“Commercial representation” requires companies to comply with the standards of European countries in order to increase exports
Minister Commissioner for Trade Nasser Hamed, Director of the European Union Department at the Office of Trade Representation, said there are a number of challenges associated with the European market, including sustainability, especially in terms of the Green Deal and the application of specific standards for supply chains, which affects companies that produce food products made in Egypt.
He explained during the session on agricultural industrialization and its impact on the food sector as part of the activities of the Food Africa exhibition that the European Parliament approved a law on sustainability and due diligence related to the labor market and employment, including those related to child labor and the exploitation of women with emission reduction policy, so manufacturing companies must take this into account when producing in the agricultural sector in Egypt, to ensure that these new standards do not affect their exports.
Hamed added that importing companies that implement these laws rely on consultants to conduct research and surveys on importing companies and their commitment to these standards.
He pointed out that there are other challenges related to the procurement of seedlings and seeds, which imposes on us the need to increase scientific research in the field of seedlings and seeds in order to put Egypt on the path to reaching the export volume of 100 billion dollars, the national goal of the state.
Hamed noted that the European market is one of the largest import markets for the food industry and represents an opportunity to increase Egyptian exports, but there are many factors that must be taken into account, including confidence in the product. products through cooperation with supermarket chains or large companies and factories.
He pointed out that competition in Europe comes from countries within the Union such as France or Italy, which are leading countries in agricultural branches, in addition to competition from countries in the region such as Turkey and Morocco, pointing out that participation in fairs is one of the most important means of accessing the European market.
On his part, Engineer Tariq Abu Bakr, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Feridal Company, an agent of the Export Council for Agricultural Crops, said that the share of exports in his company compared to the local market is 50% to 50%, which is a very healthy percentage according to the needs of the market .
He emphasized the need to set the requirements of the importer’s buyer as a fundamental factor and key before making an export strategy in order to avoid mistakes, whether in agriculture, agricultural processing or packaging, which limit the export ability of companies, pointing out that the Customer Satisfaction System is the main factor in increasing exports.
As for medium and small businesses, Abu Bakr indicated that the world is moving towards organic and clean products, pointing to the need for small farmers and importers to get the necessary land and export them to countries that make special demands, and on top of that they are clean. products without pesticides.
He continued that the existence of large areas suitable for land reclamation and cultivation enables small farmers to grow this type of crop.
For his part, Tamer Musallam, CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Misr Investment and Export Development Company, explained that there is a great opportunity for Egypt in terms of increasing the export of agricultural products, and excellent results are expected in 2023 based on the efforts of the private sector and farmers in all steps from starting agriculture to export.
He called for the importance of investing in innovation in a way that serves the orientation of the country, whether in the export of agricultural products or agricultural production, stressing the importance of caring for innovation and development, because the greater the investment in added value, the more we can access foreign markets.
Musallam emphasized the need to focus on investments in infrastructure that support exports, indicating that there is a continuous dialogue with the private sector in this regard, along with the need to focus on a certain number of products through which reliance is created to create competitive value compared to other exporters.
He noted the importance of making studies for the markets, since Egypt has a good opportunity with the challenges of supply chains and the Russian war, but on the other hand, we must take care of continuous studies that allow the exporter to read future expectations with the increase of competition in terms of sustainability and green projects, in order to continue exporting existing products.
He added that his company works with global market research partners to develop reports on global trends and post-war expectations, as it provides a free package of market shape reports available to all, and there are also reports on demand for specific products. and factors.
He also pointed out that the last point regarding support for agriculture, especially regarding the further export integration of small and medium-sized enterprises, relates to access to financing, since the sector is “suppressed” – as he described it – in obtaining financing, especially as it is related to ownership of land, calling for the need to change the perception of financial institutions from lending to partnership in the agricultural sector in order to achieve higher interest and added value.
The private sector also demanded the existence of a financial model of capital participation, as one of the foundations for financing agricultural projects, as is the case in the world.
He said that the Misr Investment and Export Development Company was established in partnership between the banks of Egypt, Al-Ahly, Export Development, Cairo and Arab-African banks.