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Egypt releases $63 billion worth of imported goods with $5 billion remaining in ports

Egypt has released imported goods valued at $63 billion from its ports since the beginning of 2023.
27.11.23 | Source: Ahram Online

Ghatouri's remarks were made in a press conference during the third Nebu Expo for Gold and Jewelry, which commenced on Sunday and will continue until 28 November.

The event has witnessed the participation of 50 local and foreign companies, as well as 110 investors from 18 different countries, showcasing the significance of the gold and jewelry industry in Egypt.

Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war and its subsequent repercussions, Egypt has been grappling with a shortage of foreign currency required for the release of goods from ports, which is estimated to reach $17 billion by 2026.

As a consequence, the Egyptian pound has undergone three devaluations since March 2022, resulting in a depreciation of over 75 percent against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, Fitch Solutions expected that the Egyptian pound will be devaluated by 18.6 percent to reach around EGP 38 against the US dollar by the end of 2023.

However, in October, the UK-based multinational Standard Chartered Bank stated in a report that Egypt does not have to conduct any devaluation of its currency until the end of 2024.

The backlog of goods at Egyptian ports reached its peak in October 2022, amounting to $15 billion. Ghatouri emphasized that efforts are underway to alleviate this backlog and expedite the release of goods.

Furthermore, Ghatouri highlighted the success of the zero-customs car initiative, which was reintroduced on 30 October and is scheduled to run until 30 January, as it generated approximately $460 million in revenue.

During its initial phase, which lasted from October 2022 to May 2023, the programme garnered $763 million from 151,000 participants.

The zero-customs car initiative is an essential component of Egypt's comprehensive strategy to secure $191 billion in foreign currency, aiming to address the country's mounting external debt, which currently stands at $165.3 billion. Additionally, it aims to alleviate the scarcity of US dollars in circulation.