Last updated: December 17, 2019

The Arab Republic of Egypt lies at the junction between Africa, Asia and Europe. The capital is Cairo – with a population of 18 to 25 million, depending on the estimate, the largest city in the Arab world. The country has a total of around 99 million inhabitants. At one million square kilometers, Egypt is around three times larger than Germany. However, only about four percent of the area can be used for agriculture. In the fertile Nile Delta, cotton, rice, sugar cane, wheat, vegetables and fruit are mainly grown.

In 2011, Egypt was one of the centers of political upheaval in the Arab world. In 2014 they finally brought Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to the presidency in a general election; In 2018 he was re-elected for a second term. In recent years he has drawn attention to the economic situation in Egypt, especially with several mega-projects. The Suez Canal was expanded to include a second fairway, the construction of a new administrative capital in the desert east of Cairo was promoted and the idea of ​​utilizing around 6,300 square kilometers of desert soil for agricultural purposes was revived. New Capital City has been home to the Middle East’s largest cathedral since January 2019. The first ministries should move into the city at the end of the year.

In 1945 Egypt was a founding member of the UN and the Arab League and belongs to the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Great Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA). In 2019 it will hold the presidency of the African Union (AU). In addition, Egypt is a party to the Agadir Free Trade Agreement with Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan. There has also been an association agreement with the European Union since 2004. German exports to Egypt grew by more than a third between 2015 and 2017. Mainly machines, motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts as well as pharmaceutical and electronic products were among the main export goods.

The renewable energies industry has been experiencing an upswing since September 2014. Egypt’s topography offers the best conditions for the use of wind and solar power. A new strategic energy partnership has existed with the EU since April 2018, which includes technology transfer in the oil and gas sector and is intended to contribute to the increased use of renewable energies. The country also has a number of other economically viable raw materials such as iron ore, phosphate, gypsum, gold and marble.

Egypt is the most industrialized country in North Africa. The revival of the important tourism sector is still missing. But unemployment fell in 2018, as did the inflation rate, while FDI into the country increased and the economy grew by more than five percent. In addition, the country is certified as having a continuous improvement in the business climate. With the release of the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound at the end of 2016, the central bank created good conditions early on for a financial injection from the International Monetary Fund to stabilize the economy, even if this has since been associated with challenges such as the cut in subsidies for electricity, water and gasoline and volatile food prices.

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