Egypt prepares for digital transformation despite challenges

It’s been two years since the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Egypt announced its plans of industrial digitalisation in a bid to prepare for the 4th industrial revolution. The Ministry has taken a series of steps to enhance sustainable development and address issues that may arise because of the digital transformation of industries.

The digital transformation of Egyptian industries hinges on a few underlying strategies, which include: infrastructure development, investment in the form of human capital, creating a business environment, supporting entrepreneurial ideas especially by women and creating smart cities. The aim of the digitalisation is to streamline Egypt’s industrial growth and to ensure the country is equipped to compete on an international level. Digitalisation would lead to increased competitiveness, and improved quality and productivity of industrial goods.

Maha Saleh, Executive Director EEC (Engineering Export Council of Egypt) while talking to Daily News Egypt mentioned how digitalisation can impact the economy of Egypt by helping the industry. She also talked about Fintech, saying “as for fintech, this emerging industry, with its new applications, processes, products, and business models, can help companies better manage and improve their financial operations, and enhance their growth rates.”

 In accordance with the Programme Action Plan 2019-2020, the ministry has also started a new programmed called the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC). The purpose of the IMC would be to facilitate digital transformation and fintech in Egyptian companies. The IMC would assist in the comprehensive digital transformation of Egyptian companies’ financial assets in value-added chains. This digitalisation would lead to cost reduction, increased revenues, and boosted production efficiency.

Under the “Egypt Exports through Product Innovation” programme, funded by the European Union and implemented by EEC, Egyptian industries are looking to increase their export by improving and innovating their products so that they can compete in the European Markets. Many engineering companies are also becoming part of this programme in an effort to improve their export capacity.  

Apart from these benefits, the ministry of trade and industry has also kept its eyes on the many challenges that digitalisation has to offer such as:

- It is an expensive process

- Developing the infrastructure will take time

- Not all companies can afford digitalization

Even with these drawbacks, the ministry believes that digitalisation will have a long-lasting positive impact on the industry of the country. Ultimately, this would lead to an increase in exports to African markets. Moreover, the development of financial inclusion will increase the pace of transformation toward digitalization and fintech.

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