Working Papers

Competitiveness of Egypt in the EU Market for Fruits and Vegetables

Publication Number: ECESWP154-E

March, 2010

Author : Omneia Helmy

Type : Working Papers

Fruits and vegetables represent a great export potential for Egypt to the European Union (EU),the leading importer of fruits and vegetables in the world. With that in mind, this paper assesses the competitiveness of Egypt in the EU fruit and vegetable market relative to nine Southern Mediterranean Countries (SMCs) over the period 2004-2008, by adopting the Constant Market Share Analysis (CMSA) methodology at the Harmonized System disaggregated product level of four digit codes. Results of the CMSA indicate that Egypt has increased its share in the EU market for fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, particularly onions and garlic, fresh or dried grapes and prepared or preserved vegetables as a result of enhancing its competitiveness. However, Egypt’s weak capability to cope with changes in the EU consumers’ demand and adjust its export supply to the structure of the EU market demand have been critical in limiting a gain that could have been higher for Egypt. To improve the country’s access to the EU market, the paper suggests speeding the ratification and implementation of the new agricultural agreement between Egypt and the EU; enhancing the efficiency of transport and related logistics services; improving technologies for the preservation and processing of fruits and vegetables; developing marketing through joining the international food chains and large scale retail trade; and implementing a more flexible exchange rate regime. Egypt also needs to promote exports of products whose EU demand is growing rapidly, and to better comply with EU quality, health and environmental standards.