Mohamed al-Suwaidi, chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, has said that the industrial growth rate in Egypt fell sharply in September, according to data released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The production index for manufacturing and extractive industries (without crude oil and petroleum products) reached 102.96 in July 2015 (primary), a decrease of 2.3 percent, compared to June 2015, when it reached 105.45.
Suwaidi attributed the decline to difficulties in opening letters of credit to import raw materials, contending that banks give credit priority to the trade industry over the industrial sector, which is in violation of the Central Bank’s decision.
“Giving priority to importers of finished products supports the economies of other countries,” he said, calling for strict measures to combat smuggling. “Realistic custom tariffs will reduce the black market dollar.”
Suwaidi also said that he asked the Prime Minister last week to give priority to the industrial sector in the fiscal and monetary policies of the government. “It is an issue of national security,” he said, adding that the “emperors” of the informal economy have become a bigger threat than terrorists.
He said the government should raise industrial production and attract investments in order to create jobs.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm