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Egypt Emerges as a Smartphone Manufacturing Hub

May 30, 2024

Egypt is on a mission to become a leading smartphone manufacturing hub, partnering with Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Nokia. According to Arab Finance for Information Technology,  Egypt’s oldest stock-market information portal, the government is eyeing the tech giant, Apple, to establish local iPhone production, strengthening Egypt’s position in regional manufacturing. 

“The country’s support for localizing industries is part of its efforts to meet domestic demands, reduce the import bill, and increase exports to more than USD 146 billion (EGP 6.83 trillion) by 2030,” Mostafa Madbouly, Egyptian Prime Minister, said earlier this month.

Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo, have factories distributed across several industrial areas in Egypt, and more than 50 percent of industrial sourced locally. 

Samsung’s factory is in Beni Suef, spanning 6,000 square meters, and providing 1,400 direct and indirect job opportunities for Egyptian workers. It has a production capacity of six million units annually, ranging from televisions to mobile phones, and tablets. 

“Samsung Electronics’ factory complex in Beni Suef, Egypt, is the company’s first in the Middle East and Africa, and one of only 14 factories worldwide,” according to Jun Su Jung, the Chairman of Samsung in Egypt. He noted that the total investment in the factory exceeded USD 700 million (EGP  32.7 billion) since its establishment in 2013.

From Oppo to Nokia

Oppo’s factory, also in Beni Suef, has a production capacity of 4.5 million units annually, offering 650 job opportunities, and an investment of approximately USD 30 million (EGP 1.4 billion).

Additionally, Xiaomi’s first factory in the Middle East and Africa is located in the 6th of October City, spanning 25,000 square meters with an initial investment of USD 20 million (EGP 936.4 million). It has a production capacity of one million smartphones and 300,000 TV screens annually, with a local component of 45 percent.

Moreover, HMD Global, the manufacturer of Nokia phones, is cooperating with the Egyptian company, SICO Electronics Co, to manufacture in their factory at the technology park in New Assiut City, which spans 5,000 square meters. 

“The local component in the Nokia phones to be manufactured at the SICO Electronics Co. factory will reach 43 percent,” Tamer El-Gamal, the regional manager of HMD Global in Egypt and Sudan, reported.

“Made in Egypt”

Under the slogan “Made in Egypt” partnerships with global companies are creating job opportunities in Egypt and attracting foreign investors.

Amr Mahfouz, former Head of the Information Technology Industry Development Authority (ITIDA), reported that Egypt imports mobile phones worth USD 1.5 billion (EGP 70.23 billion) annually. Local manufacturing aims to export surplus products abroad, leveraging Egypt’s free trade agreements with African and European countries. 

Could Apple be next?

The Egyptian government is actively working to attract Apple to manufacture its phones locally.

“Egypt is capable of hosting Apple factories as it possesses the required infrastructure and technological means that will help it do so,” The Chairman of SICO Electronics Co., Mohamed Salem stated. He emphasized that hosting Apple in Egypt would create both direct and indirect employment opportunities, facilitate technology transfer, and boost exports. 

Attracting global companies to Egypt is a step towards creating high local value-added goods and facilitating an environment for foreign investment, as reported by Madbouly.

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