Egypt’s exports to South Korea records 161 percent increase in 2022

Egypt’s exports to Korea recorded an increase of 161 percent in 2022 year-on-year as it reached an all-time high of $1.69 billion, the Cairo office of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) said on Sunday.

According to KOTRA, Egypt’s exports to Korea marked a $220 million surplus in 2022 from a $1 billion trade deficit in 2021.

Natural gas and petroleum products top Egypt’s exports to South Korea. Egypt exported to Korea $810 million worth of natural gas and $760 million worth of petroleum product naphtha, marking a 705 percent and 107 percent increase respectively in 2022 from 2021.

On the other hand, South Korea’s exports to Egypt fell by 13% on-year to $1.46 billion due to the government’s mandatory L/C measures at the time of importation and the difficulty of remittances from Egypt.

The L/C measures were cancelled in December.

Major Korean imports include synthetic resins, passenger cars, auto parts, soft steel plates, and semiconductors.

As of 2022, South Korea made a cumulative investment of about $790 million in Egypt, 33 times Egypt’s investment in South Korea, according to the Export-Import Bank of Korea. In 2022, a Korean company invested about $30 million in Egypt.

The manufacturing industry accounts for about 63 percent of Korea’s total investment in Egypt, the highest proportion among industrial sectors.

Currently, around 35 Korean companies are actively engaged in business in Egypt. These include LG Electronics which established a TV and washing machine manufacturing plant in 1990; and Samsung Electronics which constructed a TV production plant in 2012, began producing tablet PCs in 2021, and is currently producing some mobile phones.

The agency said that there is more active cooperation between the two countries in the field of defence, transportation and energy. It cited the export of K-9 self-propelled guns, the supply and production of metro trains for lines 2 and 3 in Cairo as well as the construction of the El-Daba nuclear power plant – which the Korean state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Company will construct according to its agreement with Russian Rosatom in August 2022.

“We are trying to strengthen manufacturing capabilities through Egypt’s ‘Egypt Makes Electronics (EME)’ policy and National Development Plan Vision 2030,” Hong Jin-wook, South Korea’s ambassador to Egypt, was quoted as saying, adding that Korean companies would actively participate in exporting from Egypt as the hub to neighbouring countries through the African Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which entered into force in 2019.

“In order for Egypt and South Korea to further strengthen cooperation in the field of trade and investment, it is necessary to implement the procedures for signing a ‘trade and economic partnership agreement’ between the two countries as soon as possible,” he added

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