In order to support the Government of Egypt’s ambitious plans to increase the country’s exports, USAID designed a project focused on trade facilitation and export development. As part of a consortium led by Nathan Associates, CID Consulting was tasked with engaging the private sector as a key driver of export growth through building the capacity of SMEs to export, as well as supporting in export marketing to ensure Egyptian firms were able to successfully leverage on export opportunities and address export market needs.
Our participation in the project was twofold – working with the governmental entities involved – in facilitating trade and export, and working directly with Egyptian SMEs to increase their export portfolios. As part of the first component, we provided relevant Ministries with a series of holistic interventions designed to upgrade their capacity to support export and trade activities.
These ministries included the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Investment. In the realm of private sector development, we worked across the entire value chain of equipping local SMEs with resources, processes, systems, and support required to access export markets. This includes designing the selection criteria for SMEs to access the technical assistance provided by the program, communication and outreach to source and select the SMEs, diagnostic assessments to identify the core needs of selected SMEs, and finally implementing firm-level interventions in a wide variety of areas including strategic planning, process re-engineering, human resource development, organizational design, branding and marketing.
As a result of our support, several new buyers expressed interest in working with food processing SMEs in the program and importing their food products from Egypt. Throughout the project, we reached over 2,000 senior business figures, of which 585 were women, in topics including market research and trade data analysis and the importance of international certifications. As a testament to its success, export competitiveness of 90 SMEs across the engineering, automotive, food processing and textiles and ready-made garments sectors increased by an average of 40% and opened new markets.