Fifteen major marketing and sales companies from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi will visit Egypt from 14 to 17 January 2016.
During the visit, they will enter into negotiations with the Chemical and Fertilisers Export Council (CEC) about buying Egyptian products, according to council chairman Khaled Abu El Makarem on the sidelines of the fifth Kenya Chemex exhibition.
The chemical products exhibition was inaugurated Monday and 48 Egyptian companies and 36 Kenyan and foreign companies attended.
“This visit is the first step of a strategy aiming to increase Egyptian exports to African countries by approximately 60% over the next three years,” Abu El-Makarem said.
The Kenyan United Business Association (UBA) agreed to send a list of 30 major marketing companies from the five countries. It includes all the companies’ data and their import volume and items, while the CEC will choose the most significant 15 companies to visit Egypt to contract for export shipments to the markets of the five countries.
Abu El-Makarem said the CEC decided to limit cooperation in the beginning to the chemicals sector. Later, such commissions will be frequent to include all export sectors that interest Kenyan companies, such as building materials, furniture, textiles, and engineering companies.
This interest in the Kenyan market is because it is looking for an alternative to Turkish imports, which account for a large share of their market, even though their quality is lower than Egyptian products.
“We have to exploit this opportunity and introduce our products to the Kenyan market,” Abou El-Makarem said, noting that Turkish exports to Kenya are at least double Egyptian exports.
Egypt’s exports to Kenya in 2015 are valued at $350m, where chemicals alone are worth about $127m. Meanwhile, Egypt imports products from Kenya totalling $150m, according to the CEC.
Abou El-Makarem said Kenya should be Egypt’s first step in the African market, a fertile soil for many Egyptian products. Kenya is the logistical centre for Eastern and Central Africa, especially since 80% of the imports of this region go through Kenya’s port of Mombasa.
“This is why Kenya is the first station for activation of the cooperation protocol signed by El-Nasr Imports and Exports last month. This protocol exploits the company’s storage, marketing and consultation capabilities through its offices in 22 African states,” he said.
“All the agreements with El-Nasr have yet to be activated, which is why the council is utilising these offices to obtain commissions.”
El-Nasr is also building an Egyptian logistical storage zone in Kenya to handle direct sales operations in Kenya and neighbouring markets. “Therefore, we left all samples and exhibits when the exhibition ended for the company’s branch in Nairobi to market.”
Abou El-Makarem met with officials of the Kenyan investment authority on the sidelines of the exhibition. They agreed to cooperate in the fields of paints and plastic.
Kenya’s Deputy Minister of Industry launched the exhibition on Sunday in the presence of the ambassadors of Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Hungary, Indonesia, Burundi, Nigeria and Iran.