TRADE FORECAST REPORT EGYPT

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1 TRADE FORECAST REPORT EGYPT 2H 2015

2 EGYPT: IN BRIEF The Trade Confidence Score in Egypt increased to 128 in H2 2015, 24 points higher than H1, with the majority of respondents (64%) expecting trade volumes to increase over the next six months. The Egyptian economy is well positioned to benefit from trade with Emerging Asia, though Saudi Arabia and India will remain the two key destinations for Egyptian exports in the long-term. During this time, petroleum products will remain a key contributor to export growth. Petroleum products are also expected to drive growth in Egyptian exports over the next five years, though chemicals, machinery and other manufactures will benefit from increasing confidence and investment in infrastructure. While the short-term domestic picture has been weighed down by security and political risks, the recent discovery of natural gas by Italian firm ENI and improving confidence in the medium-term could drive growth and investment. This could also offer a solution to energy shortages and lessen the need for imported fuel. Meanwhile a pick-up in external demand and ambitious infrastructure expansion plans could improve the outlook for export growth. 2H 2015

3 SHORT TERM SNAPSHOT HSBC TRADE CONFIDENCE The Trade Confidence Score in Egypt increased by 24 points to 128 in H2 2015, compared to H1, reflecting a more positive outlook for the near-term. However, the survey was conducted before the November terror attack on a Russian passenger jet over Sinai, which has delivered a major blow to Egypt s tourism industry. And the positive near-term outlook may also be undermined by the central bank s surprise move on 11 November to strengthen the EGP exchange rate, which will hit competitiveness. The upward move in the TCS was driven by a more optimistic outlook towards merchandise trade volumes in the next six months, with almost 64% of respondents expecting an increase in the H2 survey, compared to 51% in H1. This could be linked to the relatively quick completion of the widening of the Suez Canal, showing the government s commitment to infrastructure improvements. There was also an improved outlook towards payments from partners, with the number of survey participants expecting buyers to default on payments falling compared to 6 months ago, as well as the risk of suppliers not honouring trade agreements. A significant increase in the need for trade finance and the ability to access it can also be observed. 64% OF RESPONDENTS EXPECTING AN INCREASE IN THE H2 SURVEY TRADE CONFIDENCE SCORE Positive 100 Neutral Negative 80 2H11 1H12 2H12 1H13 2H13 1H14 2H14 1H15 2H15 Source: HSBC TCS data However, respondents expect the impact of government regulations and exchange rates on trade to worsen over the next six months. This is likely a reflection of persistent foreign currency shortages and the capital controls that remain in place. Due to locational proximity and historic trade links, the Middle East and North Africa region remained the top response for those regions expected to offer opportunities for international business growth, though Europe was a very close second. However, almost three times as many respondents (at 17% in H2 2015, compared to 6% in H1) thought that Asia would offer the best opportunities for business growth over the next six months, while prospects in all other regions were perceived to have dampened slightly.

4 LONG TERM OUTLOOK ECONOMIC OUTLOOK The long-term economic outlook for Egypt has a number of positives, but there are familiar challenges in reaching potential. The government s plans for improving infrastructure and modernising the economy seem overly ambitious. Nevertheless the commitment to new capital projects, such as the completion of the widening of the Suez Canal after just one year of work, offers hope. Egypt s political transition remains ongoing, with long-awaited parliamentary elections taking place in November. Meanwhile the Russian airline incident in Sharm El-Sheikj, along with ongoing violence in Sinai and periodic attacks in other parts of the country underline the threat that security poses to sentiment and recovery. Gradual commodity price increases in the medium to longer term could undermine Egypt s terms of trade and household incomes, slowing import growth in other areas. Additionally, the current exchange rate regime needs to be made more flexible in order to increase the availability of foreign currency, attract investors, support exports and strengthen competitiveness. The official exchange rate was allowed to move marginally this year, and the exchange rate margin was widened., However the Central Bank has mostly maintained a tight hold on the currency. This stance has driven sharp gains in the real export weighted value of EGP. More significantly, the controls have left Egypt with a significant USD shortage, undermining activity as firms struggle to access imports and discouraging investment. More positively the recent major gas discovery announced by Italian firm ENI could stimulate growth in the longer-term, and provide solutions to energy shortages. Laws passed by the president in July could also lead to the privatisation of the electricity sector, which will help to boost investment and efficiency in generation and transmission. Both are positive for Egypt s ability to compete globally in manufacturing sectors an area where it should have a competitive advantage given low wage costs and young demographics. EXPORT CORRIDORS TO WATCH At the sector level, petroleum products are set to become the biggest drivers of export growth contributing 17% of total export growth in the decade to The Zohr project, which is where the recent discovery of natural gas by ENI was, could offer opportunities to export in the medium-term, once domestic energy shortages have been fully met. SECTOR CONTRIBUTION TO INCREASE IN EXPORTS 140% 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% -20% -40% Food & animals Beverages & tobacco Raw materials Source: Oxford Economics Mineral fuels Chemicals Manufactures Machinery & transport Other Another major contributor to growth in Egyptian exports will be the animal products sector, which accounts for 12% of total export growth in the ten years to Representative of Egypt s gradual movement up the value chain, mineral manufactures, chemicals and plastics will be some of the largest contributions to export growth in the decade to In 2014, around 8% of exports were destined for Saudi Arabia, with another 8% to India and 6% to Turkey. Due to the strong rate of economic growth expected in these three countries, they are expected to remain the top three destinations for Egyptian exports in the decade to 2030, but India will overtake Saudi Arabia to claim top spot of our 24 trading partners. Meanwhile, the UAE is expected to ascend into fourth place by 2030, overtaking the UK and US, with 8% growth in exports in the decade before, likely due to its strong growth prospects and trading links.

5 TOP 5 HOTLIST EXPORT DESTINATIONS Rank Saudi Arabia India 2 India Saudi Arabia 3 Turkey Turkey 4 USA UAE 5 UK USA *Ranking among the 24 trade partners covered in the HSBC Trade Forecast Meanwhile, export markets in Asia will provide the fastest growth (of the 25 countries included in this forecast). China (12% per annum), Malaysia (11%) and India (10%) will top the list in the decade to 2030, due to their fast growth and historically close connections. IMPORT CORRIDORS TO WATCH As part of the government s proposals to increase infrastructure investment and its ambitions development plans, imports in industrial machinery lead the way in driving import growth over the forecast period. And commitment to these plans has been somewhat proven with the completion of the widening of the Suez Canal after just one year of work. In addition, German industrial company Siemens signed an 8bn deal with Egypt earlier this year to supply gas and wind power plants, with the aim of boosting domestic electricity generation by 50%. Against this background, the industrial machinery sector is expected to contribute 18% of import growth in the decade to 2030, with transport equipment contributing another 10%. SECTOR CONTRIBUTION TO INCREASE IN IMPORTS The contribution of petroleum products to import growth will fall from 15% in , to 6% in the decade to 2030 as domestic production stabilises. This will also be helped by the recent discovery of gas in Egyptian waters. We expect China remain the top source of Egyptian imports, and the USA to remain in second place, as Egypt relies on importing manufactures and chemicals. However, India will ascend to the third most important origin of merchandise imports for Egypt by 2030, up from fifth place in 2014 with imports from India growing at 10% per annum to in the decade before. TOP 5 HOTLIST IMPORT ORIGINS Rank China China 2 USA USA 3 Germany India 4 Turkey Turkey 5 India Germany *Ranking among the 24 trade partners covered in the HSBC Trade Forecast In a similar pattern to exports, China (11% per annum), India (10%), Turkey (10%) and Malaysia (9%) will be the fastest growing origins of imports in the decade to This represents a descent in ranks for Canada, which is expected to be the fastest growing origin in , despite an increase in import growth from 7% in to 9% in the decade to % 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Food & animals Beverages & tobacco Raw materials Source: Oxford Economics Mineral fuels Chemicals Manufactures Machinery & transport Other

6 DRIVERS OF RECOVERY Despite political and security risks in the short-term, Egyptian merchandise exports are expected to accelerate towards 8% by 2019/20, as the external environment gradually improves and economic growth picks up. At the same time, investment in upgrading infrastructure and modernising the economy will also take effect. Due to an improvement in external demand, stimulated by low oil prices and a global recovery, we expect the mineral fuels sector to lead the export recovery, with growth of 9% a year on average in Reflective of this, mineral manufactures (37%), petroleum products (22%) and gas (18%) will be the largest contributors to export growth over the near-term. Production in the newly discovered Zohr gas field, which could start as early as 2017/18, will help to alleviate import needs to meet domestic energy shortages and could eventually lead to an improving competitiveness and exports Another leading sector in the projected export recovery will be chemicals, with growth expected to average 9% per year in , as demand is driven by agriculture and fast-moving consumer goods. Development of chemicals used in agriculture could see strong export growth as the sector carries out R&D to reclaim land from the desert and prepare it for cultivation, a key government priority. Other categories where export growth is expected to strengthen over the coming years include machinery and other manufactures (this broad category includes cyclical sectors such as metals, but also scientific instruments). These sectors are expected to grow by 8-9% per annum in They will likely benefit from an expected recovery in investor confidence after recent periods of uncertainty, as well as an eventual uptick in general foreign investment spending. This eventual improvement in economic and political stability will also help the overall trade picture. When the current pressures on foreign currency supplies in Egypt are eventually relieved, it will help those businesses who are reliant on imports to complete business transactions more easily. EXPORTS BY SECTOR EGYPTIAN MERCHANDISE EXPORTS ARE EXPECTED TO ACCELERATE TOWARDS 8 % Clothing and Apparel Agriculture Raw Materials Other manufactures Chemicals Machinery Transport Equipment Mineral Fuels Source: Oxford Economics Growth (% year)

7 ABOUT THE HSBC TRADE FORECAST The Trade Confidence Survey (TCS) is a quantitative indicator of the short-term outlook for global trade. The survey is the largest of its kind, and conducted on behalf of HSBC by TNS. Over 6,300 businesses globally from small and mid-market to large corporations are interviewed about their expectations towards global trade and business growth over the next six months. In 2H15, the survey data collection method changed to online in 11 markets: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, UK, and USA. The past data has been calibrated to account for this change and to preserve the trends. Oxford Economics has tailored a unique service for HSBC which forecasts bilateral trade in goods, based on HSBC s own analysis and forecasts of the world economy. A top-down approach is employed, with Oxford Economics suite of models used to ensure consistency between HSBC s forecasts for economic growth and exchange rates in key countries and the more granular projections for bilateral trade flows presented here. Oxford Economics employs a global modelling framework, with headline bilateral trade forecasts constructed as a function of final demand in the destination market and the exporter s competitiveness (as measured by relative unit labour costs). Exports, imports and trade balances are identified, with both historical estimates and forecasts for the periods and These headline bilateral trade forecasts are also disaggregated by sector, using Oxford Economics Industry forecasts to inform future production trends. Sectors are classified according to the UN s Standard International Trade Classifications (SITC) system at the two-digit level and grouped into 30 sector headings. Oxford Economics produces a global report for HSBC, as well as country specific reports on the following 23 countries: Hong Kong, China, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Canada, USA, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, UK, France, Turkey, Germany, Poland, Ireland, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. The analysis also includes trade with Japan and Korea for a total sample of 25 key trading nations. All trade flows data are reported in nominal US-dollar value terms (using market exchange rates) unless otherwise specified. This means that fluctuations in a country s termsof-trade due to relative price and exchange rate effects are reflected in the data.

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