Egypt and Indonesia’s trade exchange has increased by 21% compared to the previous year, with a value of $258m, according to Amin Sabry, Egyptian Trade Commissioner at the Egyptian Embassy in Jakarta.
Sabry added that, in light of growing relations between the two countries, there are strong efforts to increase commercial exchange and improve trade balance in Egypt’s favour during the coming phase, state-run news agency MENA reported.
According to the Egyptian non-petroleum Foreign Trade Monthly Digest report for March 2015, Egyptian exports to Indonesia included building materials, agricultural crops, food commodities, amongst others.
Meanwhile Egypt’s imports from Indonesia include chemicals and fertilisers, readymade clothes, weaving and textiles, furniture, leather products and others.
In December 2014, Mohamed Baraka, head of the Egypt-Indonesia Business Council, called on the two countries’ Ministers of Industry and Trade to ease the process of trade between Egypt and Indonesia through reducing customs rates.
In 2014, Indonesian exports to Egypt amounted to approximately $793m, while Egyptian exports to Indonesia were worth about $102m.
By the end of 2014, the trade exchange volume between Egypt and Indonesia reached $1bn. The trade balance, however, moved by 90% in favour of Indonesia, and only 10% in favour of Egypt.
The great gap and difference in numbers was attributed to Egyptian manufacturers finding it sufficient to meet local needs only and fearing being directed to the Indonesian market, Baraka said.
He had also highlighted that most Egyptian exports to Indonesia are raw materials, which does not bring about an added value to the Egyptian economy.
The Indonesian market represents an excellent opportunity as an importer as the market represents 250 million consumers, and the country is ready to export, Baraka mentioned before.
Egypt’s trade balance has been suffering from a deficit for a while, due to the country’s imports in general exceeding its exports.
In January 2015, Egypt recorded a trade deficit of EGP 19.44bn, 20.7% less than the same period last year, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced earlier in April.
The decrease came as the decline in global crude prices play in the country’s favour.
Minister of Industry and Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said in September 2014 the government has adopted a law granting preferential treatment to local products to significantly reduce imports and address the trade deficit.