Egypt’s exports rose by five percent in December 2012, recording LE11.8 billion ($1.8 billion), the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade stated on Thursday. Total exports for 2012 rose by two per cent, worth LE132 billion ($20.1 billion) that has overcome the "governmental guidance" subsidy of LE130 billion ($19.9 billion). Minister Hatem Saleh explained the rise in exports by the country’s economic and political recovery.
The ministerial statement added that furniture and pharmaceuticals were among the sectors that witnessed a significant increase in 2012 against 2011 as they have reached LE2 billion ($300,000) and LE2.6 billion ($400,000) respectively. Clothes exports slumped by seven per cent, recording LE8.5 billion ($1.3 billion); likewise food exports have declined from LE17 billion ($2.6 billion) in 2011 to LE16.4 billion ($2.5 billion) in 2012.
Saudi Arabia and Libya take first place on the list of countries importing from Egypt last year as their imports record LE11.8 billion ($1.8 billion) and LE9 billion ($1.3 billion) respectively. For non-Arab countries, Egyptian exports have stepped back as exports to the US went down from LE9.1 billion ($1.4 billion) in 2011 to LE8.8 billion ($1.3 billion) in 2012; exports to Italy also tumbled by 14 per cent, recording some LE7.1 billion ($1 billion).