Egypt's exports to Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States hiked to $103 million by the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2017/2018, compared to $60 million by the end of the second quarter of the same fiscal year, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
The Commonwealth of Independent States include Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
On Sunday, Russian Ambassador to Egypt Sergei Kerbachenko said that trade exchange between Cairo and Moscow hit $6.7 billion in 2017,expecting it to further flourish this year.
In an interview with MENA, Kerbachenko said bilateral ties witnessed a boost over the past five years in various domains as Egyptian and Russian presidentsagreed to elevate bilateral relations.
He said Egypt and Russia are important economic and trade partners.
According to CBE, Egypt’s exports marked an increase of $1.2 billion during the third quarter of 2017/2018.
The CBE clarified that the exports recorded $6.75 billion in three months, compared to $5.55 billion by the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2016/2017.
The Egyptian government is working on raising the foreign reserves to $50 billion during the upcoming period from currently exceeding $44 billion, through increasing exports and rationalizing imports.
Egypt has been witnessing a drop in imports after it floated its currency in late 2016, making Egyptian goods in foreign markets cheaper while doubling the cost of importing.
Exports are considered to be one of the main sources of support to foreign reserves besides revenues of tourism, investments, remittance of expatriates and Suez Canal.
Egypt’s foreign reserves increased by $119 million by the end of June 2018 to reach $44.26 billion, compared to $44.14 billion by the end of May 2018, according to CBE’s data.
The state’s foreign reserves started to rebound since the delivery of the $12 billion three-year International Monetary Fund loan program in 2016.
The IMF Executive Board approved in November 2016 a three-year extended fund facility (EFT) loan to Egypt worth $12 billion to support its economic reform program.
Egypt received the fourth tranche of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan in June; the total disbarments Egypt got under the program reached $8 billion.
The current average of foreign reserves covers about eight months of Egypt's commodity imports, which is higher than the global average of about three months of commodity imports.
Egypt spends an average of $5 billion monthly on imports with an annual total of more than $60 billion.
Foreign currencies in Egypt’s foreign reserves include the U.S. dollar, euro, Australian dollar, Japanese yen and Chinese Yuan.
The main function of the foreign exchange reserve, including its gold and various international currencies, is to provide commodities, repay the installments on interest rates of external debt, and to cope with economic crises.
Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program that included the introduction of taxes, such as the value-added tax (VAT), and cutting energy subsidies, with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.