The third annual Egypt Automotive Summit on Tuesday confronted a series of issues plaguing the industry, paramount among them the need to implement the automotive industry strategy.
The summit launched with a moment of silence to commemorate the victims of Sunday’s attack on St. Peter and St. Paul Church. Following this moment of remembrance, the executive director of the summit, Mohamed Aboul-Fotouh, announced that this year’s agenda would include discussions on facilitating exports of spare parts, competition with foreign companies, assessing the local feeding industry, and the role of banks in financing the feeding industry.
The summit then commenced with an opening session featuring a panel of ministers and heads of local and international automotive companies. The first session discussed the automotive industry strategy, the second focused primarily on ways to finance and improve public transportation, the third centred around the impact of tax and customs policies on the industry, and the fourth and final session examined investment opportunities in the feeding industry growth.
During the summit’s first session, Mohsen Adel, a financial analyst and member of the presidency’s Advisory Council for Economic Development, emphasised that the automotive industry strategy would increase automotive investments from $1bn to $3bn, in addition to increasing the market size to 1m cars annually, up from the current 250,000 cars.
Public Sector Affairs Minister Ashraf El Sharqawy added that there are various feeding industries factories already present in Egypt. He further explained that there are ongoing negotiations with different foreign investors with the goal of benefiting from their experience in manufacturing and secure their investments in the revival of these factories.
During the summit, Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC) chairperson Mustafa Hussein noted that sales of passenger cars dropped by 14% in 2016 when compared to 2015. He further commented that the automotive industry has the potential to generate as much as EGP 55bn for the state.
The chairperson of the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Ahmed Darwish, explained the three pillars the administration is working on in regards to the industry, including the local manufacturing of vehicles, building a port designated for shipping vehicles, and the allocation of a trade zone for vehicles on 100,000-200,000 sqm.
During the second session, GB Ghabbour Auto chairperson Raouf Ghabbour said that the negative impact of the Egyptian pound’s flotation on the automotive industry has yet to be truly felt. Ghabbour said that the main issue with the Egyptian economy is that it i not dependent on industrialisation, explaining that we consume more than we produce.
“We have everything to start a real automotive industry in Egypt, even more than similar countries,” Ghabbour said. He added that the Egyptian market can achieve producing up to 1m car sales annually if the targeted growth in the industry is achieved.
During the same session, Farid El-Tobgui, CEO of Bavarian Auto Group, said that nothing has changed since last year’s summit, despite Egypt’s high potential in the automotive industry. He added that the government must revise the automotive industry strategy and increase the usage of locally manufactured components to 30-40%.
Regarding the public transportation system and its improvement, Sayed Abdel-Fattah, an official with the Public Transport Authority (PTA), said that they are planning to increase the size of their bus fleet to 5,000 busses to eliminate the chaotic microbus and tuk-tuk systems. PTA also aims to target improving the river transportation system.