North Africa is in the focus of German-Arab cooperation. In Alexandria, Egypt's Mediterranean metropolis, Jens Kutscher, Head of Research & Communication at the EMA, met with representatives of the Egyptian cotton and textile industry to learn more about the environmentally friendly cultivation of cotton and sustainable supply chains. The potential for joint activities in this sector that is responsible for around a quarter of Egypt's industrial production is high.
Usually the term “Egyptian cotton” is synonymous with cotton for luxury and high-quality products. It is also recognized as the finest cotton in the world. The Egyptian climate presents the ideal conditions for cotton to grow to an exceptional length, known as extra-long staple (ELS) cotton.
While Egypt is famous for its cotton, most of it goes to export. However, the textile industry is of significant importance to the national economy accounting for about 28 percent of all jobs in manufacturing. More than one million rural families work in cotton production, over 850,000 individuals participate in cotton manufacturing and trading, and more than 1.25 million persons serve indirectly in the cotton industry. In 2015, there were more than 4,500 companies in this sector, 196 of which located in special free zones. Garments make up for the largest share of production followed by fabrics, filament, and yarn. The centers of the textile industry are the greater Cairo area – especially Mahalla al-Kubra –, the Nile Delta, and Alexandria / Borg El Arab.
The Egyptian cotton market is largely liberalized. Most of the producers are small farmers. Manufacturers include public and private sector companies. Approximately 50-60 percent of the spinning, weaving, and felt capacities are state-owned. Private companies share 90 percent of garment production. The distribution of seeds is organized by the government through the Cotton Arbitration & Testing General Organization (CATGO). CATGO provides the farmers with seeds and determines an annually changing minimum price for the harvest.
For more information on the Egyptian market as well as funding and project opportunities, do not hesitate to contact us!
Mr. Jens Kutscher
Tel.: +49 (0)30 25 35 92 72