriented model of growth where exporting firms can flourish and grow. These are the (i) concentration of exports in traditional areas of comparative advantage as opposed to goods that are subject to high global demand; (ii) significant trade (especially non-tariff) barriers; and (iii) connectivity and infrastructure challenges.
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