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Foreign Trade in Figures

Trade represents 34% of the country's GDP (World Bank, 2020). The Egyptian market has been gradually opening up, with the ratification of various free trade agreements, especially the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The African continental free trade area (AfCFTA) was ratified by Egypt in 2019. Petroleum products (oil and gas) are the most traded items, both for imports and exports. Other important exports are gold, plastics, citrus fruit and nitrogenous fertilisers. Imports are driven by petroleum (as Egypt’s reserves are much less significant than those of other Gulf countries), machinery and mechanical appliances, cereals (the country imports around 40% of its food requirements according to FAO), cars, radio-telephony transmission tools, plastics and medicines (World Trade Organisation and International Trade Center, 2020). Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the volume of exports of goods and services is expected to decline by -11.2% in 2021 compared to 2020, and the volume of imports to decline by -7.5%. For 2022, the IMF forecasts a fall in volume of -10.5% for exports and -1.4% for imports.

Egypt's main export partners are the United Arab Emirates (10.7% of total exports), Saudi Arabia (6.4%), Turkey (6.2%), the United States (5.5%), Italy (5.2%) and India (4.6%). Egypt's main suppliers are China (15% of total imports), the United States (6.7%), Saudi Arabia (6.3%), Germany (5.8%) and Turkey (4.9%) (International Trade Center, 2020).

Structurally, the Egyptian economy has a trade deficit. Excluding services, the deficit staid stable at around USD 29.2 billion in 2020, as both imports (USD 59.8 billion) and exports (USD 26.6 billion) of goods decreased. As for services, Egypt exported USD 14.4 billion worth of services in 2020 (-40.7%), while it imported USD 17.1 billion (-16.1%) (World Trade Organisation). According to Egypt Oil & Gas, Egypt’s exports were reported at USD 29.7 billion, rising by 40% in the first nine months of 2021, compared to the USD 21.2 billion recorded in the same period of 2020. Egypt’s commodities exports increased by 27% during the first 11 months of 2021. The trade deficit is expected to decrease in 2022 thanks to a rebound in tourism, higher gas exports, lower energy imports, and consequent Suez Canal revenues and remittances (Coface).

Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 61,62772,00070,91959,84383,503
Exports of Goods (million USD) 25,60427,62428,99326,63043,626
Imports of Services (million USD) 16,08217,83020,41517,12722,951
Exports of Services (million USD) 18,61322,91324,25314,37621,897

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 45.148.343.233.831.4
Trade Balance (million USD) -29,065-29,590-29,285-29,234-34,471
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -27,349-24,709-25,428-32,381-35,700
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 52.510.6-8.9-17.90.2
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 86.031.6-2.2-21.7-13.4
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 29.329.425.720.720.3
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 15.818.917.513.111.1

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20222023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 27.1-
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change)

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

International Economic Cooperation
Egypt is a member of the following international economic organisations: WTO, Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), ICC, Black Sea Economic Cooperation Zone (BSEC) (observer), G-15, G-24, G-77, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), IMF, Arab League, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Egypt click here. International organisation membership of Egypt is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Egypt can be consulted here.

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.


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Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Actualitzacions: February 2023

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