U.S. investments in Egypt have retreated during the past year by 85.9 per cent compared to investments made in 2014, the state’s official statistics agency said on Wednesday.
The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) said in a statement that Egypt’s imports from the U.S. fell by 11.3 per cent in 2015, to reach EGP 33.5 billion compared to EGP 37.8 billion in 2014.
The import of grains ranked the highest among imports from the U.S., however the amount imported declined by 56.7 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014.
Similarly, Egyptian exports to the U.S. witnessed a decline of 0.8 per cent in 2015 compared to the year before.
Egypt’s export of clothes to the U.S. ranked the highest, valuing EGP 5.1 billion in 2015 compared to EGP 5.4 billion marking a 6 per cent decline.
Meanwhile, the number of American tourists visiting Egypt rose by 22 per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year. The number of nights spent by tourists also rose by 6.9 per cent in 2015.
CAPMAS previously stated that Egyptian tourism had declined by 47.2 per cent in March compared to the same time last year. This was attributed to the decline in the number of Russian tourists by 99.2 per cent.
Last October, a charter flight operated by Russian airline Metrojet broke up midair 23 minutes after takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh Airport as it headed to St. Petersburg, killing all 224 people on board.
Moscow suspended all flights to Egypt pending an investigation into the crash. The U.K. followed suit, halting all flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh.
Egypt’s tourism industry, a vital source of foreign currency, has been hit hard since the plane crash. The country had already been struggling to recover from economic problems and a shortage of foreign currency reserves since the 2011 Uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.
Several delegations from the U.S. House and Senate have visited Egypt in the past months.
In a reports published early June, Moody’s placed its bet on increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) in the medium term to mitigate the pressure on foreign currency liquidity.
Egypt’s net foreign reserves have reached $17.5 billion as of May 2016.
Egypt had roughly $36 billion in reserves before the January 2011 uprising.
But years of political turmoil have taken a toll on Egypt’s economy, halving the state’s foreign reserves and driving away tourists.
Source: All Africa