Egypt, the official partner country for Fruit Logistica 2016, is expected to enjoy a record-breaking presence during the Berlin exhibition.
Despite the turbulence of recent years, Egyptian produce exporters are optimistic about the future of the country’s agricultural sector, which employs 32 per cent of the workforce and accounts for 14.7 per cent of GDP. Investment remains high, particularly when it comes to ensuring packhouses meet the lofty international standards.
In the past decade, Egypt has boosted its exports of agricultural products by 226 per cent and now exports to 145 countries. In 2014/15, the country exported over US$2bn of agricultural products, excluding rice, and led the globe in exports of oranges.
Overall, Egypt sent 743,000 tonnes of agricultural products to the EU, out of a total of 3.53m tonnes of exports. Outside the EU, Saudi Arabia and Russia lead the way, each accounting for 18 per cent of Egypt’s total output, followed by UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and India.
Within the EU, which receives around 21 per cent of Egyptian food exports, the country’s main markets are the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Romania, Lithuania, Spain and France.
Egypt’s geographical position, combined with its expanding infrastructure, enhances the country’s position as a key global logistics hub. The enlargement of the Suez Canal is expected to double capacity to nearly 100 ships a day.
Also important is this year’s agreement between 26 African countries to create a free trade area, a launching pad for the etablishment of the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), due to come into effect in 2017, which will facilitate the movement of goods between African member states.
In 2014/15, oranges (1.22m tonnes) topped the list of exports from Egypt, followed by potatoes (650,000 tonnes), onions (492,000 tonnes), dry beans (182,000 tonnes), grapes (111,000 tonnes), tomatoes (109,000 tonnes), pomegranates (55,000 tonnes), green beans (44,000 tonens), mandarins (36,000 tonnes), strawberries (34,000 tonnes), lemons (33,000 tonnes) and peanuts (26,000 tonnes).