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Jakarta Post

Exporters advised to diversify market as Egypt cuts imports

  • Writer National
    Writer National

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 23, 2016   /  12:02 pm
Exporters advised to diversify market as Egypt cuts imports Pedestrians walk past a currency exchange office in Cairo, Egypt, on March 14. Egypt’s central bank has said that it will take “a more flexible approach” to the exchange rate in order alleviate the foreign currency shortage that has fueled the black market and crippled businesses. (Associated Press/Amr Nabil)

Exporters who deliver products to Egypt have been advised to improve their competitive edge and or explore new markets following the announcement of a plan to slash Egypt’s imports by 25 percent.

An economic analyst at the University of Indonesia Beginda Pakpahan said Egypt’s new policy would have an adverse impact on at least 25 Indonesian commodities, including milk products, food, tableware glass and utensils.

“The Egyptian government has taken the measure in an effort to stabilize import prices,” he said on Tuesday, suggesting that Indonesian exporters explore Tunisia and Algeria as new alternative markets.

The Egyptian government’s new trade policy was previously raised as a topic of discussion by the Trade Ministry’s director general for foreign trade negotiations Iman Pambagyo. He said Egypt wanted to protect its industry by restricting those imported goods that do not meet its standard.

“It should be a concern for Indonesian exporters, they should ensure products to be exported to Egypt do not experience the barriers,” he said.

The measures took effect on March 16 and require that exporters register their companies with Egypt’s General Organization for Export and Import Control.

Indonesia’s non-oil and gas exports to Egypt stood at US$1.2 billion in 2015, of which $25.3 million came from the 25 commodities affected by the new policy.

Egypt is Indonesia’s second largest market in Africa, with its main export products being palm oil, paper, copra, and refrigerators. Meanwhile, Indonesia imports mineral or chemical fertilizers, natural calcium phosphates, citrus fruit, and potatoes. (sha/ags)

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