Sector-specific opportunities

There are abundant opportunities for UK business to get involved in sectors such as energy, renewables, construction and infrastructure, retail, transport and many others.



You should carry out as much market research and planning as possible before exporting to Egypt, using both desk research and visits to the market. You need to determine if there is a market for your product or service and whether your pricing is competitive.

DIT’s trade specialists can help you identify local representatives for your products in Egypt. See:

DIT provides free international export sales leads from its worldwide network. Find export opportunities in Egypt at:


Government tenders in Egypt

Most countries have specific rules in place which regulate the market of procurements by the state or state companies, including restrictions or discriminations favourable to nationals within these rules. Public procurement agreements intend to guarantee some basic principles related to national treatment and transparency in procedures, among other things.

A comprehensive list of public tenders is issued by the Government of Egypt on their government procurement portal. See:

If you choose to have your tender bids submitted by a domestic company or consultant, you should check with DIT in Egypt first, at: for assistance and information about third-party advisers.


Defence sector

Egypt has over 1.3 million military personnel, the largest military power in Africa and one of the leading forces worldwide. Egypt maintains a large and capable army, air force and navy equipped with comparatively modern material. The Egyptian military is continuously seeking hi-tech military equipment and Egypt is keen to engage with JVs with UK companies. 

Estimated defence expenditure was approximately US $5.5 billion in 2016 and US $8 billion in 2017. There is an interest to procure a wide range of equipment including armoured vehicles, border surveillance and harbour protection, counter IED equipment, hi-tech satellite communication systems, optronics/thermal imaging, jammers/disruptors, electronic warfare systems, UAS command & control, underwater sonars, radars and tugs.

Contact the DIT team in Egypt at: for more information on defence opportunities.

[Source – DIT (July 2018)]


Education and training sector

Education is a high priority for the Egyptian Government, which is spending 12% of its budget on the sector. Reform is required at all levels. UCL have signed a local partnership, Kings College are about to do so, Portsmouth University, Liverpool and Queen Mary are keen to enter the market and possibly others too. There are also a range of vocational training opportunities being pursued by Pearson and others.

Plans to establish 16 international university campuses, increase the number of technical colleges, upgrade public schools and develop the equipment, tools and technology in current schools all provide good opportunities for UK companies.

The Egyptian Higher Education (HE) Ministry has been focusing on the International Branch Campus (IBC) project, urging international top-ranked universities to come and invest in Egypt. Universities UK International (UUKi) recently brought an outbound mission of around 14 UK universities to Egypt to explore the IBC opportunity as well as potential HE partnerships with public and private universities in Egypt.

The Education Development Fund (EDF), a government-run organisation that reports directly to the Prime Minister, has been working closely with DIT on identifying the right UK nursing education providers to contribute to the recently-designed national project of transforming the public nursing institutions across Egypt. EC English, London South Bank University (LSBU) and Coventry University are currently gauging the opportunity.

EdTech is a big sector in Egypt with huge demand from both the government and the private sector. The Egyptian Minister of Education has been heavily involving technology within the nationwide education reform project.

The Egyptian Government organised an EdTech-focused event dubbed “Mena Innovation” which took place late July 2018 involving ministers/ministries for education, higher education and ICT from up to 30 countries across the MENA region and African countries to engage with leading EdTech industry operators and solution providers from around the world.

Contact the DIT team in Egypt at: for more information on education opportunities.

[Source – DIT (July 2018)]


Infrastructure sector


Construction remains one of the most important contributors to the domestic economy. In 2016 the sector’s output increased by 10.3%, a significant uptick after growing at an average of 5.3% in the preceding four years. This growth trend was largely maintained into 2017, growing at a rate of 7.3% in the first nine months of FY 2016-17.

In the same period, construction also accounted for the highest share of implemented investments in the country. Of the LE391.7 billion (US $25.8 billion) invested in the first three quarters of FY 2016-17, 18.5% was directed towards construction activities.

There are US $117.4 billion worth of power projects in the Egyptian construction pipeline and US $57.4 billion worth of transport projects. In total, the country has a projects market worth US $395.7 billion. Construction, narrowly defined as excluding the aforementioned infrastructure areas, takes the largest share of deal values, with US $129 billion worth of projects.

The sector is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 8.03% between 2017 and 2021.

  • Smart Cities: The New Administrative Capital is working to integrate smart networks. Expected for delivery by 2022, the city is located 50 km from Cairo and will extend over 700 km2. More recently, another smart city was announced in Aswan, in Egypt’s western desert, in late 2017, to help accommodate the city’s growing population. The development will extend over 1,620 ha and will include housing, recreational facilities and green areas.


Transport is one of the current priority areas for development for the Egyptian Government, which is looking to roll out an era of mega-projects.

  • Ports: The National Ports Development Plan, which includes increasing the total tonnage handled from 120 million tonnes per year to 600 million tonnes within 35 years, encompasses the government’s strategy and goals. This will require US $12.4 billion in improvements. As part of this development, a US $497 million expansion is under way at East Port Said, where commercial container capacity will rise from 4 million to 7 million. The Government expects this number to reach 11 million over the course of the next four years.

At Safaga (an industrial port located on the Red Sea about 60 km south of Hurghada), new facilities will be developed to add to capacity in phosphate ore and liquids, livestock, meat and grain processing. There are also plans to turn Safaga into a logistics hub, with the government announcing that a series of pilot projects will be rolled out over the next few years.

  • Rail: the network now includes 9,570 km of tracks and 705 stations. Of that total, 30.6% is double-tracked. Whereas commercial freight is almost exclusively shipped by road, rail is important for passenger transport, with a volume of roughly 500 million passengers annually. About 6 million tons of goods are moved by train each year.

Capital investments under way include an overhaul of the signalling system, which currently is 85% mechanical and 15% electrical. Thales Group (French) and Siemens (German) were awarded to upgrade part of the track.

In the long term the government is seeking to transform the system through high-speed rail. A proposed 1,087 km line from Alexandria, through Cairo, and on to Aswan, would top out at speeds of 360 km/h.

DIT Egypt is supporting British companies such as Atkins, Bombardier, Gleeds, Colliers, Eurofinsa, Mott MacDonald, Arup, ASGC, BAM Nuttall, Bechtel and Foster and Partners to benefit from the opportunities.

Contact the DIT team in Egypt at: for more information on infrastructure opportunities.

[Source – DIT (July 2018)]


Life sciences sector

The healthcare and pharmaceuticals sector is a growing sector in Egypt, and represents one of the key markets for medical devices in the MENA region.

Government spending is projected to rise to US $5.5 billion by 2018 to include new huge investments in hospital building and renovation.

Contact the DIT team in Egypt at: for more information on life science opportunities.

[Source – DIT (July 2018)]


Oil and gas sector

The oil and gas sector represents a massive opportunity for UK PLC. Egypt is implementing an ambitious modernisation programme to turn the sector around and return to net export status by 2020. ENI’s Zohr discovery is the largest gas field in the Mediterranean.

BP Egypt has invested US $30 billion in Egypt to-date, which makes BP one of the largest foreign investors in the country. BP is working to meet Egypt’s domestic market growth by actively exploring in the Nile Delta and investing to add production from existing discoveries.

Their plan is to invest US $14 billion in Egypt between 2017-2021, largely driven by two major projects: West Nile Delta (WND) and Atoll. Also BP is committed to wide-ranging social investment programmes focused on education, training, and skills development.

Shell Egypt produces a significant percentage of Egypt’s oil and gas, with approximately 20% of the country’s gas production and 10% of the country’s hydrocarbon liquid production, making them one of the two biggest operators in the Western Desert at a daily production of over 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Shell are investing heavily in Burullus-West Delta Deep Marine (WDDM) Development Phase IX: Phase B.

DIT are supporting a range of companies, including Mott MacDonald, Subsea 7, WOOD, TechnipFMC, Bechtel, Baker Hughes GE Oil & Gas, Atkins, ODE North Africa, Petrofac, LOC Group and AVEVA Solutions. 

Contact the DIT team in Egypt at: for more information on oil and gas opportunities.

[Source – DIT (July 2018)]


Power sector

Egypt possesses an abundance of land, sunny weather and high wind speeds, making it a prime location for renewable energy sources. Egypt intends to supply 20% of generated electricity from renewable sources by 2022, with wind providing 12%, hydro power 5.8%, and solar 2.2%.

Over the next three to five years, the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy plans to add 51.3 GW to current installed capacity, especially in gabal el zeet (wind) and in bimban and komombo (solar) with more than 51 GW capacity to be developed.

Contact the DIT team in Egypt at: for more information on the power and renewable energy opportunities.

[Source – DIT (July 2018)]


Retail sector

Egypt offers an excellent and growing market for retail that is supported by:

  • growing demographics

  • a growing affluent middle class

  • low penetration levels of modern retail shops

  • a growing acceptance of 21st century retail concepts

The government is looking to develop an efficient retail environment, supporting various sectors of the growing economy. To this end, it sees itself as a main partner in the development of Egypt’s retail sector. It is keen to attract foreign investment to enhance competition and modernise the retail environment. More retail complexes are opening around the country and increasing numbers of new brands are entering the market.

At least 30 well-known UK retail brands are currently trading successfully in Egypt. There are various opportunities in:

  • clothing

  • food

  • consumer goods

  • online retailing

  • over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals

  • franchising

Contact the DIT team in Egypt at: for more information on the retail opportunities.

[Source – DIT/]


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