Export Impact For Good

Countries / Territories

Egypt: Improving the international competitiveness of the textile and clothing sector (GTEX)

  •  Egypt

    Objective | Sector Context | Beneficiaries | Contact information | Questionnaire


    The Egypt project has been developed within the framework of the GTEX programme and is fully aligned to the programme’s approach and strategy. The envisaged impact of the project is to increase employment and income along the T&C value chain. To achieve this long-term objective, the project foresees to accomplish two major outcomes until its end. One is related to the institutional infrastructure around the sector, including policy aspects, where required, and is formulated as “Improved business environment and TISI performance in the T&C sector”. The second outcome targets the enterprise level which is formulated as “Improved competitiveness of SMEs in the T&C sector”. It will focus on capacity building of the private sector with a main focus on the clothing sector. Technical assistance consists of direct support to enterprises in selected sub-sectors as well as selected TISIs supporting the sector.

    Sector Context

    The textiles and clothing sector is Egypt’s second biggest industrial sector after agro-industry. It accounts for approximately 3.5% of GDP, 34% of industrial output and 14% of Egypt’s overall exports (Source: RMG Export Council).

    The T&C sector is comprised of about 4,000 companies, out of which only around 500-600 are exporting. Exporting companies are relatively well organised as compared to the majority of companies supplying the domestic market. The latter are often small companies operating in the informal sector. While no exact employment figures exist, estimations are that the sector employs up to 1 million people, the majority of them in the informal sector. While the textile sector (ginning, spinning and weaving) is still dominated by large state-owned companies, 90% of all clothing factories are private-owned.

    Exports consist mainly of ready-made garments and home textiles while some yarns and fabrics are also exported. Overall, T&C exports in 2016 stood at 2.5 billion US$ with 1.271 billion for clothing alone. The US was the largest export market with a share of about 56% followed by the EU with 35%.

    Clothing companies are mainly operating in the Cut Make Trim (CMT) business and perform simple sewing operations with low material sourcing, product development and design skills and low value addition. Also export management skills are often absent in many companies. This contrasts with a few vertically integrated companies that perform successful export operations and also developed successful brands for the Egyptian and Middle Eastern market.


    The direct beneficiaries of the project will be SMEs, including their employees and managers, as well as trade and investment support institutions (TISIs), including training institutions.

    The project will focus its support towards the clothing sector and especially towards three sub-sectors. Early analysis and stakeholder feedback suggest to work in active and sportswear, knitwear and men’s shirts. A maximum of 35 enterprises will be directly supported. The project will also support newly created enterprises under the “Your job next door” initiative.

    Its core institutional partner organisation will be the Ready-made Garments Export Council. The project will also seek to work with the Textile Export Council, the Egyptian Exporters’ Association (ExpoLink), the Egyptian Association for Training and Research Services for Ready-made Garments and Textiles (TrainTex) and the Fashion Design Centre. The final TISI selection is subject to an institutional assessment to be carried out at the beginning of the project.

    Contact information

    Matthias Knappe – GTEX Programme Manager
    International Trade Centre, Geneva
    54-56 rue de Montbrillant, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland
    Tel: (+41) 22 730 0321

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