Industry in Egypt

Industry in Egypt Last updated on Friday 16th April 2010

Egypt's early attempts to industrialize during the 19th century were thwarted by the colonial powers who aimed to monopolize African and Asian markets, while exploiting their natural resources. It wasn't until the early 20th century that a limited manufacturing sector was developed to cater for domestic demands. The Second World War stimulated industrial growth and the beginnings of a major textile industry. The socialist government of Abdel Nasser emphasized industrial development and established an industrial base that continues to expand.

Cairo, Alexandria, ::I and the new industrial cities outside Cairo are modern Egypt's main industrial areas, producing iron and steel, textiles, refined petroleum, plastics, building materials, electronic products, paper, automobiles and chemicals.

Apart from textiles, most industrial products are made for local consumption.


Labor force

  • 19 million (estimation of 1999)

Unemployment rate

  • 11.8% (estimation of 1999)


  • Textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, petroleum, construction, cement, metals

Industrial production growth rate

  • 5% (estimation of 1999)

Electricity - production

  • 57.8 billion kWh (estimation of 1998)

Electricity - production by source

  • Fossil fuel: 78.72%
  • ::I 21.28%
  • Nuclear: 0%
  • Other: 0% (estimation of 1998)

Electricity - consumption

  • 53.754 billion kWh (estimation of 1998)

Agriculture - products

  • Cotton, rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats; fish


  • $4.6 billion (f.o.b., estimation of 1999.)

Exports - commodities

  • Crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals

Exports - partners

  • EU 47%, US 14%, Turkey 8% (1998)


  • $15.8 billion (f.o.b., estimation of 1999)

Imports - commodities

  • Machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood products, fuels

Imports - partners

  • EU 42%, US 16%, Japan 5% (1998)
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