1 In the first business-to-business mission since the pandemic, the International Trade Center brought together 10 Tunisian and 26 Egyptian companies in May in Cairo to discuss business and explore opportunities for regional trade.
2 Textiles and clothing are among the main exports of the Middle East and North Africa.
4 In 2019, their combined exports of $8.6 billion accounted for 55% of the Middle East and North Africa’s textile and apparel exports.
5 The International Trade Center supports small and medium-sized businesses in the Agadir countries to increase regional trade, through the Global Textiles and Clothing program and its related work in the region.
7 “This was the first regional activity after the pandemic.
8 It provided businesses with the necessary motivation as markets reopened, business travel and in-person trade shows returned to everyday reality,” said Rasha Fahim, CEO of Egypt Textiles & Home Textiles Export.
9 Council (THTEC): “In general, the feedback received from the participants was very positive and we are delighted to see the successful exchanges.” Tunisian companies worked on lingerie, sportswear, denim, zippers and accessories.
10 Egyptian companies worked on casual wear, knitwear, acrylic, bamboo, blended yarns, and cottons.
11 The 85 meetings and 18 factory visits have already yielded tangible results.
12 Éclair, a Tunisian company that makes accessories, has started selling its products to two Egyptian garment manufacturers.
13 “Participating in the mission organized by the GTEX/MENATEX program has helped us understand what Egyptian fabric and yarn suppliers offer and how we could start doing business with them,” said Tarek Ben Haj Ali, General Manager of Workman Group, a Tunisian company that has been making workwear for more than 25 years.
14 He met with six Egyptian companies and is optimistic that those relationships will grow.
15 Remon Adly, director of Egypt’s Riad Group, also established new potential business connections.
16 “We had meetings with six Tunisian companies and visited our company facilities,” he said.
17 “They were able to verify the quality of our products and the high level of our production facilities.
18 Some of them have already expressed interest in starting a business together in the near future.”
19 Riad Group is a family business founded in 1930 that produces knitted fabrics and ready-made garments.”Certainly, it is essential to create links between countries ses of MENA,” said Adly. “However, it is necessary to improve the logistical connections between them to facilitate the process of economic and commercial exchange.”
21 By contrast, exports to neighboring countries remain relatively low.
22 , partly due to weaker purchasing power.
23 But to comply with EU trade rules, encourage the Agadir countries to work with each other’s products before exporting them.
24 This could encourage more trade within the region throughout the supply chain, even if the finished products are destined for the EU.
25 That is why Egyptian suppliers of yarns and fabrics, as well as Tunisian accessories suppliers, were informed of the first successes of the trade mission.
26 This mission also connected trade support organizations in Tunisia (Ministry of Trade and Industry, CETTEX and FTTH) and Egypt (Ministry of Trade and Industry, THTEC, AECE), agreed to work more closely to facilitate trade, improve logistics and reduce non-tariff barriers between the two countries.
27 About the GTEX/MENATEX Program The Global Textiles and Apparel Program (GTEX) and its related work in the Middle East and North Africa (MENATEX) supports Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Business Support Organizations (BSOs).
28 ) who work in the textile industry.
29 and the clothing industry (T&C) in developing countries to increase export competitiveness.
30 The GTEX/MENATEX program is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Swiss Confederation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), focusing on six priority countries (Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Tunisia).