The Egyptian revolution that successfully ousted Hosni Mubarak as president has cost the economy more than six billion Egyptian pounds (Dh3.74 billion) in losses in the manufacturing, construction and tourism sectors over nine days, according to a government statistics agency.
The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) conducted an official evaluation of the losses from January 28 to Febraury 5 during the protests on the main sectors, including tourist cancellations and salary reductions in the tourism sector, Cairo, Alexandria, Suez Canal zone cities, and 10 of Ramadan city.
The manufacturing sector lost 3.736 billion pounds or 0.7 per cent of the annual gross domestic product (GDP). Sixty per cent of the sector’s production capacity was paralysed, according to the CAMPAS report.
The foodstuff industry incurred the greatest losses in that period with retail prices falling by 20 per cent and net added value by 18.2 per cent. The sector’s biggest losses were in the greater Cairo area, where they reached 44.7 per cent of the production at retail prices and 41.2 per cent of the net added value in total losses in that period.
The construction and building sector lost 762.3 million pounds or 0.9 per cent of the total completed projects at the national level. Only 10 per cent of the sector was operational during those nine days. The sector’s biggest losses were in the greater Cairo area where they reached 66.5 per cent of the total completed projects.
The tourism sector, which earns Egypt $13 billion (Dh47.81 billion) annually, was “severely affected” as many states asked their nationals to leave the country during the political unrest in the last week of January and tourists cancelled their bookings in February, the report showed.
In the last week of January, 210 million tourists left Egypt, which led to a drop in tourist spending by $178 million, the report indicated.
Booking cancellations in February led to losses reaching $825 million so far, it showed.
“This report had a purpose: The sector strikes calling for various demands are still ongoing. We wanted to tell the citizens that we are losing a lot, so people would stop striking, go back to work and the economy would recover,” Abu Bakr Al Gandi, President of CAPMAS, told Gulf News by telephone, adding that the report was not aiming to be comprehensive for all sectors.
While the strikes had “leg-itimate demands” they come at the wrong time, he said.
The biggest losses during those nine days were in labour-intensive sectors, he said. The workers were unable to go to the factories because these four cities witnessed the largest protests and had curfews, he added.
Tourism has taken the worst hit and exports relying on labour will be affected, Al Gandi said.
However, he said the losses were still manageable.
“I am very optimistic and for good reason. Political reform is under way now and will lead us in six months to an elected president and parliament.”
– $13b Egypt’s annual revenue from tourism sector
– 10% of construction sector was active during unrest