Overview of Cairo

Economy of Cairo

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Egypt's GDP is 404 Billion USD. Egypt's economy is dependent on agriculture, media, petroleum exports, and tourism. The ability of the economy to keep up with the rapidly growing population is constantly challenged, especially with difficulties procuring arable land and the unpredictability of rainfall and the Nile.

There is growth and investment in communications and physical infrastructure. The Egyptian government has made these fields a priority, as well as receiving U.S. foreign aid. There is also a developing energy market based on coal, oil, natural gas, and hydro power. Substantial coal deposits are in the northeast Sinai, and are mined at the rate of about 600,000 metric tons (590,000 long tons; 660,000 short tons) per year. Oil and gas are produced in the western desert regions, the Gulf of Suez, and the Nile Delta. Egypt has huge reserves of gas, estimated at 1,940 cubic kilometers (470 cubic miles).

Egypt's main revenue comes from tourism. More than 13 million tourists visit Egypt per year bringing revenue of 12 billion USD. The sector employs about 12 percent of Egypt's workforce. There is also revenue form the traffic that travels through the Suez Canal.

One of the most difficult challenges facing Egypt is the inability of wealth to trickle down to average citizens. About 20 percent of the population still lives below the poverty line. Many Egyptians criticize their Government for higher prices of basic goods while their standards of living or purchasing power remains relatively stagnant. Corruption is also a hindrance to economic growth. These factors have played a part in the uprising.

Egypt's most prominent multinational companies are the Orascom Group and Raya Contact Center. The IT sector has expanded rapidly and works with some of the largest companies in the world. These companies include Xceed Contact Center, Raya, E Group Connections and C3.


Cairo is the center of Egyptian economy. Two-thirds of the country's gross national product is generated in the greater metropolitan area. The majority of the nation's commerce is generated from here including publishing houses, media outlets, and film studios. Industrialization, which began in the nineteenth century, grew rapidly following the 1952 revolution and revolved primarily around textiles and food processing. Other industries include iron and steel production and consumer goods.

Today, the majority of Cairo's work force is employed in service sector jobs. These include government, financial services, and commerce. The tourism industry is the major source of revenue. Other areas of income include weapons sales, petroleum, and Suez Canal tariffs. Foreign aid from other countries is also an important source of income.

Cairo's cost of living is relatively low, but the average Cairene still struggles to make a living. Many choose go overseas and send money home. Many in the poorest sector are forced to send their children to work .

As the center of the economy, Cairo is the center for rapid development. One building in five is less than 15 years old. This amount of growth has exceeded the city services. Homes, roads, electricity, telephone and sewer services have all been in short supply.

Update 4/12/2011

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