Businessman Yusra Qutb, Chairman of the Board of Directors of "Universal" Group, revealed that energy prices in Egypt are higher than competing countries and in clear rates, and this affects the competitiveness of exports for several sectors, indicating that several industries depend directly on gas, among them iron, steel, ceramics and there. Other industries are less dependent on it, so the reduction in energy supports the national industry.
In an interview with Al-Youm Al-Sabea, Yusra Qutb added that the advancement of the national industry primarily requires support for small and medium industries, as they are a major complement to large industries. When the investor decides to enter the market, he looks at the complementary industries related to his industry, so this sector is vital and needs special support. From the state the coming period, because this will affect large industries.
First of all, how do you see the status of energy prices and their impact on the industrial sector?
Energy represents the backbone of some industries that depend entirely on it, such as ceramics, iron and steel, and other industries that are less dependent on energy as a productive input, but in general, energy prices in Egypt are higher than their counterparts in countries that compete with us externally, so the rise in the energy price is reflected in the product price. Finally, Turkey, as an example, has lower energy prices than Egypt, and this makes the presence of its investors better because their production cost is lower.
What does the industrial sector need for its rise or leadership in the coming years?
The truth is that different industries need supportive and complementary industries, including small and medium industries. They still face obstacles. The rise of small industries is directly reflected in the large and large industries. When the investor studies the investment market, he looks at the complementary industries file “small industries”, so state support for the small sector The extreme is an urgent necessity for the rise of large industries, as China has 5,800 small factories that have made a huge difference in its economy, and the presence of small factories reduces dependence on importing production inputs, so the investor suffers when he enters the market and resorts to importing all of his production inputs.
So small industries are the beginning of the rise of industry?
Of course, this is a fact, because small industries meet the needs of large factories, and this makes us better and reduces the cost of relying on imported inputs.
The issue of foreign competition .. Is the Egyptian industry able to exist?
Of course, we have enormous industrial assets and productive sectors that are able to compete externally, as well as distinguished international relations and trade agreements with several conglomerates, and a distinct geographical location that qualifies us to export to Europe and Africa, and all this is a good opportunity for us, but all this must be exploited, as well as our competitors such as Turkey have problems Now, a major drop in its currency, and this raises the costs of its production, and we must take advantage of this, and here we must support the national industry to exist and exploit all these advantages.
So what do the factories need in terms of support in order to compete externally?
We have some obstacles that must be dealt with immediately. First, solving the problems of export support programs and not delaying the disbursement of subsidies to exporters, and there is a clear directive from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to deal with this file decisively. Secondly, the industrial sector needs a distinct interest when borrowing, and although the Central Bank’s initiative is about The industrial sector has allocated 100 billion very good, but we need to circulate a fixed benefit to the industry, let it be 8%, so that it is not a temporary initiative.
In your opinion, has the central bank initiative affected the industrial sector?
Of course, the initiative is wonderful and has greatly affected the industrial sector, and it has contributed to moving production in many factories, and here we demand the generalization of the initiative so that it becomes a fait accompli and not a temporary financing initiative for the industrial sector, and factories can have easy interest loans aimed at investment and productivity expansions, because such expansions Provide job opportunities, reduce unemployment and increase productive capacities.
What are the urgent and long-term solutions to deal with industry and export problems?
We immediately need to establish research centers to support the productive sectors, and logistical centers to market products abroad, and these measures will have a medium and long-term impact on industry and exports, and focus on African markets because we have strong opportunities and our products have a good reputation there, for example Lebanese businessmen have succeeded Strongly in Africa because they are constantly there.