Egyptian grapes may gain access to China in Q2 2016

According to Ms Iman Kamel, Executive Director of Egypt’s Horticultural Export Improvement Association (HEIA), the procedure that will grant Egyptian grapes access to the Chinese market is moving quickly. “We are expecting to receive a Chinese delegation from AQSIQ in April 2016 to assess the status of Egyptian table grapes’ risk analysis. The protocol will be developed and signed after their field visit to Egypt and hopefully during Q2 2016.”

Despite this being considered a very important step for Egyptian grapes, Egypt’s traditional market won’t be affected, as the Chinese market will only complement Egyptian fresh produce exports and widen their exposure to new markets, which will lead to increasing production volumes.

In fact, when it comes to the European market, she believes that Eurostat’s data for the second quarter of 2015 shows encouraging evidence of a recovery in the major European countries. “If we look into some of the larger European economies, there is cause for optimism. Overall, the Greek situation does not seem to be preventing a gradual European recovery. While European countries are improving at very different paces, growth has returned. The decline in the value of the Euro against the dollar has also created optimism. Europe, from my point of view, is divided into northern EU economies and the UK, which are showing robust signs of recovery, while southern Europe is showing weakness. Only Germany and France show consumption above its prior peak.”

In logistics terms, Kamel also sees no major challenges ahead. Quite the contrary, she believes that Egypt’s Sokhna Port, located on the Red Sea, gives the country a great advantage, as it receives 11 shipping lines from the Far East, with an average of 4 ships per day delivering products and which are not fully utilised on their return voyage to their main destination.

All in all, Kamel is convinced that Egyptian fresh produce has a very promising future in China, which is great, since the Asian and Chinese markets are huge markets which are growing quickly and demanding high quality fresh produce. And over the past decades, Egypt has developed strongly in terms of quality and diversity; two factors that ensure golden opportunities for cooperation.

Furthermore, HEIA and AEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s Agricultural Wholesale Markets Association (CAWA) on May 21, 2015. “This MOU has paved the ground for Egyptian exporters and Chinese importers to promote Egyptian fresh produce to the Chinese market and is playing a positive role in coordinating the government and the industry in the formulation of trade policies, also allowing MOU parties to exchange information regarding marketing opportunities, product availability, registered players, regulations awareness, technical information and other bilateral information needed,” she concludes.
For more information:
Iman Kamel
Horticultural Export Improvement Association (HEIA)
Mobile: +20-10 9999 5441
Tel : +20 2 38 37 11 22 (ext. 223)
Fax : +20 2 38 37 11 33 / 44


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