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EU to Fund Development of Egypt’s Textile Sector

The European Union recently announced that it would fund development of Egypt’s textile sector through its Tex-Med Clusters project.

Egypt will receive an as yet unspecified amount of euros to promote socio-economic development, environmental sustainability at the [Mediterranean] basin level, and better conditions and modalities of persons, goods and capital, according to a statement from the Chamber of Alexandria.

The project’s principal objectives include development and improvement of global competitiveness in the textile and clothing industries of Mediterranean countries and increased partnerships and cooperation between nations in the Mediterranean area to ultimately forge an integrated regional textile system. Other objectives include attracting foreign investment, acquiring technology and instituting modern management techniques to increase exports.

The E.U. is already a major investor in Egyptian companies, accounting for more than 60 percent of all foreign investment in the country.

Exports of Egyptian textiles and readymade garments, according to government data, account for 24.5% of total exports. Of that amount, the E.U. takes in 41 percent of textile exports and 32.7% of readymade garments. The U.S. receives 11 percent of Egyptian textile exports and 25 percent of readymade garment exports.

Egypt has 4,306 textile companies which employ about 30 percent of the nation’s labor force.

Besides Alexandria, Egypt, other Mediterranean regions participating in the project include Amman, Jordan; Bethlehem, Israel; Catalonia; Spain; Monastir, Tunisia; Thessalonika, Greece; and Tuscany, Italy.

Total budget for the project, scheduled to end in 2015, is €2 billion ($2.74 billion), with €300,000 ($411,306) financed by the project participants.