Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/27/2012 -- Political uncertainty will continue to affect the Egyptian economy in 2013 as the country continues upon its rocky transitional period towards democracy. This uncertainty will, in turn, continue to affect the freight transport sector as a worsening economic position will impact on the country's demand for cargo transportation, either as a result of muted private consumption or a lack of significant infrastructure projects as foreign direct investment dries up. As a result our forecasts for the Egyptian rail and air freight and the ports sector are largely sedate, though the transhipment hub of East Port Said - less reliant on domestic demand - is expected to outperform.
Headline Industry Data
- Air freight handled at Cairo International Airport is set to grow by 3.5% year-on-year in 2013 to reach 297,040 tonnes. Over the medium term to 2017 growth will average 3.5% per annum.
- Rail cargo will enjoy expansion of 1.8% in 2013, with growth projected to average 1.7% over the medium term.
- Total tonnage throughput at East Port Said is forecast to grow by 12.8% to 33.47mn tonnes in 2013, and to average 11.0% per annum to 2016.
- Real growth in total trade is forecast at 15.3% in 2013.
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Key Industry Trends
Qatar To Invest In New East Port Said Complex
BMI believes that a Qatari investment in the Egyptian ports sector will provide a boost to facilities such as East Port Said, and will be welcomed by the Egyptian government; the country has been struggling with particularly low levels of foreign investment since the ouster of President Mubarak in March 2011. For Qatar, meanwhile, the investment is in keeping with its increasingly visible presence on the world stage.
Government To Invite Companies' Participation In Rail Project
The Egyptian government is to invite private sector entities to participate in a high-speed rail project in 2013 after feasibility studies end in the coming six to 12 months, according to Transportation Minister Mohamed Rashad.
Delegation To Expedite Studies On Proposed US$3bn Causeway
A 50-member Saudi business delegation will aim to speed up the studies on a proposed US$3bn Saudi- Egypt causeway, which will bolster bilateral trade and relax travel of Egyptian pilgrims. The delegation, on a visit to Cairo, will meet Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and will also discuss the US$27bn Saudi investment in Egypt, which is facing certain obstacles.
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