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Egypt: Trade Deficit Drops 25.8% in August

Egypt: Trade Deficit Drops 25.8% in August

Monday, 18 November, 2019 - 10:30
A general view of center Cairo, Egypt (File photo: Reuters)
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat
Egypt’s trade deficit declined 25.8 percent during August 2019, recording $3.51 billion, according to Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

CAPMAS said in a statement that exports dropped 3 percent to reach $1.97 billion in August 2019, and imports decreased 19 percent to hit $5.48 billion.

The Agency attributed this decrease to the drop in imports of petroleum products by 33.3 percent, raw materials of iron or steel by 18.8 percent, plastics by 17.3 percent, and wheat by 2.9 percent.

In other news, experts and investors said that Egypt is on track to become the first destination for entrepreneurship in the region with the development of the investment climate, increased number of investment risk funds, and the growth of entrepreneurial culture.

Investors, who represent venture capital funds investing in startups, predicted the startup investments in the MENA will be 20-fold the value in the next few years.

Participants at the “start-up session” held on the sidelines of the Merger and Acquisition Conference (M&A) in Egypt, reviewed new initiatives to support startups in Egypt, such as Central Bank’s allocation of EGP1 billion to a fund that supports financial technology initiative.

The Conference which concluded last week in Cairo was organized by Mergermarket, the leading provider of M&A data and intelligence.

CEO of Sawari Ventures Hany el-Sonbaty revealed that his company is looking forward to participating in a new round to raise the capital for Swvl Group, the bus booking application which so far received nearly $80 million in funding.

Sonbaty pointed out that Egypt needs similar applications in the fields of agriculture, finance and education.

CEO and Founder of AR Ventures Mohamed Azab said his company is now setting up a new $50 million fund, based in Cairo, and it will invest in startups around the world within Endeavor Global.

Middle East Correspondent at Mergermarket Atef Hassan reviewed Magent's latest report on investing in startups in MENA, with Egypt topping the list with about 100 deals out of the 354 in 2019, followed by UAE, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia.

UAE topped funding volume with investments of nearly $300 million out of a total of $517 million, Egypt came in second place followed by Saudi Arabia.

Hassan pointed out that these figures do not include the agreements of Careem and

Egypt also holds the top share of North Africa's mergers and acquisitions deals with 75.1 percent of the total transaction volume in 2019 totaling $1.3 billion. 

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