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Egyptian government pledges to encourage
cotton production, exports 

CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- Egyptian government on Monday pledged to take measures to encourage cotton production and exports in order to meet local demand and increase exports.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi chaired a meeting to discuss means to support the expansion of cotton planting and the textile industry as a way to boost the national economy, the official MENA news agency reported.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabi, Public Business Sector Minister Ashraf el Sharkawi, and Agriculture Minister Abdel Moneim el Bana.

Sisi ordered “to set a reasonable price for the supply of cotton from farmers to encourage them to expand the cultivation of this vital crop during the coming years in order to cover the needs of the local market and exporting,” the report said.

The president also stressed the importance of establishing integrated companies for the spinning and weaving industry in new areas.

Kabi said that his ministry’s strategy “focuses on the the spinning and weaving industry as part of four main sectors.” 

Known as “white gold,” Egyptian cotton is world famous for producing extra long fibers, which are ideal material for making soft and luxury fabrics and clothes.

Cotton production and exporting is a strategic sector of Egyptian economy as it contributes 26.4 percent of the gross industrial product and generates 7 billion U.S. dollars in annual exports, Kabi said.

Also, 25 percent of the labor force are working in around 7,000 textile companies whose investments amount to 50 billion dollars, he said.

Egypt plans to double cotton production to 1.4 million qintar (160 kg) in the 2017-18 fiscal year starting in July from a year earlier. Cotton production in Egypt has declined sharply since 2011 due to political turmoil. 



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