Egypt’s trade deficit narrowed by 25 percent in 2017 from the year before due to a decline in imports and raise in exports, the trade ministry said on Friday.
Non-oil exports rose to about $22.4 billion in 2017 from about $20.4 billion the previous year, a 10 percent increase, Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said in a statement.
Imports declined to about $56.8 billion from about $66.3 billion, a 14 percent decrease, Kabil said.
Egyptian exports have over the past year found new markets as the pound lost half its value in a currency flotation in Nov. 2016.
Curbing random imports
“Egypt’s positive external trade indicators confirms the success of the ministry’s efforts to curb random importation and the substitution of local alternatives with imports,” Kabil said.
Egypt’s economy has been struggling since a 2011 uprising drove foreign investors and tourists away, but an International Monetary Fund loan agreed in 2016 is hoped to put the country on the right track.
Tightening the trade deficit is key for Egypt which has embarked on sweeping economic reforms since it signed the $12 billion IMF deal to boost growth.