Egyptian businessman Ashraf el-Adawi speaks during an interview in Qalioubiya, Egypt, Aug. 29, 2019. (Photo by Ahmed Gomaa/Xinhua)
by Marwa Yahya
QALIOUBIYA, Egypt, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- "Orange export to China is very promising and promotes my company's production and income," said Ashraf el-Adawi, an Egyptian businessman.
"My company has pumped more funds to invest in the field of exporting orange to China after our exports to the Asian country have doubled only in one year," Adawi, chairman of Nile Establishment for International Trade, told Xinhua in a recent interview in his factory in Qalioubiya, north of the capital Cairo.
The company has exported 14,000 tons of orange to China in the fiscal year 2018-2019, compared to 7,000 tons in the previous year, Adawi said.
The fiscal year in Egypt starts in July and ends in June.
His company targets exporting 28,000 tons in 2019-2020, he added.
The company, founded in 1985, exports annually about 100,000 tons of citrus fruits to several countries across the world, including the Gulf states, Europe, Russia, India and Bangladesh. The total exports of orange are estimated at 45,000 tons per year.
However, Adawi considers the Chinese market as "very special" to his company.
He said that 25 percent of his company's exports abroad goes to China.
"The Nile Establishment has pumped 70 million Egyptian pounds (about 4.2 million U.S. dollars) for purchasing machines and for training workers to meet the demands of the Chinese markets," the businessman said.
He added the investment volume of his company hit more than 30 million U.S. dollars with 150 permanent workers and 700 others work during the orange harvest season.
The company's deals with orange farms increased by 40 percent after concluding export contracts with China, Adawi added.
Egypt exported 106,000 tons of orange to China in 2017-2018, and 216,000 tons in 2018-2019, according to Egypt's official statistics.
Adawi said that exporting citrus fruits to China is very promising, which encouraged many Egyptian companies to develop their capabilities and to inject more funds in the field.
"We expect a huge increase in the citrus investments in the future due to high demand from China," Adawi stressed.
The Egyptian businessman, who traveled to China for five times, said he is keen to take part in the Chinese exhibitions for better communication with the Chinese companies working in the citrus field and for concluding direct contracts.
He said he might attend the coming Shanghai import expo, noting his company has started negotiations with several Chinese companies for launching a joint project to plant vast acres of orange in Egypt and later export the crops to China.