Egypt - Country Commercial Guide
Safety and Security

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-08-08

Overview

  • There is steady growth of the safety and security market in Egypt with continuous demand for specialized, state-of-the art technology to manage security issues ranging from security for the general public to transparency of commercial transactions.  Increased demand of 15-20 percent is expected over the next few years.
  • The Egyptian government has set an objective to dramatically enhance its security measures, which will require security upgrades of all airports, seaports and public facilities.  Both the government and the private sector are reevaluating and upgrading security systems and technologies at various sites.  The U.S. market share currently stands about 20 percent (non-governmental).
  • Major buyers are government entities such as the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defense and the Intelligence Department. The Ministry of Interior is expected to have continuous demand for advanced security technology and has plans to develop the sector in Egypt.  Police agencies have as a primary goal staying abreast of the latest innovations and strive to be familiar with the various manufacturers and corporations operating in the field.  Companies with a reputation for cutting-edge technologies will have an advantage in the sector. Although Egypt has always been a price-sensitive market, quality is also an important factor, particularly in this sector.  The main suppliers to the market are French, Russian, German, Italian, British and American companies.
  • Border control and security is increasingly important Egypt. In addition, banks and other corporations are especially concerned about access control and information security technology. Biometrics solutions or hologram imprints for ID and credit cards are in high demand. While the Egyptian armed forces are the largest in the region at approximately 865,500 personnel, much of the equipment used is out-of date. Thus, there is a drive to modernise the Egyptian armed forces.
     
  • It is highly recommended that U.S. companies enter the market gradually using a well-established representative. Agents and distributors are well-positioned to deal with both public and private-sector concerns. They are also responsible for finalizing the transaction and can coordinate after-sales service with the buyer.

Below are the main areas of interest in the past few years:

  • Aircraft Spare Parts
  • Ammunition and artillery
  • Armored vehicles
  • Bomb detection equipment and jamming equipment
  • Border and perimeter control equipment
  • Surveillance equipment
  • Improvised explosive device (IED) detectors and diffusers
  • Survivability equipment
  • Fire detection equipment
  • Pumps, valves and electrionic devices

Market Demand

The Egyptian market has always been receptive to U.S. safety and security products.  Governmental, industrial and tourism sector entities are legally obliged to install certain security systems. Shops, stores, schools and small companies do not generally rely on security equipment.  In some cases, safety equipment is used, thought most commercial entities are not obliged to install safety and security equipment.

The Egyptian security market requires sellers to have local expertise as well as advanced awareness of the global market.  Successful participants have enhanced working knowledge of the government and its bureaucratic regulations.  Although plans for security upgrades exist, these plans were in some cases significantly delayed or abandoned because applications for U.S. export licenses were not approved. 

Market Data

There are various ways for handling security products according to the place, sensitivity, nature of the target, security level needed, funding availability, size of the project, rules and conditions for license and other factors.  Generally, small projects with low-to-medium sensitivity levels are implemented via small in-country offices, which place direct procurement orders. 

However, large projects with high-sensitivity levels may require more supervision in the design process, with cooperation from specialists in the Ministry of Interior, Intelligence Department, Ministry of Defense, and others. Product components of security systems may be obtained in the local market using direct procurement or through a competitive bidding process, or they may be obtained totally via an open request for quotation (RFQ) issued by the Egyptian Procurement Office (EPO) in Washington, D.C. to contact the EPO for registration, an e-mail can be sent to epo.19.usa@mod.gov.eg

Figures on defense spending are not released by the Egyptian government.  However, various publications have estimated defense expenditures at approximately USD 8 billion in 2019. 

The United States is very well known for its state-of-the art technology, particularly in x-ray inspection machines and walk-through metal detectors. European companies occasionally offer similar technologies without the need for an export license, limiting opportunities for U.S. companies.  Also, during the past two years U.S. companies have faced challenges obtaining export licenses for products sold to Egypt, leading to a decrease in market share.

​Competition

French, British and Italian suppliers have captured 45 percent of the Egyptian market for complete lines of equipment.  This is attributable to the fact that they operate through Egyptian agents. Another 35 percent belongs to Germany and Eastern Europe. The U.S. market share is about 20 percent (non-governmental).

There are numerous competitive factors, including, but not limited to, technological advancement, high quality and after-sale services (low-cost maintenance).  U.S. products have a critical price advantage over European products.  However, lengthy procedures in obtaining an export license disadvantages U.S companies.

Ministry of Defense agencies (Buyers):

There are three classes of end-users:  governmental, industrial and commercial. Within the governmental sector, the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense maintain the highest purchasing capacity.

The industrial sector includes oil and gas companies, chemical plants, manufacturing plants, ports and real estate contractors. The Ministry of Housing, Utilities & Urban Development requires these establishments to install fire-sensing and-detection equipment, fire alarm systems and extinguishing equipment.          

In addition, all public entities are legally obliged to install safety products. Some of the main commercial entities include banks, conference halls, hospitals, hotels, malls, museums, schools and universities, and theaters and entertainment facilities.  The market for security-sensing and -detection equipment is growing in Egypt, as both the Egyptian public and private sectors realize that such equipment enables them to combat security threats more effectively.  As a result, prospects for future sales of high-quality U.S. safety and security products, particularly sensing and detection equipment, are positive.

For selling defense equipment to the Egyptian Military the gateway is through the Egyptian Armaments Authority (EAA), as for national mega projects, other Military owned firms are involved such as the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI), The National Service Products Organization (NSPO) and the Military Engineering Authority.

Defense Exhibition:

Every two years, under the patronage of President Sisi and the Ministry of Defense, Egypt hosts one of the largest Defense exhibitions in the Middle East and Africa (EDEX). In 2021, EDEX hosted 43 U.S exhibitors at the show. EDEX will next take place November 29 though December 2, 2023.


Contact for the Commercial Specialist in charge of the Safety and Security Sector: Basim Sedki, basim.sedki@trade.gov