Roundtable Discussions

Towards Mobilizing Export Competitiveness: Impact of Exchange Rate Policy

Date : 4/10/2012

Speakers : Magda Kandil (ECES); Omneia Helmy (ECES) and Khaled Hanafy (Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce)

The roundtable discussion discussed the pros and cons of exchange rate depreciation in Egypt. It considered the import content of Egyptian exports at the aggregate level and for the manufacturing sector in particular. Using data for exports by industry and country of destination over the period 2000-2010, the analysis assessed the impact of fluctuations in the bilateral exchange rate of the Egyptian pound and the real effective exchange rate on export competitiveness in the presence of a high imported intermediate content. The results will reflect on the current debate regarding the need to let the Egyptian pound depreciate to ensure higher export competitiveness and on the downside risks of depreciation on the cost of production and higher inflation. Policy implications were assessed in light of high industrial dependency on imported inputs and the risk of depreciation on the cost of production and loss of competitiveness.