What does the ancient land of the pharaohs have in store for the future of its textile sector?

Egyptian textile industry is very ancient dating back to the age of the pharaohs. The country is the pivot for vertically integrated textile industry in the Middle Eastern region. The country involves complete production process right from the cultivation of cotton, to the making of yarns, fabrics, and ready made apparels. Textile and apparel industry is the second largest sector, next to agro, and plays a major role in shaping the Egyptian economy.

Industry Overview:

Apparel sector accounts for 3% of GDP and 27% of the industrial output. 25% of the total industry is focused on textile production, of which 12% are engaged in home textiles, 8% in cotton yarn, and 5% in other textiles. Public sector dominates the production industry with 50% in spinning, 60% in hemming, and 60% in weaving. Private sector owns 90% of the garmenting side of the industry. Spinning and weaving sector is being dominated by the large scale industries with a strong influence of public sector.

As per a research data of 2010, its textile sector consists of 3,243 companies with a total investment of 3.2 billion USD. Textile industries of Egypt produce 315 million apparels, and exports 305,000 tons of cloth and apparel annually. US constitute 80% of the countrys export market, followed by EU and Arabian countries comprising the remaining 20%.

White gold of Egypt:

Cotton cultivated in Egypt has international appreciation for its excellence. Egypt had contracts with 23 international countries for cotton exports amounting to USD 140.882 million during 2009-10. Egypt has many favorable factors that have made it attractive in the global textile arena. Core areas for investment in Egypt are cotton cultivation, yarn making, spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting, and RMG sectors. Egypt imports yarn from Turkey, India, Pakistan and Turmenistan, and grey fabrics for RMG industry from India, Bangladesh, and Turkey. Main markets for Egypt are the Arabian countries, EU and US. Cotton and textile fabrics ranked third in the countrys exports accounting for 25% of the total exports.

Factors benefiting Egypt in the global market:

Egypt has adequate labor resource. Wages are competitive and stable. Government runs various training programmes, continuously upgrading the skill sets of the labors. The location of the country facilitates quick and easy exports to other countries such as Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is closer to US than its counterparts which makes it a preferred sourcing location. Egypt is equipped with 15 commercial ports facilitating its exports.