Trade and Foreign Exchange Regime in Egypt - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Trade and Foreign Exchange Regime in Egypt

Hanaa Kheir-El-Din and Sherine El-Shawarby

November, 2000


23 pages

F. International Economics

The objective of this paper is to examine the most important components of foreign trade policy in Egypt: the tariff structure, non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and the exchange rate policy. With the intent of assessing the policies’ likely impacts on Egyptian export competitiveness the paper also focuses on distortions resulting from these policies. The study found that since 1991, Egypt has taken serious steps towards trade liberalization through a series of corrective measures aimed at accelerating the reduction in the height as well as in the variance of tariff rates, phasing out most of NTBs on imports as well as on exports, reducing other types of NTBs, providing export incentives, and simplifying the exchange rate system. However, substantial reforms are still required if satisfactory export-led growth is to be attained and sustained in the long-run. Trade policy in Egypt is not the only determinant of trade performance or of the pattern of resource allocation. Performance is also still controlled by various government regulations and interventions and by institutional, legislative, political, and social considerations. Awareness of the need to reform on various economic and non-economic fronts would be an important step toward the potential overall improvement in competitiveness.

Research Fellows

Hanaa Kheir-El-Din

Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University

Sherine El-Shawarby



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