Egypt is overhauling its cotton industry. Machines in cotton weaving, ginning and spinning factories don’t handle production of extra-long staple cotton. They operate only with imported short-staple cotton. These obsolete machines will be replaced. Some of the machines in the ginning factories date back to 1878. Modernisation process will include merging some cotton plants, with the aim of increasing production fourfold in coming years. Funds to finance the project will come from the sale of unneeded textile industry assets. Factory upgrade will be the real beginning for modernising the whole industry and is expected to have strong effects on competitive edge of textile products in local and international markets. The first modernised ginning plant is to begin operations in April. It is among 11 ginning plants being overhauled, along with several weaving and spinning factories.
Egypt has comparatively rich advantages in cotton raw materials, extremely preferential trade policies and low production factor costs, which provide a good basis for further development of the textile and garment industry. The Egyptian textile industry contributes almost three per cent of GDP, employs one-third of the industrial labor and generates exports that are 15 per cent of Egypt’s non-oil exports. The industry has been, however, beaten out in the past two decades by the invasion of cheaper products from other countries.