Exports of the medical sector, including medicines, medical supplies, and cosmetics, declined by 17% in the first half (H1) of the current year.
A report by the Export Council of Medical Industries showed that the sector exported goods worth $213m during that period, down from $257m in the same period last year.
Chairperson of the council Maged George said that most of the exports of Egyptian medical sector are channelled to the Gulf area and the Middle East, which adheres to importing Egyptian medicine at the same prices they are sold for there—a problem that impacts revenues from exports.
He told Daily News Egypt that the council will hold discussions in the coming period with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to find a solution to that problem.
George explained that the council will be accompanied by a delegation comprising representatives of the Holding Company for Pharmaceuticals to meet the delegation of the GCC.
He did not disclose the date of the meeting, saying that the time will be set after the Egyptian Ministry of Health decides who it will send as a representative.
He pointed out that the council seeks to double exports of medical industries to reach $430m by the end of the year.
Moreover, he noted that there are plans to boost exports in the African market, since it is considered a major market, adding that the council’s plan match that of the Ministry of Industry to establish several logistical centres in African countries.
George also pointed out that the council aims to take 10% of the African market across the coming 12 years and achieve exports of $1.6bn.
African countries import medical goods valued at $16bn every year. Only a small part comes from Egypt.
The council plans to support the sector’s exports in the African market to benefit from the agreements signed between Egypt and African countries such as COMESA and the economic blocs.
George said that the logistics centres that the ministry aims to implement can contribute to boosting Egyptian exports by 100% over three years.
He noted that the cost of establishing them will be covered within four years from starting operations and will not require state support for export in the fifth year.
The council is preparing to send three delegations to partake in three exhibitions in Germany and Saudi Arabia in October and November.
Executive director of the council Nivine Hossam said that the first delegation, composed of 12 local companies, will take part in the CPHI exhibition in Germany in October, while the second delegation of six companies will head to the Saudi Beauty cosmetics exhibitions in November. The third delegation of 16 countries will participate in the Medica exhibition for medical supplies, scheduled to be held in Germany also in November.