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Egypt to build Robiki Leather City as leather exports to reach $1bn

Egypt is building a new major industrial zone, as the country looks to tap into the growing leather exports industry.

The Robiki Leather City will be built to attract foreign investors and connect with the rapidly growing leather exports industry, that exports believe will reach over $1bn a year in 2020.

This is quite the increase, the current leather export market totals $200mn in Egypt in 2017.

Egypt values the leather export sector to be one of its most competitive.

By mid-2018, Robiki should house the entire supply chain, from animal slaughtering to finished leather production, allowing global manufacturers to source materials and export final goods in a single location, said Mohamed El Gohary, chairman of a state firm marketing the site.

"The value-added of our exports will increase five times when we reach the stage where we're exporting final products like shoes and bags," Gohary said. Foreign investors can begin purchasing space in Robiki in 2018 and the zone has received strong interest from Italian companies, Gohary said.

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"Egypt a long time ago was a leader in leather tanning, and for a period of time everyone wanted to expand but there was just no space to," managing director of Al-Rowad Tannery Ahmed Al-Gabbas said at his factory floor in Robiki.

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